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Wednesday, June 1, 2005


VATICAN CITY, JUN 1, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Archbishop Manuel Monteiro de Castro, apostolic nuncio to Spain.

 - Archbishop Paul Tschang In-Nam, apostolic nuncio to Bangladesh.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 1, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father has entrusted the Vatican Publishing House with the exercise and protection of the copyright and of all exclusive rights to economic utilization of the acts, works and writings written by him prior to his elevation to the Chair of Peter.

  A communique made public today, and signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano, also states that, "without prejudicing the rights acquired by third parties concerning contacts already concluded with the author, from now on the Vatican Publishing House is also entrusted with the exercise and protection of the copyright concerning contracts still in force".
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 1, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father's general prayer intention for the month of June is: "That our society should, with concrete acts of Christian and brotherly love, come to the aid of the millions of refugees who live in extreme need and abandonment."

  His mission intention is: "That the Sacrament of the Eucharist should be more and more recognized as the beating heart of the Church's life."
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 1, 2005 (VIS) - The Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians was the central theme of Benedict XVI's catechesis during his traditional Wednesday general audience, which was held this morning in St. Peter's Square in the presence of 23,000 people.

  The Holy Father indicated how, in the first part of the Christological hymn contained in the Letter to the Philippians (2, 6-11), we consider "the paradoxical 'emptying' of the divine Word, Who deposes His glory and takes on the human condition. Christ incarnated and humiliated in the most shameful form of death, that of crucifixion, is proposed as a model of life for Christians," who must, in fact, "'have this mind among (themselves), which was in Jesus Christ,' a mind of humility and of dedication, of detachment and of generosity."

  "Christ, although He is equal to God,  did not use His glorious dignity and power as an instrument of triumph, a sign of remoteness or an expression of supremacy. Quite the contrary, He unreservedly assumed the human condition, miserable, weak, marked by suffering, poverty and fragility, subject to time and space. This took Him to the edge of our own limits and our own inevitable decay, in other words to death; thus obeying the plan of salvation wished for by the Father."

  Benedict XVI then went on to quote Theodoret, a fifth century bishop of Cyrus in Syria. In his commentary on the Letter to the Philippians, Theodoret mentions the links between the incarnation of Jesus and the redemption of human beings, and explains that, in order to save us, the Creator "chose a way full of love .. and adorned with justice. Indeed, after having bound man's nature to Himself, a nature already defeated, he leads it to the struggle and prepares it to repair the defeat, to overcome the one who had once iniquitously gained victory, to free it from the tyranny of one who had cruelly enslaved it, and to recover its long lost freedom."

  The Pope concluded by recalling that next Friday is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, saying "let us ask Him to help us love our brethren as He loved us."
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 1, 2005 (VIS) - At 8 p.m. yesterday, the traditional procession marking the end of the month of May took place from the Church of St. Stephen of the Abyssinians - located near the apse of the Vatican Basilica - to the Grotto of Lourdes in the Vatican Gardens. The ceremony was presided by Archbishop Angelo Comastri, vicar general of His Holiness for Vatican City State.

  Benedict XVI arrived at the Grotto at 9 p.m., and before imparting his apostolic blessing delivered a brief address.

  "In the special Year of the Eucharist through which we are currently living," the Pope said, "Mary helps us especially to discover" this great Sacrament. In today's feast we recall the visit by the Virgin to her cousin St. Elizabeth, an elderly woman "whom everyone considered sterile but who had, in fact, reached the sixth month of a pregnancy donated by God." Mary is carrying the recently-conceived Jesus in her womb, she "is a young girl, but she is not afraid because God is with her, He is within her."

  The Holy Father affirmed how, "in a certain way, we can say that her journey was - and we are pleased to highlight this in the Year of the Eucharist - the first 'Eucharistic procession' of history. Living tabernacle of God-made-flesh, Mary is the Ark of the Covenant in whom the Lord has visited and redeemed His people. Jesus' presence fills her with the Holy Spirit."

  After emphasizing how the Virgin's meeting with Elizabeth "finds expression in the canticle of the Magnificat," Benedict XVI asked: "is not this too the joy of the Church, that incessantly welcomes Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and carries Him to the world with the testimony of assiduous charity permeated by faith and hope? Yes, to welcome Christ and to take Him to others is the true joy of Christians! Dear brothers and sisters, let us carry on and imitate Mary, a deeply Eucharistic soul, and all our lives will become a Magnificat. Let this be the grace that, together this evening, we ask of the Most Holy Virgin at the close of the month of May."
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