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Monday, June 4, 2007


VATICAN CITY, JUN 2, 2007 (VIS) - Yesterday morning, the Holy Father received in private audience Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins C.M.F., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and authorized the promulgation of decrees concerning the following causes:


- Blessed Alfonsa of the Immaculate Conception (nee: Anna Muttathupandathu), Indian professed sister of the Congregation of Poor Clares of the Third Order of St. Francis (1910-1946).

- Blessed Narcisa de Jesus Martillo Moran, Ecuadorian lay woman (1833-1869).

- Servant of God Antonio Rosmini, Italian priest and founder of the Institute of Charity and of the Sisters of Providence (1791-1855).

- Servant of God Mary Merkert, Polish religious, co-foundress and first superior general of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Elizabeth (1817-1872).

- Servant of God Josepha (nee Hendrina Stenmanns), German religious and co-foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit (1852-1903).

- Servant of God Celestina of the Mother of God (nee Maria Anna Donati), Italian foundress of the Congregation of the Poor Sisters of St. Joseph Calasanzio (1848-1925).


- Servants of God Peter Kibe Kasui, Japanese priest of the Company of Jesus and 187 companions (priests, religious and laity), killed in Japan between 1603 and 1639.

- Servants of God Avelino Rodriguez Alonso, Spanish priest of the Order of St. Augustine, 97 companions of the same order and six companions of the diocesan clergy, killed in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War.

- Servants of God Manuela of the Heart of Jesus (nee Manuela Arriola Uranga) and 22 companions of the Institute of Handmaidens Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament and of Charity, killed in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War.

- Servant of God Frank Jagerstatter, Austrian layman, born 1907 and killed in Berlin, Germany in 1943.


- Servant of God Giovanni Battista Arista, Italian bishop of Acireale and member of the Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri (1863-1920).

- Servant of God Jean-Joseph (ne Alcide Lataste), French priest of the Order of Friars Preachers and founder of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Dominic of Betania (1832-1869).

- Servant of God Francesco Maria Perez, Italian professed religious of the Congregation of the Poor Servants of Divine Providence (1861-1937).

- Servant of God Maria Caterina of the Child Jesus (nee Luisa Lavizzari), prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and of Perpetual Reparation in the convent of Ronco di Ghiffa (1867-1931).

- Servant of God Maria Fedele (nee Eleonora Margarita Weiss), German professed religious of the Third Order of St. Francis in the convent of Reutberg (1882-1923).

- Servant of God Armida Barelli, Italian of the Third Secular Order of St. Francis and co-foundress of the Institute of Missionary Sisters of the Regality of Our Lord Jesus Christ (1882-1952).

- Servant of God Cleonilde Guerra, Italian lay woman (1922-1949).
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 2, 2007 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Pope received students from the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. They were accompanied by Archbishop Justo Mullor Garcia, president of the academy, which trains candidates for the Holy See diplomatic service.

  The Holy Father thanked Archbishop Mullor for his congratulations for his recently-published book "Jesus of Nazareth." That work, the Pope said, "is the fruit of my personal search for the face of Christ" adding that the archbishop's words "show that the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy rightly considers the longing for an ever better knowledge of the Lord as a fundamental value for people who, like you, are called to a special collaboration with Peter's Successor in the diplomatic service."

  "Witnesses to the Gospel are called to remain faithful in all circumstances to the mission entrusted to them," said the Holy Father. "For you this means, in the first place, a deep personal experience of the incarnate God, an intimate friendship with Jesus in Whose name the Church sends you out for a special apostolic task. You know that Christian faith can never be reduced to mere intellectual knowledge of Christ and His doctrine; it must also be expressed in the imitation of the example Christ gave us as Son of the Father and as Son of man." Those who collaborate with the Pope are called to be "true pastors, willing, like Jesus the Good Shepherd, to give their lives for their flock."

