Home - VIS Vatican - Receive VIS - Contact us - Calendar

The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

Last 5 news

VISnews in Twitter Go to YouTube

Monday, May 14, 2012


Vatican City, 13 May 2012 (VIS) - At 6 p.m. today the Holy Father arrived by helicopter at the town of Sansepolcro which is currently celebrating the thousandth year of its foundation. Before going there he had been due to travel to the shrine of La Verna but because of bad weather and in particular fog, he was unable to do so and his visit to Sansepolcro was brought forward. There he met with local citizens in the Piazza Torre di Berta which for the occasion had been decorated with more than 300 standards.

Before meeting the locals, Benedict XVI visited the cathedral of St. John the Baptist where he paused in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament and venerated a famous crucifix known as the "Santo Volto" (Holy Face), considered to be one of the oldest images of the the clothed and crucified Christ.

In his address to the citizenry the Pope recalled how a thousand years ago the pilgrim saints Arcano and Egidio, "in the midst of the great transformations of their time, set out for the Holy Land to discover truth and the meaning of life. On their return, not only did they bring stones they had gathered on Mount Sion, but also an idea they had matured in the Land of Jesus: constructing in the upper reaches of the Tiber valley a 'civitas hominis' in the image of Jerusalem which, in its very name, evokes justice and peace". Arcano and Egidio "imagined a complex model city full of hope for the future, in which Christ's disciples were called to be a motor of society, promoting peace through the practice of justice". Their idea became reality "thanks to the support first of the Benedictine then of the Camaldolese charism, and continued for generations. Great commitment was needed to found a monastic community and later, around their church, your town", the Holy Father said.

That church, he went on, is "a point of reference which everyone can use as guidance for their journey, and especially for their lives. It is a powerful invitation to look to heaven, to rise above daily life ... in a constant striving towards spiritual vales and communion with God, which do not alienate us from daily life but orient it and enable us to experience it more intensely. This also holds true today, helping us to rediscover the search for 'truth', to perceive life as a journey which brings us towards the 'true' and the 'right'".

"Today it is particularly important for the Church’s service to the world to be expressed through illuminated lay men and women, who are able to work inside the city of man, moved by a desire to serve which goes beyond private interests and partisan concerns. The common good is more important than the good of the individual, and Christians too must contribute to the growth of a new public ethic. ... Christians, and especially the young, are called to counterpoise widespread misgivings about political and social activism with commitment and love for responsibility, animated by evangelical charity which requires us not to remain closed in ourselves but to take responsibility for others. I invite young people to think big: Have the courage to dare. Be ready to give new flavour to civil society, with the salt of honesty and disinterested altruism".

One of the main challenges facing the ancient town of Sansepolcro is "harmonising a rediscovery of its own centuries-old identity with welcoming and incorporating other cultures and sensibilities", the Pope observed. "St. Paul teaches us that the Church and the whole of society are like a human body in which each part is different from the others, but all work together for the good of the organism".

Finally Benedict XVI recalled that the basilica "is the seat of rediscovered harmony between worship and civic life, the point of reference for the pacification of souls. Just as your forefathers were able to build a splendid church of stone as a sign of communion of life, so it is up to you to make the meaning of this sacred building visible and credible, living in peace in the ecclesial and civil communities. ... Look to your rich cultural heritage and be a living Church at the service of the Gospel. A hospitable and generous Church which with her witness brings the love of God to all human beings, especially those who suffer and are in need".

Following his address and after greeting the local authorities, the Holy Father began his return journey to Rome.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service