October 2008


Angelus Address – October 5, 2008

Dear brothers and sisters, I invite all of you to support the work of the synod with your prayer, especially invoking the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, perfect disciple of the divine Word.

Prayer for the World Synod of Bishops – October 5, 2008

May Mary, the Most Holy Mother of God and Mother of the Church, assist the Bishops in these days, as she assisted the Apostles in the Upper Room, and intercede with motherly affection to foster brotherly communion among them, to allow them to rejoice in prosperity and peace in the calmness of these days, and, in reading the signs of the times, to celebrate the majesty of the merciful God, the Lord of History, to the praise and glory of the Most Blessed Trinity, Father Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Pope's Homily on Pius XII

"Sanctity Was His Ideal"

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 9, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the homily given by Benedict XVI at a Mass said in St. Peter's today in memory of the death of Pius XII on the fiftieth anniversary of his death.

Dear brothers and sisters, while we pray that the cause of beatification of the Servant of God Pius XII may continue smoothly, it is good to remember that sanctity was his ideal, an ideal he never failed to propose to everyone. This is why he promoted the causes of beatification and canonization for persons from different peoples, representatives of all states of life, roles and professions, and granted substantial space to women. And it was Mary, the Woman of salvation, whom he offered to humanity as a sign of certain hope, proclaiming the dogma of the Assumption, during the Holy Year of 1950. In this world of ours, which, like then, is assailed by worries and anguish about its future; in this world where, perhaps more than then, the distancing of many from truth and virtue allows us to glimpse scenarios without hope, Pius XII invites us to look to Mary assumed into the glory of Heaven. He invites us to invoke her faithfully, so that she will allow us to appreciate ever more the value of life on earth and help us to look to the true aim that is the destiny of all of us: that eternal life that, as Jesus assures us, already belongs to those who hear and follow his word. Amen!

On World Mission Sunday – October 19, 2008

"Prayer Is the First Missionary Duty of Each One of Us"

POMPEII, Italy, OCT. 19, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Here is the address Benedict XVI delivered today before praying the Angelus with the crowds gathered at the shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii. The Pope's one-day visit to the Marian shrine took place on World Mission Sunday, and in the middle of the world Synod of Bishops, which is under way in the Vatican through Oct. 26.

* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

After the solemn Eucharistic celebration and the traditional Supplication of the Madonna of Pompeii, following our customary Sunday practice, we once again turn our gaze to Mary with recitation of the Angelus, and we entrust to her the great petitions of the Church and of humanity.

We especially pray for the ordinary assembly of the Synod of Bishops that is taking place in Rome and that has “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church” as its theme, that it might bear the fruit of authentic renewal in every Christian community.

Another special prayer intention is offered to us by World Mission Day, which in this Pauline Year proposes for our meditation these celebrated words of the Apostle of the Gentiles: “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16).

In this month of October, the month of missions and of the rosary, how many faithful and how many communities offer the holy rosary for missionaries and for evangelization! For this reason I am very glad to find myself today here in Pompeii, in the most important shrine dedicated to the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary. This gives me the opportunity to emphasize with greater insistence that prayer is the first missionary duty of each one of us. It is first of all through prayer that the way for the Gospel is prepared; it is through prayer that hearts are opened to the mystery of God and that souls are disposed to receive his Word of salvation.

On this day there is yet another happy coincidence to mention. Today in Lisieux, France, Louis Martin and Zélie Guérin are being beatified, the parents of Thérèse of the Child Jesus, whom Pius XI declared patroness of the missions. Through their prayer and their evangelical witness St. Thérèse’s parents accompanied and shared the journey of their daughter, who was called by the Lord to unconditionally consecrate herself to him within the walls of Carmel. It was there, in the obscurity of the cloister, that St. Thérèse realized her vocation “to be love in the heart of the Church” (Manuscrits autobiographiques, Lisieux 1957, 229).

 With the beatification of the Martins in mind, I would like to recall another intention that is close to my heart: the family, whose role is fundamental in nurturing in their children a universal spirit, open and responsive to the world and its problems, and in forming vocations to missionary life. And so, following in our heart the pilgrimage that so many families made a month ago to this shrine, we call upon the maternal protection of the Madonna of Pompeii for all the families of the world, already looking forward to the fourth World Family Meeting that is being planned for Mexico City in January 2009.

 [The Pope continued in French]

On this World Mission Day, we especially join with the pilgrims gathered in Lisieux for the beatification of Louis and Zélie Martin, the parents of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, patroness of the missions.

They proclaimed the Gospel of Christ through their exemplary married life. They lived their faith ardently and transmitted it to their family and all around them. May their prayers be a source of joy and hope for all parents and all families.

 [Translation by Joseph G. Trabbic]

Greeting after a Mass marking the inauguration of the academic year for pontifical and ecclesiastical universities of Rome - October 31, 2008

Remaining faithful to this Jesus that Mary offers us, to this Christ who the Church presents us we can engage ourselves intensely in intellectual work, interiorly free of the temptation to pride and glorifying always and only in the Lord.




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