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Monday, December 22, 2003


VATICAN CITY, DEC 20, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father received in separate audiences:

- Ibrahim Rugova, president of the provisional institutions of Kosovo, and an entourage.

- Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.

- Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

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VATICAN CITY, DEC 20, 2003 (VIS) - This morning in the Clementine Hall in the presence of the Holy Father, members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and the postulators of the respective causes, 18 new decrees were promulgated. Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, prefect of the congregation, read a discourse about the lives of the Blesseds and Servants of God.

The decrees concern the following causes:


- Blessed Jose Manyanet y Vives, Spanish, priest and founder of the Congregation of the Sons and Daughters of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (1833-1901).

- Blessed Nimatullah Al-Hardini, Lebanese, ne Yusuf Kassab, priest of the Lebanese Maronite Order (1808-1858).

- Blessed Paola Elisabetta, Italian, nee Costanza Cerioli, widow and foundress of the Holy Family Institute and the Congregation of the Holy Family (1816-1865).

- Blessed Gianna Beretta Molla, Italian, mother of a family (1922-1962).

- Venerable Servant of God August Czartoryski, French, priest of the Society of St. John Bosco (1858-1893).

- Venerable Servant of God Maria Guadalupe, Mexican, nee Anastasia Guadalupe Garcia Zavala, cofoundress of the Congregation of the Servants of St. Margaret Mary of the Poor (1878-1963).

- Venerable Servant of God Nemesia Valle, Italian, nee Giulia, religious of the Institute of Charity (1847-1916).

- Venerable Servant of God Eusebia Palomino Yenes, Spanish, religious of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary, Helper (1899-1935).

- Venerable Servant of God Ludovica de Angelis, Italian, nee Antonina, religious of the Congregation of the Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy (1880-1962).

- Venerable Servant of God Carl of Austria, Austrian, emperor and king (1887-1922).

- Venerable Servant of God Alesandrina Maria da Costa, Portuguese, lay, of the Union of Salesian Cooperators (1904-1955).


- Servant of God Clemente Augusto von Galen, cardinal, German, bishop of Munster (1878-1946).

- Servant of God Luigi Biraghi, Italian, diocesan priest, founder of the Institute of the Religious of St. Marcelina (1801-1879).

- Servant of God Luigi Monza, diocesan priest, founder of the secular Institute of the Little Apostolic Sisters of Charity (1898-1954).

- Servant of God Benigno of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Italian, nee Angelo Calvi, priest of the Discalced Carmelites (1909-1937).

- Servant of God Maria Teresa of Jesus, Italian, nee Maria Scrilli, foundress of the Congregation of the Religious of Our Lady of Carmel

- Servant of God Rita Amada de Jesus, Portuguese, nee Rita Lopes de Almeida, foundress of the Institute of the Sisters of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (1848-1913).

- Servant of God Maria Nazarena, Italian, nee Maria Majone, cofoundress of the Congregation of the Religious Daughters of the Divine Zeal (1869-1939).

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VATICAN CITY, DEC 21, 2003 (VIS) - Thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square today to pray the noon Angelus with Pope John Paul as he appeared at the window of study overlooking the square. He noted that " Christmas is now very close. As we put the final touches on the nativity scene and Christmas tree here in St. Peter's Square, we must also prepare our soul to live intensely this great mystery of faith."

"In these final days of Advent," the Pope said, "the liturgy places special emphasis on the figure of Mary. The Incarnation of the Redeemer began in her heart with her 'here I am' full of faith, in answer to the divine call. If we wish to understand the true meaning of Christmas, it is thus to her that we must look, her that we must invoke."

He explained in conclusion that "Mary, mother par excellence, helps us to understand the key words of the mystery of the birth of her divine Son: humility, silence, stupor, joy. She exhorts us above all to humility, so that God can find room in our hearts, not darkened by pride or arrogance. She points us to the value of silence, of knowing how to listen to the song of the angels and the crying of the Child, not suffocating them in noise and confusion. Together with her, we pause in front of the nativity scene with stupor, tasting the joy, simple and pure, that that Child brought to all of mankind."

