6. Dear brothers and sisters, I entrust to the Lord these reflections which today acquire a special importance. In fact, this liturgy sees together the Successor of Peter, Bishop of Rome, and the Orthodox Patriarch of Romania. We are both witnesses of the growing desire for unity and communion of our Churches. Although we are familiar with the continuing difficulties, we both trust that our example may find a deep echo in every place where Catholics and Orthodox live side by side. May our witness foster the desire to recognize the other as a brother or sister and to be reconciled with him/her. This is the first indispensable condition for approaching, together, the one Table of the Lord.


Let us invoke the Spirit of unity and love and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, for this.


7. Finally, I would like to send an affectionate greeting to the Romanian people, in the rich variety that makes up their nation. I will never forget the historic visit that divine Providence granted me to make three years ago to Bucharest. The welcome, the warm feelings, the intense sentiments, the spiritual fervour and enthusiasm, the expectations of the people, especially of the young, and the words of hope:  all of this has remained impressed on my heart. Unitate, unitate, unforgettable words at the end of my visit. Unitate, unitate! I thank God, for he now grants me to repay, in a certain way, the kindness that you showed me.


Your Beatitude, on your return home, assure everyone that Romania, which tradition describes with the beautiful title of, "the Garden of the Mother of God" is in the heart of the Bishop of Rome, who prays every day for the beloved Romanian people. May God always bless Romania!






Sunday, 13 October 2002



Dear Brothers and Sisters,


1. I have had the joy these days to welcome His Beatitude Teoctist, the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Romania. To him and to all those who accompanied him my heartfelt thanks once again for his deeply appreciated visit. It has brought back the memory of what God allowed me to experience in Bucharest in May 1999. From those meetings there arose a sincere desire for unity. "Unitate" I heard the young people of Bucharest proclaim. Last Monday I heard "Unity" proclaimed again in St Peter's Square, in my first meeting with His Beatitude, the Patriarch.


2. This thirst for full communion among Christians has received remarkable impetus since the Second Vatican Council, which dedicated to ecumenism one of its more important documents, the Decree Unitatis redintegratio.


Two days ago we observed the fortieth anniversary of the opening of that historical assembly, called for 11 October 1962, by Pope John XXIII, whom we now revere as Blessed. I had the grace of participating in that event and in my heart I hold valuable and unforgettable memories.
In his opening address, Pope John, full of hope and faith, exhorted the Council Fathers to remain
faithful to Catholic tradition and to present it again in a way suitable for the new times. In a certain sense, the 11th of October forty years ago marked the solemn and universal beginning of what is called the "new evangelization".


3. The Council represented the "holy door" of that new springtime of the Church that was manifested in the Great Jubilee of the year 2000. For this reason, with the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio ineunte I have asked the Church to take again into her hands the Conciliar documents, which "have not lost their value nor their brilliance". They must be known and assimilated as "important and normative texts of the Magisterium within the Tradition of the Church"(cf. n. 57). On the occasion of the Jubilee Day of the Lay Apostolate, I symbolically presented these documents to the new generations.


May the Virgin Mary, Mother of God and of the Church, help us to understand that in the Council we have received "a sure compass to guide us on the path of the century that is beginning" (ibid).


To the Polish-speaking


At this moment, I wish to join my countrymen in Poland spiritually, who today observe their own "Papal Day". I hope that this day may be an occasion for the common rediscovery of the religious and cultural values that constitute the spiritual heritage of our Nation. May it be a day of solidarity, above all, with the young who are in need of help so that they may obtain the education that is suitable for their gifts and their youthful aspirations.


Many thanks to those who, in many ways, and especially by means of prayer, express their kind support toward me on the occasion of my election. I entrust all of them to the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary and I bless them from my heart.



Acknowledgment: We thank the Vatican Publisher for allowing us to publish the Homilies of Saint Pope John Paul II, so that they could be accessed by more people all over the world; as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us.



St Peter's Square
Sunday, 9 October 2005


Dear Brothers and Sisters,


The beatification of Clemens August von Galen, Bishop of Münster, a Cardinal and fearless opponent of the Nazi regime, took place this morning in St Peter's Basilica.


Ordained a priest in 1904, he exercised his ministry for a long time in a Berlin parish, and in 1933 he became Bishop of Münster. In God's Name he denounced the neo-pagan ideology of National Socialism, defending the freedom of the Church and human rights that were being seriously violated, and protecting the Jews and the weakest persons whom the regime considered as rubbish to be eliminated.


The three famous homilies that this intrepid Pastor gave in 1941 are remarkable. Pope Pius XII created him Cardinal in February 1946 and he died barely a month later, surrounded by the veneration of the faithful who recognized him as a model of Christian courage.


For this very reason, the message of Bl. von Galen is ever timely:  faith cannot be reduced to a private sentiment or indeed, be hidden when it is inconvenient; it also implies consistency and a witness even in the public arena for the sake of human beings, justice and truth.


I express my warm congratulations to the diocesan Community of Münster and to the Church in Germany as I invoke through the intercession of the new Blessed abundant graces from the Lord upon everyone.


In these days, as you know, the Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is taking place at the Vatican to examine more deeply the theme of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Church today. I presided at the meetings in the first week and the Synod will also be my chief engagement in the next two weeks. I ask you to continue to pray for this Synod, so that it will yield the hoped for fruit.


