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Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Vatican City, 31 July 2013 (VIS) – The Pope celebrated Mass at 8.00 a.m. today, the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, the order to which he belongs, with Jesuits in the Roman Church of Jesus, where the saint's reliquaries are preserved.

It was a private, like the Mass celebrated each day at the Santa Marta guesthouse, attended only by priests of the Society of Jesus, friends, and collaborators. However, the Pope was received by hundreds of people who wished to greet him and who waited until the end of the celebration to do so.

Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.J., Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the Superior General of the Jesuits, Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, concelebrated with the Pope, as well as members of the Council and more than two hundred Jesuits.

In this homily, the Pope proposed a reflection based on three concepts: putting Christ at the centre of the Church, allowing oneself to be conquered by Him to serve; and feeling the shame of our limits and sins in order to be humble before Him and before our brothers.

The symbol of the Jesuits is a monogram, the acronym of 'Iesus Hominum Salvator'”, said Francis. “It reminds us constantly of a fact we must never forget: the centrality of Christ for each one of us, and for the entire Society, that St. Ignatius chose to call 'the Society ofJesus' to indicate its point of reference. … And this leads us, Jesuits, to be 'decentred', to have 'Deus semper maior' before us … Christ is our life! The centrality of Christ also corresponds to the centrality of the Church: they are two flames that cannot be separated. I cannot follow Christ other than in the Church and with the Church. And also in this case, we Jesuits and the entire Society are not in the centre; we are, so to say, removed; we are in the service of Christ and of the Church. … To be men rooted and grounded in the Church: this is what Jesus wants. We cannot walk in parallel or in isolation. Yes, there are paths of research, creative paths, yes: this is important; to go out to the peripheries … but always in community, in the Church, with this belonging that gives us the courage to go ahead”.

The path to live this dual centrality is found in “letting oneself be conquered by Christ. I seek Jesus, I serve Jesus because he sought me first. … In Spanish there is a very descriptive phrase, which explains this well: 'El nos primerea', He is always first before us. … To be conquered by Christ to offer to this King our entire person, all our effort … to imitate Him also in withstanding injustice, contempt, poverty”. The Pope recalled the Jesuit Fr. Paolo dall'Oglio, missing in Syria for days, and added “being conquered by Christ means forever striving to reach what is before you, to reach Christ”.

Francis also recalled Jesus' words in the Gospel: “those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. Those who are ashamed of me … will be ashamed when He comes in His glory” and compares this with the shame of the Jesuits. “Jesus invites us not to be ashamed of Him, but to follow Him for ever with total dedication, trusting in and entrusting ourselves to Him”.

Looking to Jesus, as St. Ignatius teaches us in the First Week, and especially looking at Christ crucified, we feel that sentiment, so human and so noble, that is the shame of not being able to measure up; … and this leads us always, as individuals and as a Society, to humility, to living this great virtue. Humility makes us aware every day that it is not we who build the Kingdom of God, but rather it is always the grace of the Lord that acts in us; humility that urges us to give ourselves not in service to ourselves or our ideas, but in the service of Christ and the Church, like clay vases – fragile, inadequate, insufficient, but inside which there is an immense treasure we carry and communicate.

The Pope confessed that when he thinks of the twilight of a Jesuit's life, “when a Jesuit finishes his life”, two icons always come to mind: that of St. Francis Xavier looking to China, and that of Father Arrupe in his final conversation at the refugee camp. “It benefits us to look at these two icons, to return to them, and to ask that our twilight be like theirs”.

Finally, Francis encouraged those present to ask the Virgin “to let us feel the shame of our inadequacy before the treasure that has been entrusted to us, to live in humility before the Lord. May the paternal intercession of St. Ignatius accompany our path and that of all holy Jesuits, who continue to teach us to do everything with humility, ad maiorem Dei gloriam”.


Vatican City, 31 July 2013 (VIS) - “Fraternity, the foundation and pathway to peace”: this is the theme of the 47th World Day of Peace, the first during the pontificate of Pope Francis.

"Fraternity, the foundation and pathway to peace". This is the theme of the 47th World Day of Peace, the first during the pontificate of Pope Francis.