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VATICAN CITY, DEC 20, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

- Fr. Paul Hinder, O.F.M. Cap., definitor general of the Order, as auxiliary bishop for the Apostolic Vicariate of Arabia (the Arabian Peninsula) (area 3,143,669, population 42,250,000, Catholics 1,400,000, priests 40, religious 68). The bishop-elect was born in 1942 in Lanterswill-Steherenberg, Switzerland and was ordained a priest in 1967.

- Msgr. Raffaello Funghini as president of the Appellate Court of Vatican City State.

- Joseph Stiglitz, professor of Economics at Columbia University, as an ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of the Sciences.

- Yves Quere, professor emeritus of Physics at the "Ecole polytechnique" in Paris, France and co-president of the Inter-Academy Panel on International Issues in Trieste, Italy, as an ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of the Sciences.

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VATICAN CITY, DEC 22, 2003 (VIS) - Made public today was Pope John Paul's Message to the patriarch of Venice, Cardinal Angelo Scola, on the occasion of the inauguration of the St. Pius X Institute of Canon Law. The Pope notes that 2003 marks the centenary of the election of Pius X, patriarch of Venice from 1893 to 1903, to the papacy and that this new institute, erected by the Congregation for Catholic Education and linked to the Canon Law Faculty of Holy Cross Pontifical University, is one of the initiatives to mark that anniversary.

"The new institute," he writes, "is part of the 'Studium Generale Marcianum', an initiative through which the Church in Venice wishes to study more deeply and to promote the educational and cultural dimension that is intrinsic to the work of evangelization. . Through the 'Studium Generale Marcianum' the faithful can offer their contributions in scientific research, in teaching and in studies at various levels of education, in an open and constructive dialogue with all social and cultural interlocutors."

"I hope," concludes the Message, "that, at the current time in which the new Europe seeks to give itself an identity, the work of 'Studium Generale Marcianum' can impress upon and show everyone that every culture has man as its centerpiece: 'Culture is that for which man, as man, becomes ever more man'." May faith continue to make fertile the fields of the world to allow a civilization to grow that is ever more human."

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VATICAN CITY, DEC 22, 2003 (VIS) - This morning in the Clementine Hall, the traditional gathering of the Pope, cardinals, archbishops, bishops and members of the Roman Curia took place during which they exchanged Christmas greetings.

At the beginning of his speech, the Pope recalled that the first gathering with members of the Curia took place exactly twenty-five years ago on December 22, 1978 and he thanked them for the service they render to the Successor of Peter.

"The purpose that moves us is the same: to announce the Gospel of Christ for the salvation of the world. It is a mission that we want to carry out with a spirit of faith and with our soul ready for sacrifice, if necessary, until the 'passio sanguinis.' . May we never fail to be faithful to the One Who has linked us intimately to His priesthood! May He and only He always be at the center of our life: Christ! With the passage of the years, I am more and more convinced that Jesus asks us to be His witnesses, concerned solely about His glory and the well-being of souls."

John Paul II emphasized that the "awareness of Christ's desire for unity among believers - 'ut unum sint' - has stimulated me to intensify ecumenical contacts with representatives of the venerated Orthodox Churches, with the primate of the Anglican Communion and leaders of the other ecclesial Churches and communities."

Referring then to Europe, the Holy Father emphasized that it continues to live through "a crucial phase in its history, while it expands its borders to other peoples and nations. It is important that Europe, enriched throughout the centuries with the treasure of the Christian faith, confirm these origins and revive these roots. The most important contribution that Christians are called to give to the building of the new Europe is above all that of its faithfulness to Christ and to the Gospel."

"Europe," he continued, "needs, in the first place, saints and witnesses." In this sense, he recalled Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, "icon of the good Samaritan who has become for everyone, believers and non-believers alike, a messenger of love and peace."

The Pope told them "to be witnesses; teach peace! This is another commitment, so urgent in our time which sees risks and threats on the horizon, for the peaceful co-existence of humanity. . Peace is still possible today and it is a duty. I wanted to repeat this in my Message for the upcoming World Day of Peace."

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