  Benedict XVI encouraged the future pontifical representatives always to cultivate the desire "to be pastors alongside the other pastors of the Church," before being "promoters of dialogue and creators of fruitful relationships with civil authorities, as the Catholic tradition requires." Thus, he explained, "those who come to know you will always discover the priest within you.

  "In this way," he added, "everyone will be able to recognize the atypical nature of pontifical diplomacy, a diplomacy which, ... far from defending material interests or partial conceptions of mankind, promotes values that flow from the Gospel, as an expression of the exalted ideals proclaimed by Jesus, the one and universal Savior. Moreover these values are shared, to no small degree, by other religions and other cultures."

  The Pope concluded by telling the students of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy: "The more faithfully you adhere to your priestly duties, the better will you be able to serve men and women, the more fruitful will your dialogue with them be, the more attainable will the peace you propose in situations of tension and conflict appear, and the greater will be the comfort you offer in the name of Christ and His Church to the suffering and defenseless."


VATICAN CITY, JUN 2, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Fr. Dominikus Saku of the clergy of the diocese of Atambua, Indonesia, professor and formator in the major seminary of Kupang, as bishop of Atambua (area 5,177, population 530,508, Catholics 478,475, priests 150, religious 205). The bishop-elect was born in Taikas, Indonesia in 1960 and ordained a priest in 1992. He succeeds Bishop Anton Pain Ratu S.V.D., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Erected the new diocese of Shendam (area 12,496, population 980,810, Catholics 149,051, priests 36, religious 7) Nigeria, with territory taken from the archdiocese of Jos, making it a suffragan of the same metropolitan church. He appointed Bishop James Naanman Daman O.S.A., of Jalingo, Nigeria, as first bishop of the new diocese.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 3, 2007 (VIS) - Today, Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, the Pope presided at a Eucharistic celebration in St. Peter's Square during which he canonized the Blesseds: George Preca (1880-1962), Szymon of Lipnica (1435-1482), Karel van Sint Andries Houben (1821-1893) and Marie-Eugenie de Jesus Milleret (1817-1898).

  Among those participating in the ceremony, which was held under pouring rain, were Edward Fenech Adami, president of Malta, Mary McAleese, president of Ireland, Lech Kaczynski, president of Poland and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, president of the Philippines.

  In his homily, the Holy Father explained how "each individual saint shares in the richness of Christ, drawn from the Father and communicated at the appropriate time. Sanctity is always the sanctity of Jesus, it is always He - the 'Saint' - that the Spirit molds in 'holy souls' in order to create friends of Jesus and witnesses of His sanctity."

  Making reference to George Preca, the first Maltese saint and founder of "Societas Doctrinae Christianae," Benedict XVI described him as "a priest entirely dedicated to evangelization, through his preaching, his writings, his spiritual guidance and the administration of the Sacraments, and above all through the example of his life." May this saint, he said, "help the Church, in Malta and in the world, always to be the faithful echo of the voice of God, the Word incarnate."

  Speaking of the Polish St. Szymon of Lipnica of the Order of Friars Minor, "a great son of Poland, witness of Christ and follower of the spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi," the Pope indicated how, "full of the mercy he found in the Eucharist, he did not hesitate to bring succor to victims of the plague, and himself contracted the illness which took him to his grave. Today we particularly entrust to his protection those suffering from poverty, sickness, solitude and social injustice. Through his intercession we ask to be granted the grace of persevering and active love for Christ and for our fellow man."

  "During his many years of priestly ministry in England and Ireland," said the Pope referring to the Dutch priest Karel van Sint Andries Houben of the Congregation of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, "the people flocked to him to seek out his wise counsel, his compassionate care and his healing touch.  In the sick and the suffering he recognized the face of the crucified Christ, to whom he had a lifelong devotion."

  The French saint, Marie-Eugenie de Jesus Milleret, foundress of the Institute of Sisters of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, "reminds us," said Pope Benedict, "of the importance of the Eucharist for Christian life and for spiritual growth. ... She was especially aware of the importance of giving new generations, and in particular young girls, an intellectual, moral and spiritual formation to ensure they become adults capable of taking responsibility for their families, and of offering their contribution to the Church and to society.

