September 2009


On St. Odo General Audience Paul VI Hall on September 2, 2009

... Odo was still an adolescent, around 16 years old, when one Christmas Eve he sensed how a prayer to the Virgin came spontaneously to his lips: "My Lady, Mother of Mercy, who on this night gave birth to the Savior, pray for me. May your glorious and singular birth be, Oh most merciful, my refuge" (Vita Sancti Odonis, I,9: PL 133, 747). The name "Mother of Mercy," with which the young Odo then invoked the Virgin, was the one he always wished to use when addressing Mary, also calling her "only hope of the world ... thanks to whom the doors of paradise have been opened to us" (In Veneratione S. Mariae Magdalenae: PL 133, 721).

Hope Needs to Be Contagious, Says Pontiff Message for the 83rd World Mission Day on Sunday, Oct. 18 (The June 29 message was made public on September 5, 2009)

... May we be guided in our missionary activity by the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of New Evangelization, who brought Christ into the world to be the light of the nations and to carry salvation "to the ends of the earth" (Acts 13:47).

Papal Address at Bagnoreggio, St. Bonaventure's Birthplace September 6, 2009

... Thank you, dear friends, once again, for your hospitality. While I assure you of my remembrance in prayer, I impart to you, through the intercession of St. Bonaventure and especially of Mary, faithful Virgin and Star of Hope, a special apostolic blessing, which I extend with pleasure to all the inhabitants of this beautiful land, rich in saints.

Benedict XVI's Homily in Viterbo September 6, 2009

... Dear brothers and sisters! When the heart is frightened in the desert of life, do not be afraid, give yourselves to Christ, the firstborn of the new humanity: a family of brothers built up in freedom and justice, in the truth and charity of the sons of God. Saints who are dear to you are part of this family: Lorenzo, Valentino, Ilario, Rosa, Lucia, Bonaventure and many others. Our common Mother is Mary, whom you venerate with the title of Madonna della Quercia (Madonna of the Oak) as patroness of the whole diocese in its new configuration. May they guard you always in unity and nourish in each of you the desire to proclaim, with words and deeds, the presence and love of Christ! Amen.

Angelus address in Viterbo, the "City of Popes" September 6, 2009

... I will entrust these intentions this afternoon to the Virgin Mary in my visit to the shrine of the Madonna della Quercia (the Madonna of the Oak). Now, with the prayer that recalls her "yes" to the angel's announcement, let us ask her always to keep our faith strong and joyful.

Pontiff's Prayer at Madonna della Quercia Shrine Prayer at the shrine of the Madonna della Quercia (the Madonna of the Oak) in Viterbo on September 6, 2009

... I ask you now to join with me in invoking the maternal protection of Mary for this diocesan community and the inhabitants of this land rich with religious and cultural traditions.

Holy Virgin, Madonna della Quercia - Patroness of the Diocese of Viterbo, gathered in this sanctuary consecrated to you, we address a suppliant and confident prayer to you:

Watch over the successor of Peter and the Church entrusted to his care; watch over this diocesan community and her pastors, over Italy, over Europe and the other continents. Queen of peace, obtain the gift of concord and peace for the nations and for the whole of humanity. Obedient Virgin, Mother of Christ, Who, with your docile "yes" to the Angel's announcement, became the Mother of the Almighty, help everyone of your children to ratify the designs that the Heavenly Father has for everyone, to cooperate in the universal plan of redemption, that Christ accomplished dying on the cross.

Virgin of Nazareth, Queen of the Family, make our Christian families forges of evangelical life, enriched by the gift of many vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life. Keep firm the unity of our families, which are today threatened from every side, and make them hearths of serenity and concord, where patient dialogue dissipates the difficulties and oppositions. above all watch over those who are divided and in crisis, Mother of forgiveness and reconciliation.

