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Monday, July 16, 2012

POPE RECALLS ST. BONAVENTURE ON HIS FEAST DAY


Vatican City, 15 July 2012 (VIS) - At midday today, having returned from his pastoral visit to Frascati, the Holy Father appeared on the balcony overlooking the inner courtyard of the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered below.

"In the liturgical calendar", he said, "15 July is the memory of the Franciscan St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio, Doctor of the Church, the successor of St. Francis of Assisi at the head of the Order of Friars Minor. He wrote the first biography of Francis, and at the end of his life was also bishop of this diocese of Albano".

"The whole life and theology of St. Bonaventure have Jesus Christ as their core inspiration. This centrality of Christ is also to be found in the second reading of today’s Mass, the famous hymn of the Letter of Paul to the Ephesians, which begins: 'Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens'. The Apostle then goes on to show us how this blessing is realised in four passages all of which begin with the same expression 'in Him', referring to Jesus Christ. 'In Him' the Father chose us before the creation of the world; 'in Him' we are redeemed through His blood, 'in Him' we have become heirs predestined to be 'the praise of his glory'; 'in Him' those who believe in the Gospel receive the seal of the Holy Spirit. This hymn contains the Pauline view of history, which St. Bonaventure helped to spread in the Church: all of history is centred on Christ, Who is a guarantee of novelty and renewal in every age. In Jesus, God has spoken and given everything, but because He is an inexhaustible treasure, the Holy Spirit never ceases to reveal and update His mystery. Therefore, the work of Christ and the Church never regresses, but always progresses".

After praying the Angelus the Holy Father described the holidays as "a favourable moment to reflect upon our lives, and to open our hearts to other people and to God. I invite you to concern yourselves with those who suffer solitude and abandonment, in the street, in their own homes, in hospitals or in care homes. Do not hesitate to visit them".

Finally the Pope recalled the fact that today marks the liturgical memory of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Mother of God of the Scapular. "Blessed John Paul II wore and loved the scapular", he said. "To all his compatriots - in Poland, in the world and here in Castelgandolfo - I express the hope that Mary, the best of mothers, may protect you with her mantle in the struggle against evil, intercede in your request for grace, and show you the path that leads to God".

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