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Tuesday, January 13, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JAN 13, 2003 (VIS) - Officials of the 31st division of the Italian Air Force, who accompany the Pope on his trips outside Rome, were welcomed to the Vatican this morning by John Paul II who wished them a Happy New Year and thanked them for "the dedication and commitment with which you have for years facilitated the ministry of the Successor of Peter."

"In recent days," he said, "the liturgy has invited us to contemplate Jesus Who became man and came among us. He is the light that illuminates and gives meaning to our existence; He is the Redeemer who brings peace to the world. Let us welcome Him with trust and joy! The Blessed Virgin Mary who, as a thoughtful mother, presents Him to us, also watches over us. I invite you to turn to her at every moment and to entrust the just-begun year of 2004 to her."
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 13, 2004 (VIS) - Pope John Paul today welcomed Archbishop Michael Miller, together with his Basilian brothers, family members and other friends who accompanied him to Rome for his episcopal ordination last evening in St. Peter's Basilica.

The Pope noted that Archbishop Miller's episcopal motto, Veritati Servire, "to serve the truth," is an eloquent summary of the commitment that has marked his priestly life, both at the University of Saint Thomas in Houston, Texas, and during his five years of service at the Vatican. I am certain that this same dedication will continue to inspire and strengthen him as he now returns to Rome and takes up his duties as Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education. With prayerful good wishes for his new ministry, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing to him and to all here present."
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 13, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Archbishop Paul Fouad Tabet, apostolic nuncio in Greece.

- Archbishop Luigi Travaglino, apostolic nuncio.
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 13, 2003 (VIS) - Friday, January 16, marks the inauguration of the 75th judicial year of the tribunal of Vatican City State, according to a communique published today by the tribunal.

Following a 9 a.m. Mass in the chapel of the Governorate officiated by Cardinal Edmund Szoka, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and president of the Governorate, in the presence of Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State, there will be a ceremony in the Audience Hall of the Tribunal that will include a report by the Promoter of Justice, Prof. Nicola Picardi, on the activity of several judicial bodies.

Top officials and magistrates of Vatican City and representatives of the Italian magistrature will be present.


VATICAN CITY, JAN 13, 2004 (VIS) - On the 160th anniversary of the publication of the "Treatise of true devotion to Our Lady" by St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, John Paul II wrote a letter to the religious men and women of the Montfort families on the Marian doctrine of their founder.

In the letter dated December 8, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the Pope says that he wants to share with the saint's families a meditation "which consists of a few lines of the writings of St. Louis Marie that will help us to nourish our faith in the maternal mediation of the Mother of the Lord in these difficult moments."

The Holy Father recalls that 160 years ago "the work which was destined to become a classic of Marian spirituality was published." Despite the fact that St. Louis-Marie wrote the treatise at the beginning of 1700, the manuscript was "virtually unknown for more than a century," until it was "discovered by chance in 1842 and published in 1843."

"I myself, in the years of my youth, received great help from the letter in this book in which I 'found the response to my questions' due to fear that devotion to Mary 'would end up compromising the supremacy of worship due to Christ'." My motto, 'Totus tuus,' is inspired by the doctrine of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Monfort. These two words express total abandonment to Jesus through Mary."

St. Louis-Marie, he affirms, "contemplates all the mysteries starting with the Incarnation which occurred at the moment of the Annunciation." The Holy Father indicates that "in the Monfort spirituality the dynamism of charity is expressed in a special way through the symbol of the 'slavery of love for Jesus,' following the example and maternal aid of Mary."

"Like St. John of the Cross, St. Louis Marie insists especially on the purity of faith and on its fundamental and often painful obscurity." Referring then to Our Lady as a sign of hope, John Paul concludes: "The Church awaits the glorious coming of Jesus at the end of the world. Like Mary and with Mary, the saints are in the Church in order to make its holiness radiate and to extend the work of Christ, one and only Savior, to the ends of the earth and till the end of the world."


VATICAN CITY, JAN 13, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Andre Marceau, pastor and episcopal vicar of Bazas et de la Cote, France, as bishop of Perpignan-Elne (area 4,143, population 392,803, Catholics 302,500, priests 107, permanent deacons 12, religious 161), France. The bishop-elect was born in Cerons, France in 1946 and was ordained a priest in 1972.
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