Immaculate Virgin, Mother of the Church, nourish the enthusiasm of the all the members of our diocese: of the parishes and ecclesial groups, of the associations and of the new forms of apostolic commitment that the Lord awakens with his Holy Spirit; make firm and decided the will of those the Lord of the harvest continues to call as workers in his vineyard, so that, resisting every worldly enticement and snare, they generously persevere in following the path that they have set out upon, and, with your maternal succor, become the witnesses of Christ drawn by the splendor of his Love, source of joy.

Clement Virgin, Mother of Humanity, turn your gaze upon the men and women of our time, upon peoples and those who govern them, upon nations and continents; console those who weep, who suffer, who struggle because of human injustice, sustain those who waver under the weight of toil and look to the future without hope; encourage those who labor to build a better world where justice triumphs and brotherhood reigns, where egoism, hatred and violence cease. May every form and manifestation of violence Be defeated by the peaceful power of Christ!

Virgin of Listening, Star of Hope, Mother of Mercy, source through whom Jesus came into the world, our life and our joy, we thank you and we renew to you the offer of our life, certain that you will never abandon us, especially in the dark and difficult moments of existence. Be with us always: now and at the hour of our death. Amen

Address to Brazilian Bishops during their ad limina visit Castel Gandolfo, September 7, 2009

... Certain of being able to count on your zeal in regard to priestly formation, I invite all bishops, their priests and seminarians, to imitate in their lives the charity of Christ, Priest and Good Shepherd, as the holy Cure d'Ars did. And, with him, may they take as model and protection of their own vocation the Virgin Mother, who responded in a unique way to God's call, conceiving in her heart and flesh the Word made man to give him to humanity.

Homily at Episcopal Ordination - St. Peter's Basilica, September 12, 2009

... In the Church's calendar today we remember the Name of Mary. In her who was and is totally united to the Son, to Christ, men in the darkness and sufferings of this world found the faith of the Mother who gives us courage to go forward. In the western tradition the name "Mary" has been translated as "Star of the Sea." In this title is expressed this experience: how many times has the history in which we live appeared like a dark sea whose waves threateningly buffet the little ship of our life? Sometimes the night seems impenetrable. Often one can have the impression that only evil has power and God is infinitely far away. Often we can only glimpse from a great distance the great Light, Jesus Christ, who conquered death and evil. But now we see the light shining nearer to us when Mary says: "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord." We see the light of goodness that emanates from her. In the goodness with which she welcomed and ever again comes to meet the great and small aspirations of many men, we recognize the goodness of God himself in a very human way. He gave us his Mother as our Mother, so that we learn from her to say the "yes" that makes us good.

Dear friends, in this hour we pray to the Mother of the Lord for you, so that she will always guide you toward her Son, source of goodness. And we pray that you become faithful, prudent and good servants and so you can one day hear from the Lord of history: Good and faithful servant, share in the joy of your master. Amen.

On the Expression of Faith Through Works Angelus Address, Castel Gandolfo September 13, 2009

... Dear Friends, tomorrow we celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, and the following day Our Lady of Sorrows. The Virgin Mary, who believed in the Lord's Word, did not lose her faith in God when she saw her Son rejected, offended and put on a cross. Rather she stayed with Jesus, suffering and praying, to the end. And she saw the radiant sunrise of his resurrection. Let us learn from her to bear witness to our faith with a life of humble service, ready to suffer personally to remain faithful to the Gospel of charity and truth, certain that nothing of what we do will be lost.

Address to Eastern Patriarchs and Major Archbishops Castel Gandolfo, September 19, 2009

While I wish that todays gathering will bear the hoped for fruits, invoking the maternal intercession of Mary Most Holy, from my heart I bless you and all the Eastern Catholic Churches.

On True Wisdom Angelus Address in Castel Gandolfo, September 20, 2009

Dear friends, once more Sacred Scripture leads us to reflect on moral aspects of human existence, but starting from a reality that precedes the same morality, that is, from true wisdom. Let us ask God with confidence for wisdom of heart, through the intercession of her who welcomed Wisdom Incarnate, Jesus Christ, into her womb and gave him birth. Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us!

