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Friday, December 17, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 17 DEC 2010 (VIS) - Yesterday at 5 p.m., in keeping with a pre-Christmas tradition of meeting with university students, the Holy Father presided at Vespers in the Vatican Basilica with students from Roman universities.

  "The God of Abraham", he said in his homily, "revealed Himself, He showed His face and came to dwell in our flesh, in Jesus the Son of Mary - true God and true man - Whom we will meet once again at the Manger in Bethlehem. To return there, to that humble and cramped place, is not simply a mental journey; it is a path we are called to follow by experiencing the closeness of God here and now, and His action which renews and sustains our lives".

  "The road to the Manger of Bethlehem is a journey of inner liberation, an experience of profound freedom, because it encourages us to emerge from ourselves and to move towards God, Who has come close to us. ... He wishes to infuse courage into our lives, especially when we are tired and weary, when we need to rediscover the serenity of the journey and joyfully to feel that we are pilgrims on our way to eternity. ... The Child we will find between Mary and Joseph is the Logos-Love, the Word which can give full consistency to our lives. ... In Bethlehem, the today of God and the today of man meet, and together they begin a journey of dialogue and intense communion.

 "Dear friends", the Holy Father added, "you who are following the fascinating and demanding journey of research and cultural endeavour, the Incarnate Word asks you to share with Him the patience 'to build'. Building your lives, building society, is not an undertaking that can be achieved by distracted and superficial minds and hearts. ... In our own time we feel the need for a new class of intellectuals capable of interpreting social and cultural dynamics, and of proposing solutions that are not abstract, but concrete and realistic. Universities are called to play this vital role, in which the Church will provide her committed and effective support".

  The Roman university community - which is made up of State, private, Catholic and Pontifical institutions - must, said Benedict XVI, "play an important historical role: that of overcoming the misunderstandings and prejudices which at times hinder the development of authentic culture. Working together, especially with faculties of theology, Roman universities can show that it is possible to implement a new dialogue and new collaboration between Christian faith and the various fields of knowledge, without confusion or separation but sharing the same aspiration to serve man in his entirety".

  At the end of the ceremony, an African university delegation consigned the image of "Maria Sedes Sapientiae" to a delegation of Spanish students. The image will be taken on pilgrimage to all Spanish universities in preparation for World Youth Day, due to be held in the Spanish capital Madrid in August next year.

Read original text in italian

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1 comment:

  1. it would be good to put a link to the full text of what the pope said.


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