September 2011



"A Moment of Meditation and Prayer, Bringing Us to Intuit the Harmonies of Heaven" -CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 1, 2011 (

Here is a translation of Benedict XVI's brief address Wednesday after a concert in his honor held at the apostolic palace of Castel Gandolfo.
The concert was a gift from Cardinal Domenico Bartolucci, a former director of the Sistine Chapel Choir, who himself composed the four works that were performed.
"…Dear Maestro, tonight, with your music, you have made our soul turn to Mary with the most loved prayer of the Christian tradition, …"

Pope Recalls Service of Cardinal Deskur – Polish Native Was Friend of John Paul II: VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 7, 2011 (

During today's general audience in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI recalled the service of Polish Cardinal Andrzej Maria Deskur, who died last Saturday in Rome.
"...and he entrusted his own life to Mary Immaculate. May she implore heavenly glory for him."

Papal Address to Latin Rite Bishops from India :"Religious ... Are the Often Unsung Heroes of the Church's Vitality"– CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 8, 2011 (

Here is the address Benedict XVI delivered today when he received in audience a group of bishops from India at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo. The bishops represented Bombay, Nagpur, Goa e Damão, Gandhinagar and Bangalore, and are in Italy for their five-yearly "ad limina" visit.
“…I commend all of you to the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church….”

Pontiff on 9/11 Anniversary: Reject Violence as a Solution ANCONA, Italy, SEPT. 11, 2011 (

“…The Pontiff also noted how Ancona is near Loreto. Tradition holds that the home in which Mary dwelled in Nazareth was carried by angels and is kept at the Loreto shrine.
'The Angelus prayer invites us to mirror ourselves in Mary Most Holy to contemplate the abyss of love from which the Sacrament of the Eucharist comes," the Pope said. "Thanks to the Virgin's 'fiat,' the Word became flesh and came to dwell among us.'"

Papal Address to Engaged Couples-"Educate Yourselves Henceforth in the Liberty of Fidelity": ANCONA, Italy, SEPT. 12, 2011 (

Here is a translation of the address to engaged couples that Benedict XVI gave Sunday during his visit to Ancona.

"…Do not lose courage in face of the needs that seem to extinguish joy at the table of life," he said. "At the Wedding of Cana, when wine was lacking, Mary invited the servants to go to Jesus and she gave them a precise indication: 'Do whatever he tells you.' Treasure these words, the last of Mary's taken up in the Gospels -- virtually a spiritual testament -- and you will always have the joy of the celebration: Jesus is the wine of the celebration!"

"…Mary teaches us that the good of each one depends on listening with docility to the word of the Son. In those who trust in him, the water of daily life is transformed into the wine of a love that makes life good, beautiful and fruitful."

….Very dear young people, I entrust you to the protection of St. Joseph and Mary Most Holy; following the invitation of the Virgin Mother "Do whatever he tells you," you will not lack the pleasure of the real celebration and you will be able to take the best "wine," the one that Christ gives for the Church and for the world.”

Papal Address to Priests and Parents-"No Vocation Is a Private Issue": ANCONA, Italy, SEPT. 12, 2011 (

Here is a translation of the address to priests and families that Benedict XVI gave Sunday during his visit to Ancona.

“…Dear friends, I entrust you all to the protection of Mary, venerated in this cathedral with the title "Queen of All Saints." Tradition joins her image to the ex-voto of a sailor, in thanksgiving for the salvation of his son, who came through a storm at sea unharmed. May the maternal gaze of the Mother also accompany your steps in holiness to a port of peace.”

On the Prayer of Psalm 22-"Death and Life Have Met in an Inseparable Mystery, and Life Has Triumphed": VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 14, 2011 (

Here is a translation of the Italian-language catechesis Benedict XVI gave today during the general audience held in Paul VI Hall.

“…Today, the liturgy allows us to meditate on the mystery of the Lord's cross, and tomorrow on the sorrows of His Mother. May the cross of Christ and the example of Mary the Sorrowful Virgin illumine your lives, dear young people; may they sustain you in daily trials, dear sick; and may they urge you on, dear newlyweds, to live a courageous family life consistent with the principles of the Gospel.”

Pope's Address to Newly-Ordained Bishops-"The Bishop ... Has the Duty of Unifying and Harmonizing Charismatic Diversity": ROME, SEPT. 15, 2011 (

Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave today to a group of some one hundred newly ordained bishops upon receiving them in audience this morning in the apostolic palace in Castel Gandolfo.

“…Entrusting your ministry to Mary, Mother of the Church, who shines before the People of God full of gifts of the Holy Spirit, I impart with affection to each one of you, to your dioceses and particularly to your priests, the apostolic blessing….”

