November 2009


On the Communion of Saints--Angelus Address, November 1, 2009

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

This Sunday coincides with the solemnity of All Saints, which invites the pilgrim Church on earth to anticipate the endless celebration of the heavenly community, and to revive the hope in eternal life. It is fourteen centuries ago this year since the Pantheon--one of the most ancient and famous Roman monuments--was destined to Christian worship and dedicated to the Virgin Mary and all the martyrs: Sancta Maria ad Martyres. The temple of all the pagan divinities thus became a memorial of all those who, as the Book of Revelation states, "are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." (Revelation 7:14)

... May Mary Most Holy help us to walk swiftly on the way of sanctity and show herself a Mother of mercy for the souls of the deceased.

Papal Message to Seminar on Faith and Sports--message sent to Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, on the occasion of the two-day seminar titled "Sports, Education and Faith: For a New Stage in the Catholic Sports Movement," November 3, 2009

... It is my heartfelt hope that it will help to take advantage of the many and precious opportunities that sport can offer youth pastoral care and, while hoping for a fruitful meeting, I assure you of my prayer invoking on the participants and on those who are involved in promoting a healthy sports activity, particularly in Catholic institutions, the guidance of the Holy Spirit and Mary's maternal protection. With these sentiments, I send to all my heartfelt Apostolic Blessing.

Letter to Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk on the occasion of his golden anniversary to the priesthood November 7, 2009

...We pray our more loving Father that, with the patronage of the ever Virgin Mary, He guard and protect you with His grace and enrich you with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. ...

On Paul VI's Marian Devotion--Angelus Address in Brescia, November 8, 2009

... In this Angelus I would like to recall the profound devotion that the Servant of God Giovanni Battista Montini had for the Virgin Mary. He celebrated his first Mass in the sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie, the Marian heart of your city, not far from this piazza. In this way he placed his priesthood under the protection of the Mother of Jesus, and this connection accompanied him his whole life.

As his ecclesial responsibilities grew, he developed a broader and more organic vision of the relationship between the Blessed Virgin Mary and the mystery of the Church. In this perspective, his November 21, 1964, address at the closing of the third session of the Second Vatican Council is memorable. During that session of the Council the Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, was promulgated. The document had, as Paul VI noted, "an entire chapter dedicated to the Madonna as its apex and crown." The Pope noted that it contained the largest synthesis of Marian doctrine ever elaborated by an ecumenical council, with the purpose of "manifesting the countenance of the Church to which Mary is intimately joined." (Enchiridion Vaticanum, Bologna 1979, p.185, nos. 300-302) In that context he proclaimed Mary Most Holy 'Mother of the Church' (cf. ibid., no. 306), underscoring with lively ecumenical sensitivity that "devotion to Mary ... is a means essentially ordained to orient souls to Christ and thus join them to the Father, in the love of the Holy Spirit." (ibid., no. 315)

Echoing the words of Paul VI, we too today pray: O Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, to you we commend this Church of Brescia and all the people of this region. Remember all your children; bring their prayers before God; keep their faith firm; strengthen their hope; make their charity grow. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. (cf. ibid., nos. 317, 320, 325)

An Opportunity to Emphasize the Unity of the Human Family--Address to the Sixth Congress on Migration, November 9, 2009

... I renew to each one of you my thanks for your service to the Church and to society, and I invoke Mary's motherly protection upon all your actions for migrants and refugees.

On What Europe Owes to Cluny--General Audience on November 11, 2009

... The monks of Cluny dedicated themselves with love and great care to the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours, the singing of Psalms, to processions both devotional and solemn and, above all, to the celebration of Holy Mass. They promoted sacred music. They wanted architecture and art to contribute to the beauty and solemnity of the rites. They enriched the liturgical calendar with special celebrations such as, for example, the commemoration of the faithful deceased at the beginning of November, which we also celebrated a short time ago; then they enhanced devotion to the Virgin Mary. ...

On New Territories for Evangelizing--Message to Cardinal Ivan Dias, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples on the Occasion of that Dicastery's Plenary Assembly on the topic "St. Paul and the New Areopagi," November 13, 2009

... Lord Cardinal, while thanking you for the service that this dicastery renders to the cause of the Gospel, I invoke upon you and upon all those taking part in the present plenary assembly the help of God and the protection of the Virgin Mary, star of evangelization, while I send my heartfelt apostolic blessing to all.