The World Day of Peace was an initiative of Pope Paul VI and it is celebrated on the first day of each year. The Message for the World Day of Peace is sent to particular churches and chancelleries all around the world, drawing attention to the essential value of peace and the need to work tirelessly in order to attain it.

As the theme of his first Message for the World Day of Peace, Pope Francis has chosen Fraternity. Since the beginning of his Petrine Ministry, the Pope has stressed the need to combat the “throwaway culture” and to promote instead a "culture of encounter", in order to build a more just and peaceful world.

Fraternity is a dowry that every man and every woman brings with himself or herself as a human being, as a child of the one Father. In the face of the many tragedies that afflict the family of nations - poverty, hunger, underdevelopment, conflicts, migrations, pollution, inequalities, injustice, organized crime, fundamentalisms - fraternity is the foundation and the pathway to peace.

The culture of personal well-being leads to a loss of the sense of responsibility and fraternal relationship. Others, rather than being “like us”, appear more as antagonists or enemies and are often treated as objects. Not uncommonly, the poor and needy are regarded as a "burden", a hindrance to development. At most, they are considered as recipients of aid or compassionate assistance. They are not seen as brothers and sisters, called to share the gifts of creation, the goods of progress and culture, to be partakers at the same table of the fullness of life, to be protagonists of integral and inclusive development.

Fraternity, a gift and task that comes from God the Father, urges us to be in solidarity against inequality and poverty that undermine the social fabric, to take care of every person, especially the weakest and most defenceless, to love him or her as oneself, with the very heart of Jesus Christ.

In a world that is constantly growing more interdependent, the good of fraternity is one that we cannot do without. It serves to defeat the spread of the globalization of indifference to which Pope Francis has frequently referred. The globalization of indifference must give way to a globalization of fraternity.

Fraternity should leave its mark on every aspect of life, including the economy, finance, civil society, politics, research, development, public and cultural institutions.

At the start of his ministry, Pope Francis issues a message in continuity with that of his predecessors, which proposes to everyone the pathway of fraternity, in order to give the world a more human face.


Vatican City, 31 July 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father:

- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Ljubljana, Slovenia, presented by Archbishop Anton Stres, C.M., in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Maribor, Slovenia, presented by Archbishop Marjan Turnsek, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- appointed Bishop Frank Joseph Caggiano as bishop of Bridgeport (area 1,621, population 955,000, Catholics 479,000, priests 272, permanent deacons 103, religious 362), U.S.A. Bishop Caggiano, previously auxiliary of Brooklyn, U.S.A., was born in Brooklyn, U.S.A. in 1959, was ordained to the priesthood in 1987, and received episcopal ordination in 2006.


Vatican City, 31 July 2013 (VIS) - Following are highlights of the activities of Pope Benedict XVI and of the Holy See for the months of May to July 2013.


2: Pope emeritus Benedict XVI returns to the Vatican after a two month stay in the Apostolic Palace in Castel Gandolfo, and takes up permanent residence in the recently restored “Mater Ecclesiae” convent.

2: The Holy Father receives in audience Aleksander Avdeev, the new ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Holy See, presenting his credential letters.
3: The Holy Father receives in audience Michel Sleiman, president of the Republic of Lebanon.

3-5: Pilgrimage of Confraternities to Rome, for the “Days of the Confraternities and Popular Piety”, an initiative promoted as part of the Year of Faith.

6: The Holy Father receives in audience Ueli Maurer. president of the Swiss Confederation.

8: Pope Francis receives the participants in the Plenary Assembly of the International Union of Superior Generals.

10: Meeting between Pope Francis and Pope Tawadros II, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt.

12: Seventh Sunday of Easter. Canonisation of the Blesseds Antonio Primaldo and companions; Laura di Santa Caterina da Siena Montoya y Upegui and Maria Guadalupe García Zavala.

13: The Holy Father receives in audience the president of the Republic of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos Calderon.

14: This year, for the first time, the Holy See will participate in the Venice Bienniale (1 June – 24 November) with a pavilion inspired by the Biblical story of Genesis, entitled “In the Beginning”.

15: The Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR) declares its intention to open, before the end of the year, a website where it will make public, among other information, the “Yearly Report” of its activities.

16: The Holy Father receives the credential letters of four new ambassadors to the Holy See: Bolot Iskovich Otunbaev from Kyrgyzstan, David Shoul from Antigua and Barbuda, Jean-Paul Senninger from Luxembourg and Lameck Nthekela from Botswana.

