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Monday, October 3, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 2 OCT 2011 (VIS) - Late yesterday Benedict XVI returned to the Vatican following his summer stay at Castelgandolfo. At midday today he appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.

The Pope commented on today's Gospel reading which ends with a particularly severe admonition addressed by Jesus to the chief priests and Pharisees: "The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom".

"These words", Holy Father explained, "make us think of the great responsibility of those who, in all ages, are called to work in the vineyard of the Lord, especially in positions of authority. They encourage us to pledge total faithfulness to Christ. He is 'the stone that the builders rejected' because they judged Him to be an enemy to the law and a danger to public order. But, although rejected and crucified, He rose again, becoming the cornerstone upon which every human life all over the world can rest with absolute confidence. ... Firmly anchored in the faith to the cornerstone that is Christ, let us abide in Him. ... Only in Him, for Him and with Him can we build the Church, the people of the new Covenant".

"The Lord is always near and operates in human history", the Pope said. "He accompanies us with the presence of His angels, whom the Church today venerates as 'Guardian Angels'; in other words, ministers of God's concern for each man and woman. From life's beginning until the hour of death, human life is under their incessant protection. ... The angels crowned ... our Blessed Lady of the Rosary who on the first Sunday of October, at this very moment, in the Shrine of Pompeii and all over the world, receives fervent prayers that evil be defeated and that God's goodness be revealed in all its fullness".

After praying the Angelus, the Holy Father reminded those present that Sr. Antonia Maria Verna, foundress of the Institute of the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception, is due to be beatified this afternoon in the Italian town of Ivrea. "She was", he said, "an exemplary model of a consecrated woman and educator".

Finally the Holy Father had words of encouragement for "the volunteer institutions and associations which work to dismantle architectural barriers".
ANG/ VIS 20111003 (410)

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