  "Throughout her existence," he added, "she found the strength for her mission in a life of prayer, uninterruptedly linking contemplation and action. May the example of St. Marie-Eugenie inspire men and women today to transmit to young people the values that will help them to become strong adults and joyful witnesses of the Risen Christ."
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 3, 2007 (VIS) - Following today's Mass, during which George Preca, Szymon of Lipnica, Karel van Sint Andries Houben and Marie-Eugenie de Jesus Milleret were proclaimed as saints, the Pope greeted the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.

  Addressing a group from the Italian Military Healthcare Association, which has as its motto "Arma pietati cedant" (may arms give way to mercy), the Pope cried: "May this come to pass in the whole world!

  "My thoughts also go out," he added, "to the Church in Bologna, which is marking the 750th anniversary of the act with which the senate of that city authorized the abolition of slavery in its territory. May this initiative encourage a renewed commitment to overcoming the new forms of slavery that still afflict humanity."
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 4, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office today released the following communique:

  "This morning, the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, president of the Philippines, accompanied by her husband and an entourage.

  "The president subsequently went on to meet Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States. During the discussions reference was made to the cordial relations that exist between the Holy See and the Republic of the Philippines, and to the understanding and cooperation between Church and State.

  "Attention also turned to the political and social situation in Southeast Asia, and especially to the respect and promotion of human rights and of democratic institutions in that region."


VATICAN CITY, JUN 4, 2007 (VIS) - "This morning Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, president of Mexico, was received in audience by His Holiness Benedict XVI. He subsequently went on to meet Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States," according to a Holy See Press Office communique made public today.

  "The cordial discussions provided an occasion for an exchange of views on questions concerning the current international situation, also with a view to the forthcoming G8 summit meeting, in which President Calderon will participate as a special guest.

  "With reference to Mexico, attention first turned to certain aspects of life in the country such as emigration, indigenous peoples, and the struggle against violence and drug trafficking. The position of the Catholic Church was also examined, above all in light of the important steps forward - already taken or yet to be taken - in her relations with the State. In this context, special mention was made of the fact that this year marks the happy occasion of the 15th anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Mexico and the Holy See. The Mexican head of State also renewed his invitation to the Holy Father to visit the country."
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 4, 2007 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. sent a telegram, in the Pope's name, to Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho of Mossul of the Chaldeans, Iraq, for the killing in that city yesterday of Fr. Ragheed Aziz Ganni and three sub-deacons. The text of the English-language telegram follows:

  "The Holy Father was deeply saddened to learn of the senseless killing of Fr. Ragheed Aziz Ganni and sub-deacons Basman Yousef Daoud, Ghasan Bidawid and Wadid Hanna, and he asks you kindly to convey to their families his heartfelt condolences. He willingly joins the Christian community in Mossul in commending their souls to the infinite mercy of God our loving Father and in giving thanks for their selfless witness to the Gospel. At the same time he prays that their costly sacrifice will inspire in the hearts of all men and women of good will a renewed resolve to reject the ways of hatred and violence, to conquer evil with good and to cooperate in hastening the dawn of reconciliation, justice and peace in Iraq. To the families and to all who mourn their dead in faith and in the hope which draws its certainty from the resurrection His Holiness cordially imparts his apostolic blessing as a pledge of consolation and strength in the Lord."


VATICAN CITY, JUN 4, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Two prelates from the Regional Episcopal Conference of North Africa, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop Henri Teissier, archbishop of Algiers, Algeria.

    - Archbishop Vincent Landel S.C.I. of Beth, of Rabat, Morocco.

  On Saturday, June 2, he received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, archivist and librarian of Holy Roman Church.

 - Bishop Javier Echevarria Rodriguez, prelate of the personal prelature of Opus Dei.

 - Archbishop Francesco Monterisi, secretary of the Congregation for Bishops.
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