18: The Holy Father receives in audience Angela Merkel, chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, and entourage.

18-19: "Day of Ecclesial Movements, New Communities and Lay Associations” on the Solemnity of Pentecost and the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of the Ecumenical Council.

19: Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, major archbishop of Trivandrum of the Syro-Malankars, India, takes possession of the title of St. Gregory VII al Gelsomino on Via del Cottolegno, 4.

22: Pope Francis visits the “Gift of Mary” House of Hospitality located within Vatican City, just outside St. Peter's Square, near the Palazzo del Sant'Uffizio.

22: The Holy Father receives in audience Thomas Boni Yayi, president of the Republic of Benin.

23: The Holy Father receives in audience Carlos Mauricio Funes Cartagena, president of the Republic of El Salvador.

23: The Pontifical Lateran University dedicates a chair in “Political Socialization in Africa” to Cardinal Bernardin Gantin.

26: Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, pastoral visit to the Roman parish of “Sts. Elizabeth and Zechariah” in Valle Muricana, Prima Porta.

26: Cardinal James Michael Harvey, archpriest of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls, takes possession of the diaconate of St. Pius V at Villa Carpegna in Largo San Pio V, 3.

31: The Holy Father receives in audience the president for the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Vuk Jeremic.


1: The Holy Father receives in audience Jose Mujica Cordano, president of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay.

2: On the Solemnity of Corpus Domini and as part of the Year of Faith, the Holy Father presides as a solemn Worldwide Eucharistic Adoration in St. Peter's Basilica, in communion with cathedrals and parishes all over the world.

3: The Holy Father receives in audience Jorge Carlos de Almeida Fonseca, president of the Republic of Cape Verde, and entourage.

5: Death of Cardinal Stanislaw Nagy, S.C.I., cardinal-deacon of Santa Maria della Scala, at the age of 91.

6: The Holy Father receives in audience Mohamed Taher Rabbani, ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran, presenting his credential letters.

7: The Holy Father receives in audience Mikayel Minasyan, ambassador of Armenia, presenting his credential letters.

8: The Holy Father receives in an official visit the president of the Republic of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano.

10: The Holy Father receives in audience Mariano Palacios Alcocer, new ambassador of Mexico, presenting his credential letters

13: The Holy Father receives in audience Alenka Bratusek, prime minister of the Republic of Slovenia.

14: Visit of the archbishop of Canterbury, His Grace Justin Welby.

15: Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle, archbishop of Manila, Philippines, takes possession of the title of San Felice da Cantalice a Centocelle in Piazza San Felice da Cantalice, 20, Rome.

15: The Holy Father receives in audience José Manuel Durão Barroso, president of the European Commission.

17: The Holy Father receives in audience Nicolas Maduro Moro, president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

24: The Holy Father receives in audience Joseph Muscat, prime minister of the Republic of Malta.

24: The Holy Father establishes a Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR) by chirograph dated 24 June 2013.


4: The Holy Father receives in a private visit Enrico Letta, prime minister of the Republic of Italy.

4: The Financial Intelligence Authority of the Holy See and Vatican City State (AIF) is admitted to the Egmont Group, a global network of Financial Intelligence Units.

4-7: “Day for seminarians, novices, and all those who have taken the path of vocation”, with the theme “I trust in you”, as part of the Year of Faith.

5: Publication of Pope Francis' first encyclical, entitled "Lumen fidei".

6: The Holy Father receives in audience Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona, president of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, with his wife and entourage.

8: The Holy Father visits the island of Lampedusa.

22-29: Apostolic trip to Brazil for the 28th World Youth Day.

26: The Financial Intelligence Authority (AIF) of the Holy See and Vatican City State signs a Memorandum of Understanding with its Italian counterpart, the Unità di Informazione Finanziaria (UIF) of the Bank of Italy.

28: Death of Cardinal Ersilio Tonini, archbishop emeritus of Ravenna-Cervia, Italy, at the age of 99.


Vatican City, 31 July 2013 (VIS) - We remind our readers that the Vatican Information Service will remain closed during the entire month of August. Service will resume on Monday, 2 September.
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