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Monday, June 20, 2011

DEVELOPING THE LEGACY OF FAITH LEFT BY OUR ANCESTORS

VATICAN CITY, 19 JUN 2011 (VIS) - This morning Benedict XVI travelled by helicopter from the Vatican to the Republic of San Marino where, at 10 a.m., he presided at Mass in the Serravalle Stadium.

  Beginning his homily, the Holy Father affirmed that today's feast of the Blessed Trinity is "the feast of God, of the very centre of our faith. ... The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are one, because God is love and love is the ultimate life-giving power. The unity created by love is greater than purely physical unity", he said.

  Commenting on today's reading from the Gospel of St. John - "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life" - the Pope explained that "the world is full of evil, selfishness and wickedness, and God could come to judge this world, to destroy evil and punish the wicked. However, in fact, He shows that He loves the world, that He loves man despite his sins; and He sent what was most precious to Him, His only-begotten Son. Indeed, not only did He send Him, but made of Him a gift to the world".

  "Faith in this Trinitarian God has also characterised the Church of San Marino-Montefeltro through the course of her long and glorious history", Pope Benedict went on. "The evangelisation of this land is attributed to Sts. Marinus and Leo who, in the middle of the third century, are said to have come to Rimini from Dalmatia. ... With their faith in the God Who revealed Himself in Jesus Christ, they brought new perspectives and new values to this locality, leading to the birth of a culture and civilisation founded on the human person, made in God's image and hence possessor of rights that have precedence over any human legislation".

  Benedict XVI highlighted how, "apart from the faith, we must also recall the absolute faithfulness to the Bishop of Rome, to whom this Church has always shown devotion and affection". In the same context he also mentioned the attention shown by the Church in San Marino "towards the great tradition of the Oriental Church, and her profound devotion for the Virgin Mary".

  Turning to address the faithful, the Pope said: "You are called to carry this precious legacy forward at one of the most decisive moments of history", in the face of "profound and rapid cultural, social, economic and political transformations which have opened new horizons and altered mentalities, customs and sensibilities".

  "An insidious temptation has led to the belief that man's richness lies not in faith but in his personal and social power, his intelligence, his culture and his ability to manipulate reality scientifically, technologically and socially. Thus, even in these lands, faith and Christian values are beginning to be substituted with a supposed wealth which, in the final analysis, shows itself to be inconsistent and incapable of bearing the weight of that great promise of truth, goodness and beauty which for centuries your forebears identified with the experience of the faith".

  The Holy Father also referred to "the crisis many families have to face", a crisis "aggravated by the widespread psychological and spiritual frailty of spouses, and the fatigue experienced by many educators as they seek continuity for young people who are conditioned by many forms insecurity, first and foremost as regards their social role and employment possibilities".

  "I exhort all the faithful to be a leaven in the world", the Pope concluded. "In both San Marino and Montefeltro, show yourselves to be Christians, present, active and coherent. May priests and religious always live in cordial and effective ecclesial communion, helping and listening to their diocesan pastor. I appeal to families and young people to open their hearts and respond readily to the Lord's call. We will never repent of having been generous with God! I ask you lay men and women to commit yourselves actively in the community so that, alongside your specific civic, political, social and cultural tasks, you may find time for the life of faith, the pastoral life".
PV-SAN MARINO/                            VIS 20110620 (700)

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