"Authentic Social Life Begins in Each Conscience"--Benedict XVI's Message to Brazilian Bishops during their ad limina visit, November 14, 2009

... United to the Lord in an ineffable way is Mary, fully conformed to her Son, conqueror of sin and death. Through the intercession of Our Lady Aparecida, I implore from God the light, consolation, strength, intensity of resolutions and achievements for you and your most direct collaborators, while at the same time I grant you from my heart--and extend to all the faithful of every diocesan community--my particular Apostolic Blessing.

On the End Times and God's Kingdom--Angelus Address, November 15, 2009

... Dear friends, the Virgin Mary is the living sign of this truth. Her heart was "good earth" that received with full disposition the Word of God, so that all her existence, transformed according to the image of the Son, was introduced into eternity, soul and body, anticipating the eternal vocation of every human being. Now, in prayer, let us make our own her response to the Angel: "let it be to me according to your word" (Luke 1:38), so that, following Christ on the way of the Cross, we might also be able to come to the glory of the Resurrection.

Be an Instrument of the Evangelical Proclamation.--Address to Assembly of the International Federation of Catholic Universities, November 19, 2009

... Dear friends, the service you carry out is valuable for the mission of the Church. While I express to all of you sincere wishes for the academic year initiated a short while ago and for the full success of the FIUC's Congress, I entrust each one of you and the institutions you represent to the maternal protection of Mary, Most Holy, Seat of Wisdom, and am pleased to impart to all the apostolic blessing.

The Hearing-Impaired Person in the Life of the Church "Ephatha!" Address to participants in the Twenty-fourth International Conference on Care of the Deaf, November 20, 2009

... Dear friends, I thank you for this encounter and entrust all of you who are present here to the motherly protection of Mary, Mother of Love, Star of Hope, Our Lady of Silence.

Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe--Angelus Address on Sunday, November 22, 2009

... Dear brothers and sisters, when the Angel Gabriel brought the announcement to Mary, he predicted that her Son would inherit the throne of David and reign forever (cf. Lk 1: 32-33). And even before she gave him to the world, the Blessed Virgin believed. Thus she must certainly have wondered what new kind of kingship Jesus' would be; she came to understand by listening to his words, and especially by closely participating in the mystery of his death on the Cross and in his Resurrection. Let us ask Mary to help us too to follow Jesus, our King, as she did, and to bear witness to him with our entire existence. ...

After the Angelus:

The celebration for the beatification of Sister Marie-Alphonsine Danil Ghattas is taking place today in Nazareth. ... The core of this new Blessed's spirituality was her intense devotion to the Virgin Mary, a luminous model of life consecrated to God without reserve. The Holy Rosary was her continuous prayer, her anchor of salvation and the source of her grace. The beatification of such a significant female figure is of special comfort to the Catholic community in the Holy Land and is an invitation to entrust oneself always, with firm hope, to Divine Providence and to Mary's motherly protection.

Yesterday, the Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple, was the Day pro orantibus for Cloistered Religious communities. ...Your prayers, dear Sisters, are very precious for my ministry.

On God's Presence and Coming--Homily at Vespers for the First Sunday of Advent, November 28, 2009

... Dear friends, Advent is the time of the presence and the expectation of the eternal. Precisely for this reason it is, in a particular way, the time of joy, of an internalized joy, that no suffering can erase. Joy because of the fact that God became a child. This joy, invisibly present in us, encourages us to walk with confidence. Model and support of this profound joy is the Virgin Mary, through whom the Child Jesus has been given to us. May she, faithful disciple of her Son, obtain for us the grace to live this liturgical time vigilant and diligent in waiting. Amen.

On Christ, The Foundation Of Hope--Angelus Address, November 29, 2009

... The council insists on the fact that Christ is the center of the liturgy. It is similar to the sun, around which rotate the planets. Around the liturgy rotate the Blessed Virgin Mary--she is the closest--and the martyrs and the other saints that "in heaven sing to God the perfect praise and intercede for us." (Sacrosanctum Concilium 104)

... Dear brothers and sisters, the Virgin Mary fully incarnates the humanity that lives in hope based on faith in the living God. She is the Virgin of Advent; she is well-rooted in the present, in the 'today' of salvation. She keeps in her heart all the past promises; and they extend to future fulfillment. Let us enter her school, to truly enter this time of grace and to welcome, with joy and responsibility, the coming of God to our personal and social history.

[In English, he said:]

I welcome all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present for the Angelus. On this First Sunday of Advent let us join with Mary in prayerful trust, watchful for the presence of Jesus in our world, mindful of our need to grow in compassion and mercy, and ready to embrace God's will as a sign of hope.