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Monday, June 1, 2009


VATICAN CITY, 31 MAY 2009 (VIS) - Following the celebration of the Eucharist in the Vatican Basilica for the Solemnity of Pentecost, at midday today the Holy Father appeared at the widow of his study to pray the Regina Coeli with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.

"Today, Solemnity of Pentecost, the Church throughout the world is reliving the mystery of her birth, of her 'Baptism' in the Holy Spirit", said the Holy Father. "The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church, without Him what would she be reduced to? She would certainly be a great historical movement, a complex and stable social institution, perhaps a kind of humanitarian agency. And, to say truth, that is how she is seen by those who consider her without the eye of faith. In reality though, in her true nature and in her most authentic historical presence, the Church is constantly moulded and guided by the Spirit of her Lord. She is a living body, the vitality of which is the fruit of the invisible divine Spirit".

The Pope also remarked how this year Pentecost falls on the last day of May, which traditionally marks the Feast of the Visitation when Mary, pregnant with Jesus, went to visit her elderly cousin Elisabeth, also pregnant. "The young Mary who, carrying Jesus in her womb, forgets her own needs and runs to help another is a beautiful image of the Church in the perennial youthfulness of her Spirit, of the missionary Church of the incarnate Word, called to carry that Word into the world and to bear witness to it, especially through the service of charity", said the Holy Father.

He concluded: "Let us, then, invoke the intercession the Most Holy Virgin that she may obtain for the Church in our time powerful reinforcement from the Holy Spirit. May the comforting presence of the Paraclete be particularly felt by ecclesial communities suffering persecution for the name of Christ so that, by participating in His suffering, they may receive the Spirit of glory in abundance".

After praying the Regina Coeli, the Pope mentioned young people from the Italian region of Abruzzi, who are currently hosting the World Youth Day Cross. "In communion with the youth of that land, so deeply affected by the recent earthquake", he said, "let us ask Christ, Who died and rose again, to effuse His Spirit of consolation and hope upon them".
ANG/PENTECOST/... VIS 20090601 (410)

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