On a New Sense of Life and Existence- "The Good News ... Is Destined to Reach All People and Nations":CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 18, 2011 (

Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave today and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.
“…Let us turn in prayer to the Virgin Mary that in the whole Church priestly, religious and lay vocations ripen in service to the new evangelization. ….”

Pontiff's Reflections at Marian Shrine-"At the Foot of the Cross, Mary Becomes Our Fellow Traveler and Protector": ETZELSBACH, Germany, SEPT. 23, 2011 (

Here is a Vatican translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered today at Marian vespers at the Wallfahrtskapelle in Etzelsbach .
“….So I am very glad that my wish to visit Eichsfeld has been fulfilled, and that here in Etzelsbach I can now thank Mary in company with you. "Here in the beloved quiet vale," as the pilgrims' hymn says, "under the old lime trees," Mary gives us security and new strength. During two godless dictatorships, which sought to deprive the people of their ancestral faith, the inhabitants of Eichsfeld were in no doubt that here in this shrine at Etzelsbach an open door and a place of inner peace was to be found. The special friendship with Mary that grew from all this, is what we seek to cultivate further, not least through today's celebration of Vespers of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

When Christians of all times and places turn to Mary, they are acting on the spontaneous conviction that Jesus cannot refuse His mother what she asks; and they are relying on the unshakable trust that Mary is also our mother -- a mother who has experienced the greatest of all sorrows, who feels all our griefs with us and ponders in a maternal way how to overcome them. How many people down the centuries have made pilgrimages to Mary, in order to find comfort and strength before the image of the Mother of Sorrows, as here at Etzelsbach!

Let us look upon her likeness: a woman of middle age, her eyelids heavy with much weeping, gazing pensively into the distance, as if meditating in her heart upon everything that had happened. On her knees rests the lifeless body of her son, she holds Him gently and lovingly, like a precious gift. We see the marks of the crucifixion on His bare flesh. The left arm of the corpse is pointing straight down.

Perhaps this sculpture of the Pietà, like so many others, was originally placed above an altar. The crucified Jesus would then be pointing with His outstretched arm to what was taking place on the altar, where the holy sacrifice that He had accomplished becomes present in the Eucharist.A particular feature of the holy image of Etzelsbach is the position of Our Lord's body. In most representations of the Pietà, the dead Jesus is lying with His head facing left, so that the observer can see the wounded side of the Crucified Lord. Here in Etzelsbach, however, the wounded side is concealed, because the body is facing the other way. It seems to me that a deep meaning lies hidden in this representation, that only becomes apparent through silent contemplation: in the Etzelsbach image, the hearts of Jesus and His mother are turned to one another; the hearts come close to each other. They exchange their love. We know that the heart is also the seat of the deepest affection and the most intimate compassion. In Mary's heart there is room for the love that her divine Son wants to bestow upon the world.

Marian devotion focuses on contemplation of the relationship between the Mother and her divine Son. In their prayers and sufferings, in their thanksgiving and joy, the faithful have constantly discovered new dimensions and qualities which this mystery can help to disclose for us, for example when the image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is seen as a symbol of her deep and unreserved loving unity with Christ. It is not self-realization, the desire for self-possession and self-formation, that truly enables people to flourish, according to the model that modern life so often proposes to us, which easily turns into a sophisticated form of selfishness. Rather it is an attitude of self-giving, self-emptying, directed towards the heart of Mary and hence towards the heart of Christ and towards our neighbour: this is what enables us to find ourselves.

"We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose" (Rom 8:28), as we have just heard in the reading from the Letter to the Romans. With Mary, God has worked for good in everything, and He does not cease, through Mary, to cause good to spread further in the world.

Looking down from the Cross, from the throne of grace and salvation, Jesus gave us His mother Mary to be our mother. At the moment of His self-offering for mankind, He makes Mary as it were the channel of the rivers of grace that flow from the Cross. At the foot of the Cross, Mary becomes our fellow traveler and protector on life's journey. "By her motherly love she cares for her son's sisters and brothers who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties, until they are led into their blessed home," as the Second Vatican Council expressed it (Lumen Gentium, 62). Yes indeed, in life we pass through high-points and low-points, but Mary intercedes for us with her Son and helps us to discover the power of His divine love, and to open ourselves to that love.


Our trust in the powerful intercession of the Mother of God and our gratitude for the help we have repeatedly experienced impel us, as it were, to think beyond the needs of the moment. What does Mary actually want to say to us, when she rescues us from some trial? She wants to help us grasp the breadth and depth of our Christian vocation. With a mother's tenderness, she wants to make us understand that our whole life should be a response to the love of our God, who is so rich in mercy. "Understand," she seems to say to us, "that God, who is the source of all that is good and who never desires anything other than your true happiness, has the right to demand of you a life that yields wholly and joyfully to his will, striving at the same time that others may do likewise." Where God is, there is a future.

