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Friday, April 26, 2013


Vatican City, 26 April 2013 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father received in audience Mr. Andry Nirina Rajoelina, president of the High Transitional Authority of Madagascar. President Rajoelina then met with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

During the cordial talks, the good relations existing between the Holy See and the Republic of Madagascar were focused on and some aspects of the country's situation were examined. In particular, Madagascar's efforts in the quest for stability and democracy, greater economic development, and reconstruction of international relations were noted. The Malagasy Church's significant contribution in supporting national dialogue and its indispensable capillary commitment in the areas of health and education were highlighted.


Vatican City, 26 April 2013 (VIS) – The journey of faith is not alienating, it is a preparation for arriving at our final destiny. These were the Pope's words during today's homily of the Mass he celebrated this morning at the Domus Sanctae Marthae. In attendance were employees of the Vatican Typography, the labour office of the Apostolic See (ULSA), and members of Corps of the Gendarmerie.

Pope Francis commented on Jesus' words to his disciples in today's Gospel: “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” “Jesus' words are truly beautiful. At the moment of his farewell, Jesus speaks to his disciples, but from the heart. He knows that his disciples are sad … and He begins to speak of what? About heaven, about their final homeland. 'Have faith [in God] and also in me? … Using the image of an engineer, of an architect telling them what He is going to do: 'I am going to prepare you a place, in my Father's house there are many dwelling places.' And Jesus goes to prepare a place for us.”

Preparing a place means “preparing our possibility to enjoy, … our possibility to see, to fell, to understand the beauty of what awaits us, of that homeland towards which we walk. All of Christian life is Jesus' labour, the Holy Spirit's, to prepare us a place, to prepare our eyes to be able to see … our hearing to be able to hear the beautiful things, the beautiful words. Above all, to prepare our hearts … to love, to love more.”

Along our lives' path, the pontiff repeated, the Lord prepares our hearts “with trials, with consolations, with tribulations, with good things. The entire journey of our lives is a path of preparation. Sometimes the Lord has to do it quickly, like He did with the Good Thief. There were just a few minutes to prepare him and He did it. But it generally happens that way in our lives, doesn't it? Letting him prepare our hearts, our eyes, our hearing to arrive at this homeland. Because that is our homeland.”

But some would say “that all these thoughts are an alienation, that we are alienated, that this is life, the concrete, and beyond it you don't know what might be. … But Jesus tells us that it is not thus. He tells us: 'Have faith in me as well.' What I am telling you is the truth: I am not tricking you; I am not deceiving you.”

Preparing oneself for heaven,” the Bishop of Rome finished, “is beginning to greet him from afar. This is not an alienation. This is the truth. This is letting Jesus prepare our hearts, our eyes, for that great beauty. It is the path of beauty, the path of our return to the homeland. May God grant us the hope, courage, and humility to let the Lord prepare us a place!”


Vatican City, 26 April 2013 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

   - Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, and

   - Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, titular of Vicohabentia and president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation.

This afternoon he is scheduled to receive Senator Mario Monti, prime minister of Italy, on his farewell visit.


Vatican City, 26 April 2013 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father:

   - accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Klerksdorp, South Africa, presented by Bishop Zithulele Patrick Mvemve in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law. The Holy Father has appointed Archbishop Buti Joseph Tlhagale, O.M.I., of Johannesburg, South Africa, as apostolic administrator "sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of the same diocese.

   - appointed Fr. Juan Antonio Menendez Fernandez as auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Oviedo (area 10,565, population 1,088,000, Catholics 1,034,000, priests 533, religious 1,009), Spain, assigning him the Titular See of Nasai. The bishop-elect, previously pastor of San Nicolas de Bari parish in Aviles, Asturias, Spain, and episcopal vicar for Juridical Affairs of the same archdiocese, was born in Villamarin de Salcedo, Asturias, Spain, in 1957 and was ordained a priest in 1981.
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