June 2009


Benedict XVI's Message to Rome Conference on Laity

"Co-responsible for the Church's Being and Action"

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 4, 2009 (Zenit.org).- On May 26 Benedict XVI delivered an address at St. John Lateran to open the pastoral convention of the Diocese of Rome. The conference had as its theme "Church Membership and Pastoral Co-responsibility."

In concluding he said: Dear brothers and sisters, the future of Christianity and of the Church in Rome also depends on the commitment and witness of each one of us. I invoke for this the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, venerated for centuries in the Basilica of St Mary Major as Salus populi romani. As she did with the Apostles in the Upper Room while awaiting Pentecost, may she also accompany us and encourage us to look with trust to the future.

Humans Have Love in Their Genes, Says Pope

"Reflects That All Creation Is Marked by Trinity"

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 7, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Each person carries an imprint of the Trinity and its tendency toward love in his genetic material, affirms Benedict XVI.

The Pope said this today before praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter's Square, in which he offered a reflection on the Trinity "as it was made know to us by Jesus."

Excerpts from his reflection on the Trinity follow:

Christ revealed that "God is love 'not in the unity of a single person, but in the Trinity of a single substance,' the Holy Father said, quoting the preface.

"The Trinity is Creator and merciful Father; Only Begotten Son, eternal Wisdom incarnate, dead and risen for us; it is finally the Holy Spirit, who moves everything, cosmos and history, toward the final recapitulation," the Pontiff explained. "Three Persons who are one God because the Father is love, the Son is love, the Spirit is love. God is love and only love, most pure, infinite and eternal love."

The strongest proof that we are made in the image of the Trinity is this: only love makes us happy, because we live in relation, and we live to love and be loved. Using an analogy suggested by biology, we could say the human genome is profoundly imprinted with the Trinity, of God-Love.

The Virgin Mary, in her docile humility, made herself the handmaid of divine Love: she accepted the will of the Father and conceived the Son by the work of the Holy Spirit. In her omnipotence made a temple worthy of himself, and made her the model and image of the Church, mystery and house of communion for all men. May Mary, mirror of the Most Holy Trinity, help us to grow in the faith of the Trinitarian mystery.

On Corpus Christi

"Yes, Love Exists, and Since It Exists, Things Can Change"

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 14, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is affirming that we can be sure things can change for the better and we can have hope -- all because love exists.

The Pope said this today when reflecting on the feast of Corpus Christi being celebrated in many countries. He was addressing crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square to pray with him the midday Angelus.

"Love transforms every thing," the Holy Father affirmed, "and so we understand that the mystery of transubstantiation, the sign of Jesus-Charity, which transforms the world, is at the center of today's feast." "Looking upon him and worshiping him, we say: Yes, love exists, and since it exists, things can change for the better and we can hope," Benedict XVI continued. "It is the hope that comes from Christ's love that gives us the strength to live and to face every difficulty. [...] We all have need of this bread, because the road to freedom, justice and peace is long and wearisome."

The Pope concluded by considering how Jesus' mother would have received and worshiped the Eucharist. We can imagine with what faith and love the Madonna would have received and worshiped the Holy Eucharist in her heart! Each time it was for her like receiving the whole mystery of her Son Jesus: from the conception to the resurrection. My venerable and beloved predecessor, John Paul II, called her the Eucharistic Woman. Let us learn from her to continually renew our communion with the Body of Christ, to love each other as he loved us," he said.

Pope's Letter on Year for Priests

"The Priesthood Is the Love of the Heart of Jesus"

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 18, 2009 (Zenit.org).- On Friday, the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and day of prayer for the sanctification of the clergy, Benedict XVI will inaugurate this Jubilee Year for Priests during Vespers in the Vatican Basilica.

Benedict XVI sent a letter to the priests of the world on the occasion of the Year for Priests, which has been called to mark the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Mary Vianney.

In his letters concluding remarks the Pope said: To the Most Holy Virgin I entrust this Year for Priests. I ask her to awaken in the heart of every priest a generous and renewed commitment to the ideal of complete self-oblation to Christ and the Church which inspired the thoughts and actions of the saintly Cure of Ars.

On Padre Pio's Devotion to Mary

"With a Mother's Hand She Will Guide You to the Heavenly Homeland"

SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO, Italy, JUNE 21, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Following are translated excerpts of the address Benedict XVI delivered today after Mass, before praying the midday Angelus with those gathered at the Church of San Pio de Pietrelcina in San Giovanni Rotondo, where he is visiting.

* * *

Dear brothers and sisters,

At the end of this solemn celebration, I invite you to pray with me -- like every Sunday -- the Marian prayer of the Angelus. But here in the sanctuary of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, we seem to hear his own voice, which urges us to address ourselves with childlike hearts to the Blessed Virgin: "Love the Blessed Virgin and help others love her." So he kept saying to everyone, and more than his words was the testimony of his deep devotion to the Heavenly Mother. Baptized in the church of St. Mary of the Angels of Pietrelcina with the name of Francis, like the Poverello of Assisi, he always cultivated a most tender love for the Blessed Virgin. Providence later led him here, to San Giovanni Rotondo, near Our Lady of Grace Sanctuary, where he remained until his death and where his mortal remains rest. All his life and his apostolate took place, therefore, under the maternal gaze of the Madonna and the power of her intercession. He even considered the Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza the work of Mary, "Health of the Sick." Therefore, dear friends, in the example of Padre Pio, today I also want to entrust you all to the maternal protection of the Mother of God. In a special way I invoke her for the community of the Capuchin Friars, for the sick of the hospital, and for those who with love care for them, as well as for the prayer groups that carry out the continuing spiritual work of your holy founder in Italy and worldwide.

