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Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Vatican City, 29 January 2013 (VIS) – The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff has published the calendar of celebrations that are due to be presided by the Holy Father in February and March.


Saturday 2: Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the World Day of Consecrated Life. At 5:30pm in the Vatican Basilica: Mass with members of institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life.

Monday 11: At 11:00am in the Consistory Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace: Ordinary public consistory for several causes for canonisation.

Wednesday 13: Ash Wednesday. At 4:30pm in the Basilica of Sant'Anselmo: "statio" and penitential procession. At 5:00pm in the Basilica of Santa Sabina: blessing and imposition of ashes.

Sunday 17: First Sunday of Lent. At 6:00pm in the "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel of the Vatican Apostolic Palace: beginning of the spiritual exercises of the Roman Curia.

Saturday 23: At 9:00am in the "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel: conclusion of the spiritual exercises of the Roman Curia.


Sunday 24: Palm Sunday and the Passion of the Lord. At 9:30am in St. Peter's Square: blessing of palms, procession, and Mass.

Thursday 28: Holy Thursday. At 5:30pm in the Basilica of St. John Lateran: beginning of the Easter Triduum with the Mass of the Last Supper.

Friday 29: Good Friday. At 5:00pm in the Vatican Basilica: celebration of the Lord's Passion. At 9:15pm at the Colosseum: Way of the Cross.

Saturday 30: Holy Saturday. At 8:30pm in the Vatican Basilica: Easter vigil.

Sunday 31: Easter Sunday. At 10:15am in St. Peter's Square: Mass. At midday, from the central loggia of St. Peter's Basilica: "Urbi et Orbi" blessing.


Vatican City, 29 January 2013 (VIS) – This morning, in the John Paul II Hall of the Holy See Press Office, a press conference was held to present the Holy Father's message for the 21st World Day of the Sick (7–11 February) and the celebrations for the Day that will take place in Altotting, Bavaria, Germany. Participating in the press conference were: Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers along with Msgr. Jean-Marie Mate Musivi Mupendawatu and Fr. Augusto Chendi, M.I., respectively secretary and under-secretary of that same dicastery; Msgr. Ludwig Limbrunner, rector of the shrine to Our Lady of Altotting, Bavaria, Germany; and Rev. Janusz Surzykiewicz, professor of pastoral theology at the Catholic University of Eichstatt in Bavaria, Germany. The Message is entitled:"Go and Do Likewise".

This Day, Archbishop Zimowski explained, is "a unique moment of reflection, of renewed attention and commitment, on behalf of everyone, to all to the problems inherent to caring for life, health, and suffering. In particular, the Holy Father … emphasizes that its celebration should be strongly characterized by prayer, sharing, and offering up suffering for the good of the Church, as well as serving as a call so that everyone might recognize, in the face of their sick brother or sister, the face of Christ who, suffering, dying, and rising, saved humanity."

The Pope's text challenges us "to let the figure of the Good Samaritan call to us". It is a Gospel narrative that constitutes a "parable that is paradigmatic and ever-topical for all of the Church's action, especially her outreach in the area of health, disease, and suffering." In the story "Jesus, with his actions and words, reveals God's deep love for every human being, above all those suffering illness or pain." The Pope, however, "puts the emphasis on the end of the parable when Jesus ... concludes with an urgent mandate: 'Go and do likewise'."

"This is," the archbishop continued, "an incisive mandate because with these words Jesus shows us what, even today, the attitude and behaviour of His disciples with others, especially those in need of care, must be. Looking to how Christ acted, therefore, we can understand God's infinite love, can feel ourselves to be part of this love, and sent to show it with our care and our closeness to all those in need of help because of being wounded in body and in spirit. But this capacity to love cannot come solely from our efforts, but rather is born of our being in constant relationship with Christ through a life of faith. From this stems the call and the duty of each Christian to be a 'Good Samaritan', who ... is everyone who stops at the suffering of another, everyone who is sensitive to the suffering of others, everyone who is moved by the misfortunes of others, everyone who wants to try and be 'God's hands'."

"Before concluding his message, the Holy Father pointed out the Year of Faith as 'a propitious occasion for rediscovering the Good Samaritan and of living in imitation of him': in imitation of his knowing how 'to see with compassion' and love someone who needed care and assistance; in his knowing how to bend down and pick up the needs of others'. ...This is why it is useful to 'turn our gaze' to the many witnesses to the faith and their charitable self-giving. It can be said that the entire history of the Church … is marked by countless witnesses. The Pope indicates some of those who are closest to us in time: St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face; the venerable Luigi Novarese; Raoul Follereau; Blessed Teresa of Calcutta; and St. Anna Schaffer of Mindelstetten."

"Blessed John Paul II, in the section of his Apostolic Letter Salvifici Doloris referencing the Good Samaritan, wrote: 'At one and the same time Christ has taught man to do good by His suffering and to do good to those who suffer. In this double aspect He has completely revealed the meaning of suffering.' In naming five Good Samaritans who are close to us in history, Benedict XVI takes into consideration both dimensions: St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face and St. Anna Schaffer do good out of their own suffering while the other three witnesses do good for those who are suffering."


Vatican City, 29 January 2013 (VIS) – Recalling his trip to Lebanon and inviting the whole Church to remember the problems of and the Christian communities in the Middle East in their prayers, the Holy Father has invitedthrough his cardinal secretary of stateHis Beatitude Bechara Boutros Rai, O.M.M., Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, to prepare the texts for the Via Crucis on Good Friday at the Colosseum. Under the guidance of the Patriarch, the texts will be prepared by two young Lebanese and will follow the traditional pattern of the fourteen stations.


Vatican City, 29 January 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father appointed Bishop Alexander King Sample as archbishop of the archdiocese of Portland (area 76,937, population 3,296,705, Catholics 412,725, priests 300, permanent deacons 72, religious 653), Oregon, USA. Bishop Sample, previously bishop of Marquette, Michigan, USA, was born in Kalispell, Montana, USA, in 1960, was ordained to the priesthood in 1990, and received episcopal ordination in 2006. In the national bishops' conference he currently serves on the Subcommittees on Native American Catholics and on the Catechism. He is also vice-postulator for the cause for canonisation of Venerable Frederic Baraga, first bishop of the Diocese of Marquette. He succeeds Archbishop John George Vlazny, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
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