Indeed -- when we allow God's love to pervade and to shape the whole of our lives, then heaven stands open. Then it is possible so to shape the present that it corresponds more and more to the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ. Then the little things of everyday life acquire meaning, and great problems find solutions.

Confident of this, we pray to Mary; confident of this, we put our faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and God. Amen.

© Copyright 2011 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Benedict XVI's Address to Youth Vigil in Freiburg-"Those Who Believe in Christ See Light Even amid the Darkest Night": FREIBURG, Germany, SEPT. 24, 2011 (

Here is the address Benedict XVI delivered today to a gathering of youth in Freiburg.
“…There is no saint, apart from the Blessed Virgin Mary, who has not also known sin, who has never fallen. …”

Pontiff's Speech to Orthodox Representatives-"We Are All the Early Church That Is Still Present and New": FREIBURG, Germany, SEPT. 24, 2011 (

Here is the address Benedict XVI delivered today upon meeting with representatives of Orthodox Churches at the seminary of the Archdiocese of Freiburg im Breisgau.
“…Finally, I would like to direct our gaze towards Mary -- you presented her to us as the Panagia -- and she is also the Hodegetria, the "Guide along the Way," who is also venerated in the West under the title "Our Lady of the Way." The Most Holy Trinity has given the Virgin Mother Mary to mankind, that she might guide us through history with her intercession and point out to us the way towards fulfillment. To her we entrust ourselves and our prayer that we may become a community ever more intimately united in Christ, to the praise and glory of His name….”

On Mary's "Yes"-"In All Our Cares We Need Have No Fear, God Is Good": FREIBURG, Germany, SEPT. 25, 2011 (

Here is a Vatican translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered before praying the midday Angelus with those gathered at the Freiburg airport, and after celebrating the last public Mass of his four-day state visit to his native Germany.
“…At the end of this solemn celebration of holy Mass we now pray the Angelus together. This prayer constantly reminds us of the historical beginnings of our salvation. The Archangel Gabriel presents God's plan of salvation to the Virgin Mary, by which she was to become the Mother of the Redeemer. Mary was fearful, but the angel of the Lord spoke a word of comfort to her: "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God." So Mary is able to respond with her great "yes". This "yes," by which she accepts to become the handmaid of the Lord, is the trusting "yes" to God's plan, to our salvation. And she finally addresses her "yes" to us all, whom she received as her children entrusted to her at the foot of the Cross (cf. Jn19:27). She never withdraws this promise. And so she is called happy, or rather blessed, for believing that what was promised her by the Lord would be fulfilled (cf. Lk 1:45).
As we pray this Angelus, we may join Mary in her "yes," we may adhere trustingly to the beauty of God's plan and to the providence that He has assigned to us in His grace. Then God's love will also, as it were, take flesh in our lives, becoming ever more tangible. In all our cares we need have no fear. God is good. At the same time we know that we are sustained by the fellowship of the many believers who are now praying the Angelus with us throughout the world, via radio and television."

On the Trip to Germany-"Truly a Great Feast of Faith": VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 28, 2011 (

Here is a translation of the Italian-language catechesis Benedict XVI gave today during the general audience held in St. Peter's Square. The Pope reflected on his recent apostolic journey to Germany.
“…A particularly moving event for me was the celebration of Marian Vespers before the sanctuary of Etzelsbach, where a multitude of pilgrims welcomed me. Ever since my youth I have heard so much about Eichsfeld -- a strip of land that has always remained Catholic throughout the various vicissitudes of history -- and [I have also heard much] about its inhabitants who courageously opposed the dictatorships of Nazism and of Communism. Thus, I was very happy to visit this Eichsfeld and its people on a pilgrimage to the miraculous image of the Sorrowful Virgin of Etzelsbach, where for centuries the faithful have entrusted to Mary their requests, concerns and sufferings, and have received comfort, grace and blessing….”

Pope's Farewell to Castel Gandolfo-The Lord "Does Not Leave Those Who Trust Him Without Help": CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 29, 2011 (

Here is a translation of the farewell address Benedict XVI gave today as he prepares to leave the summer papal residence at Castel Gandolfo.
"…May the Virgin Mary, who in the month of October we will invoke in a special way with the recitation of the rosary, watch over you with maternal protection. May she accompany you and your families at all times…."

Pope's Thank-You Note to Madrid Cardinal-Says He Holds WYD Organizers in His Heart: VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 29, 2011 (

Here is a translation of an Aug. 22 thank-you note, which Benedict XVI sent to Madrid's Cardinal Antonio Rouco Varela, after World Youth Day was held in his city.
“…while entrusting Your Eminence, the bishops, priests, seminarians, religious and faithful of Madrid and the whole of Spain to the intercession of Our Lady of Almudena, I impart to you from my heart a special Apostolic Blessing, pledge of abundant divine gifts.”



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