Address to New Bishops - Castel Gandolfo, September 22, 2009

Dear new bishops, thank you for the service you render the Church with dedication and love. I greet you with affection and assure you of my constant support joined to prayer so that "you will go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should abide" (John 15:16). For this I invoke the intercession of Mary Regina Apostolorum, and I impart from my heart to you, your priests and your diocesan communities a special apostolic blessing.

On St. Anselm: Theologian, Teacher, Pastor General Audience, Paul VI Hall, September 23, 2009

... Dear brothers and sisters, may the love of truth and the constant thirst for God, which marked the whole life of St. Anselm, be a stimulus for every Christian to seek without ever tiring an ever more profound union with Christ, Way, Truth and Life. In addition, may the courageous zeal that distinguished his pastoral action, and procured for him misunderstandings, bitterness and finally exile, be an encouragement for pastors, for consecrated persons and for all the faithful to love the Church of Christ, to pray, work and suffer for her, without every abandoning or betraying her. May the Virgin Mother of God, for whom Anselm nourished a tender filial devotion, obtain this grace for us. "Mary, my heart wants to love you," wrote St. Anselm, "my tongue wants to praise you ardently."

Visit to Infant of Prague Address in the Church of Our Lady Victorious, September 26, 2009

I greet all of you warmly and I want you to know what joy it gives me to visit this Church, dedicated to Our Lady of Victory, where the faithful venerate the statue of the Infant Jesus, known throughout the world as the "Holy Infant of Prague". ...

The image of the Child Jesus calls to mind the mystery of the Incarnation, of the all-powerful God who became man and who lived for thirty years in the lowly family of Nazareth, entrusted by Providence to the watchful care of Mary and Joseph. ...

I bless you from my heart and I invoke upon all of you the protection of the Holy Infant Jesus, his Immaculate Mother and Saint Joseph.

Address at Vespers with priests, religious, seminarians and lay movements gathered in the Cathedral of Sts. Vitus, Wenceslaus and Adalbert Prague, September 26, 2009

... Dear Brothers and Sisters, with gratitude to the Lord, we shall be marking a number of anniversaries this year: the 280th anniversary of the canonization of Saint John Nepomuk, the 80th anniversary of the dedication of Saint Vitus' Cathedral, and the 20th anniversary of the canonization of Saint Agnes of Bohemia, the event which heralded your country's deliverance from atheist oppression. All these are good reasons for persevering in the journey of faith with joy and enthusiasm, counting on the maternal intercession of Mary, Mother of God, and all your Patron Saints. Amen!

Videomessage to Priests on Retreat in Ars, France September 28, 2009

... Entrusting you to the Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ and of priests, I impart to you all my Apostolic Blessing.

May Mary Keep the Flame of Faith Alive in All of You Angelus Address in Brno, Czech Republic, September 27, 2009

... Moravia is blessed with a number of Marian shrines that are visited by crowds of pilgrims throughout the year. At this moment I should like to make a pilgrimage in spirit to the mountainous forest shrine of Hostn, where you venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary as your protectress. May Mary keep the flame of faith alive in all of you, a faith that is nourished by traditions of popular piety with deep roots in the past, which you rightly take care to maintain, so that the warmth of family conviviality in villages and towns may not be lost. At times one cannot help noticing, with a certain nostalgia, that the pace of modern life tends to diminish some elements of a rich heritage of faith. Yet it is important not to lose sight of the ideal expressed by traditional customs, and above all to maintain the spiritual patrimony inherited from your forebears, to guard it and to make it answer to the needs of the present day. May the Virgin Mary assist you in this, as we renew the entrustment to her of your Church and of the entire Czech nation.

Conclusion of the Homily at Mass in Brno - Turany Airport in Brno, September 27, 2009

... May you always be accompanied and protected by Our Lady, Mother of Christ our Hope. Amen!

Conclusion of the Address to Youth - Stara Boleslav, Czech Republic, September 28, 2009

... May Saint Wenceslaus guide you along this path through his example and his intercession, and may you always enjoy the protection of the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus and our Mother. I bless all of you with affection!