Particularly in this month of October, in which every Ecclesial Community is called to renew its missionary commitment, I invite you to recapture what Pope John Paul II wrote in the fourth part of his Apostolic Letter Mane Nobiscum Domine on the Eucharist as the "Source and Manifestation of Communion" (nn. 24-28): "The encounter with Christ, constantly intensified and deepened in the Eucharist, issues in the Church and in every Christian an urgent summons to testimony and evangelization" (ibid., n. 24). This is emphasized by the dismissal at the end of Mass: "Ite, missa est ", which recalls the "missio", the task of those who have taken part in the celebration to bring to everyone the Good News they have received and with it, to bring life to society.


Let us entrust this intention to the intercession of Mary Most Holy and St Daniel Comboni, whom the liturgy commemorates tomorrow. May he who was an outstanding evangelizer and protector of the African Continent help the Church of our time to respond with faith and courage to the mandate of the Risen Lord, who sends her out to proclaim God's love to all the peoples.




After the Angelus, the Pope said: 


It was with deep sadness that I learned of yesterday's earthquake in South Asia, which caused such great damage and loss of life in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. I commend to God's loving mercy all those who have died and I extend my deepest sympathy to the many thousands who are injured or bereaved. I pray that the international community will be swift and generous in its response to the disaster and I ask the Lord to grant courage and strength to those involved in the task of rescue work and reconstruction.


To the English-speaking visitors present here today I offer a warm welcome. I ask your prayers for the work of the Synod, and for the Bishops from all over the world who have gathered here for this great event in the life of the Church. Be assured of my prayers for you, your families and those who are dear to you. May God bless you all.






Gaetano Errico (1791-1860)
Mary Bernard (Verena) Bütler(1848-1924)
Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception
(Anna Muttathupadathu)
Narcisa de Jesús Martillo Morán (1832-1869)


St Peter's Square
Sunday, 12 October 2008



Homily of Pope Benedict XVI on 12 October 2008 > Encouragements-136.






St Peter's Square
Sunday, 12 October 2008



As we prepare to conclude this Celebration with the recitation of the Angelus, I would like to address my greeting to the pilgrims who have come in large numbers from various countries to pay homage to the new Saints.


I cordially greet the English-speaking pilgrims, in particular the Official Delegation from India, and all those who have come to celebrate the canonization of St Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception.

Her heroic virtues of patience, fortitude and perseverance in the midst of deep suffering remind us that God always provides the strength we need to overcome every trial. As the Christian faithful of India give thanks to God for their first native daughter to be presented for public veneration, I wish to assure them of my prayers during this difficult time. Commending to the providential care of Almighty God those who strive for peace and reconciliation, I urge the perpetrators of violence to renounce these acts and join with their brothers and sisters to work together in building a civilization of love. God bless you all!


I joyfully welcome all the German-speaking faithful. I greet in particular the delegation and numerous pilgrims from Switzerland, as well as the Franciscan Sisters of Maria Hilf. St Maria Bernarda entrusted her life to God without reserve. Thus she became an instrument of the love of God which she proclaimed to the ends of the earth. By following her example, let us too strive to bring the God of love and hope to men and women. For this, may the Lord grant you the fullness of his grace.


I address a warm greeting to the pilgrims who have come to Rome to participate in the joyful celebration for the new Saints' canonization especially to the Archbishops and Bishops who have accompanied them, to the Franciscan Sisters Missionaries of Mary Help of Christians and to the other Authorities of Colombia and Ecuador who have come representing those countries, so rich in fruits of holiness. May the new Saints intercede for all their fellow citizens today so that, in following their example of consistent faith and charity to their brethren, they may bear a constant witness of Christ's love for all people, thereby imparting new vigour to the Christian roots of their peoples and illuminating the construction of a more just and solidary society, inspired by the Gospel values. Many thanks.


I cordially greet you, dear French-speaking pilgrims. Today, subsequent to the Lord's call and after the example of the Saints who have just been canonized, we are invited to be daring witnesses of the Word of God at the crossroads, in order to invite everyone we meet to the wedding of the Gospel. May our prayers accompany the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops during its work! With my Apostolic Blessing.


Among the participants at this solemn canonization, I also greet the Polish pilgrims. The day dedicated to the commemoration of my beloved Predecessor John Paul ii is celebrated today in your homeland. I bless every initiative to commemorate his person. I commend you all to God in my prayers.


Lastly, I address a cordial greeting to the Italian-speaking pilgrims, especially to the spiritual children of St Gaetano Errico and to the faithful who have come from Naples and Campania. Dear friends, in the lives of the Saints and in their achievements one always encounters the strong spiritual presence of the Virgin Mary. I am pleased to emphasize, in this month of October, their adherence to the prayer of the Rosary as a means of daily union with Jesus, a source of inspiration and comfort and an instrument of intercession for the Church's needs in accordance with the Pope's intentions. In this regard, I invite you to pray for reconciliation and peace in certain situations that are causing alarm and deep suffering: I am thinking of the peoples of North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and I am thinking of the violence against the Christians in Iraq and in India whom I remember daily before the Lord. Let us also invoke the protection of Mary Queen of All Saints, upon the work of the Synod of Bishops that is meeting in these days at the Vatican .







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2 November 2014