* * *

To all I repeat: walk on the path that Padre Pio has laid out for you, the path of holiness according to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. On this path Virgin Mary will always precede you, and with a mother's hand she will guide you to the heavenly homeland.

Benedict XVI'S Homily for Corpus Christi

"With the Eucharist ... Heaven Comes Down to Earth"

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 23, 2009 (Zenit.org).- At the end of the June 11 homily Benedict XVI gave on the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, during Mass held in the square outside St. John Lateran, the Pope said: "And you, Mary, who were the woman "of the Eucharist' throughout your life, help us to walk united towards the heavenly goal, nourished by the Body and Blood of Christ, the eternal Bread of life and medicine of divine immortality". Amen!

Pope notes his goal for year for Priests

Reflects on Priorities for Ministry

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 24, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The Pope today reflected on the role of the priest and his call to conform himself with Christ during the general audience held in St. Peter's Square. He dedicated his reflection to the Year for Priests, which he inaugurated Friday. The Holy Father noted how St. John Vianney, patron of priests and model for this jubilee year, was identified with his priestly ministry. The Pope concluded. "Let us entrust to the Virgin, Mother of the Church, this Year for Priests just begun and all the priests of the world." sss

Holy Father's Address to French Seminary

"The Task of Forming Priests Is a Delicate Mission"

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 26, 2009 (Zenit.org).- At the end of the address Benedict XVI delivered June 6 upon receiving in audience the community of the French Seminary in Rome, he said: As I invoke upon you all the Lord's abundant graces through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St Clare and Blessed Pius ix, I very warmly impart the Apostolic Blessing to all of you and to your families, to the former seminarians who have been unable to come here and to all the Seminary's lay personnel.

On St. Paul, Model of Love for Christ

"A Priest Who Was Completely Identified With His Ministry"

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 28, 2009 (Zenit.org).- At the conclusion of the address Benedict XVI delivered today before praying the Angelus together with the crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square, he said: May the Madonna, whom St. John Mary Vianney loved and made his parishioners love, help every priest to revive the gift of God that is in him by virtue of his holy Ordination, so that he grow in sanctity and be ready to bear witness, even to the point of martyrdom, to the beauty of his total and definitive consecration to Christ and the Church.

Pontiff Laments Train, Plane Tragedies

Expresses Condolences for 165 Lives Lost

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 30, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI expressed condolences for victims of two recent tragedies: a train explosion that claimed 12 lives in Italy and an accident over the Indian Ocean involving 153 passengers.

The Pope sent a telegram to the people of Viareggio, in Northern Italy, where a freight train carrying gas was derailed and exploded in the town Monday night.

The Pontiff's message, sent today through his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, to Archbishop Benvenuto Italo Castellani of Lucca, expressed his "heartfelt participation in the suffering afflicting the entire city." It continued: "While giving assurances of his fervent prayers for the souls of those who have so tragically died, he invokes from the Lord a speedy recovery for the injured and, entrusting those affected by this dramatic event to the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary, he sends a special and consoling apostolic blessing."

On The Feast of St. Peter and Paul

"Resist Being Conformed to the Mentality of This World"

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 30, 2009 (Zenit.org).- In the address Benedict XVI gave Monday before praying the midday Angelus with crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square, he said:

Today's solemnity has a universal character: It expresses the unity and catholicity of the Church. That's why every year on this date, the new metropolitan archbishops come to Rome to receive the pallium, the symbol of communion with the Successor of Peter. I renew my greeting to these brothers in the episcopate for whom this morning in the basilica I have performed this gesture, and the faithful who accompany them.

I also warmly greet the delegation from the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which has come to Rome, like every year, for the celebration of Sts. Peter and Paul. May the common veneration of these martyrs be a pledge for a communion among Christians from every part of the world that is ever more complete and heartfelt. For this, let us invoke the maternal intercession of Mary, the Mother of the one Church of Christ, with the customary recitation of the Angelus.

Papal Message to Venezuelan Bishops

"Encourage a Profound Life of Faith and Prayer"

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 30, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI concluded the address delivered June 8 upon receiving the bishops of Venezuela, who were in Rome for their five-yearly visit, as follows: I end with a word of hope and encouragement to you in your task; you may always count on my support, concern and spiritual closeness. Please convey my affectionate greeting to all the members of your particular Churches; to the Bishops emeritus, the priests, the religious and the lay faithful, especially married couples, young people, the elderly and those who are suffering. With these sentiments and as I invoke the protection of the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Coromoto, so deeply loved throughout Venezuela, I cordially impart to you the Apostolic Blessing.