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Monday, May 2, 2005


VATICAN CITY, MAY 2, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Seven prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Sri Lanka, on their 'ad limina' visit:

    - Archbishop Oswald Thomas Colman Gomis of Colombo, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Vincent Marius Joseph Peiris.

    - Bishop Norbert Andradi O.M.I., of Anuradhapura.

    - Bishop Julian Winston Sebastian Fernando S.S.S., of Badulla.

    - Bishop Frank Marcus Fernando of Chilaw, accompanied by Coadjutor Bishop Warnakulasurya Wadumestrige Devasritha Valence Mendis.

    - Bishop Harold Anthony Perera of Galle.

  On Saturday, April 30, he received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

 - Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, archpriest of the patriarchal Liberian basilica of St. Mary Major.

 - Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops.
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 2, 2005 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for the month of May is: "That those persecuted for the sake of faith and justice may experience the consolation and strength of the Holy Spirit".

  His mission intention is: "That the Pontifical Missionary Works, proposed by the Holy Father and the bishops for the evangelization of all nations, may help the people of God to feel that they have a real part to play in the mission 'ad gentes'."
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 2, 2005 (VIS) - To mark today's one month anniversary of the death of John Paul II, who passed away on the night of April 2, Benedict XVI celebrated Mass in memory of his predecessor at 7.30 this morning in his private chapel.

  At 7 this evening, the Holy Father will make a private visit to the Vatican Grottoes in order to pray at the tomb of  the late John Paul II.
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 1, 2005 (VIS) -  Today at noon, for the first time since his election to the papacy on April 19, Pope Benedict XVI appeared at the window of the study of the papal apartment to recite the Regina Coeli and address the tens of thousands of faithful that filled St. Peter's Square. The Pope had been living in the Vatican's St. Martha Residence since his election and moved into the apartment on Saturday.

  "I address you for the first time from this window that the beloved figure of my predecessor made familiar to countless people throughout the world. From Sunday to Sunday, John Paul II, faithful to an appointment which had become a pleasant custom, accompanied for over a quarter of a century the history of the Church and the world and we continue to feel him more than ever close to us."

  The Holy Father greeted "with special affection the Orthodox Churches and the Eastern Orthodox Churches that today celebrate the Resurrection of Christ. To these dear brothers and sisters of ours, I address the traditional announcement of joy: 'Christos anesti!' Christ is Risen!" He said he hoped that Easter will be for these Churches " a choral prayer of faith and praise to the One Who is our common Lord, and Who calls us to walk decisively on the path towards full communion."

  "Today we begin the month of May with a liturgical memory so dear to Christians, that of St. Joseph the Worker." He then added, to the applause of the faithful: "You know that my name is also Joseph!" Noting that this feast was instituted 50 years ago by Pius XII "to underline the importance of  work and of the presence of Christ and the Church in the world of work," the Pope said he hoped that everyone, especially young people, would have work "and that working conditions are ever more respectful of the dignity of the human person." He had special words for the groups present in St. Peter's Square, including ACLI, the Christian Associations of Italian Workers which this year celebrates the 60th anniversary of its founding.

  Turning his thoughts to Mary, to whom the month of May is dedicated, Benedict XVI remarked how, "through words, and even more by example, John Paul II taught us to contemplate Christ with the eyes of Mary."

  Following the Regina Coeli prayer, the Holy Father said that in recent days he has been thinking "of all people who suffer because of war, illness and poverty. In particular, today I am close to the people of Togo, upset by painful internal struggles. For all these nations I implore the gift of harmony and peace."
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VATICAN CITY, APR 30, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father approved the election by cardinals of the Order of Bishops, of Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano as dean of the College of Cardinals. At the same time he approved the election of Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum," as vice dean of the College of Cardinals.
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VATICAN CITY, APR 30, 2005 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls announced today in a statement that "on Tuesday, May 3, Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, will pay an official visit to His Holiness Benedict XVI."

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