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Wednesday, February 24, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 24 FEB 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father and the Roman Curia are currently continuing their annual Lenten spiritual exercises, the theme of which this year is: "The 'Lessons' of God and of the Church on the priestly vocation".

  On Monday 22 February they focused their reflections on the figure of St. Augustine and prayed for priestly vocations, while yesterday they meditated on St. John Mary Vianney, the "Cure of Ars", and prayed for missionaries.

  Today, the day of Penance, attention will turn to certain biblical references to vocation, with meditations on the themes of "Temptation, doubt and resistance form part of our history" and "Always sinners and always forgiven". The meditation will focus on Georges Bernanos' book "Diary of a Country Priest".

  Tomorrow, the Christological day, will be dedicated to the vocation of the first disciples, followed by a meditation on Venerable Servant of God Giuseppe Quadrio S.D.B. (1921-1963).

  Friday 26 February is the Marian Day. Attention will focus on the Magnificat of Mary, and on another biblical reference to vocation: "God's approval; the story of the Annunciation". In the evening, participants will meditate on Venerable Servant of God John Paul II.

  At 9 a.m. on Saturday 27 February, the last day of the spiritual exercises of the Pope and the Roman Curia, Lauds will be celebrated in the Vatican's "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel with a concluding meditation on the call of the first deacons.
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VATICAN CITY, 24 FEB 2010 (VIS) - Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, has sent a message to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, who will celebrate his seventieth birthday on Monday.

  The cardinal writes of his "grateful recollection of the many fraternal meetings we have had over the last ten years. The friendship, mutual trust and sincerity which has always characterised our conversations are ... a great gift and a sign of progress in relations between our Churches", he says.

  The cardinal concludes his message: "My hope is that Your Holiness may continue to show tireless commitment in contributing to ever deeper knowledge and more fruitful collaboration between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, so as to offer the world a common witness of our faith in our One Lord Jesus Christ".
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