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Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Vatican City, 30 April 2014 (VIS) – Continuing his catechesis on the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, Pope Francis' catechesis at this Wednesday's general audience focused on understanding. “It is not human understanding or the intellectual capacity with which we are gifted to a greater or a lesser extent”, he explained. “It is a grace the only the Holy Spirit may infuse and which awakens in the Christian the capacity to go beyond external appearances and to scrutinise the depths of God's thought and His plan of salvation”.

Pope Francis recalled the words the apostle Paul addressed to the Corinthians, in which he described the effects of this gift: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived, the things God has prepared for those who love him – these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit”.

“This obviously does not mean that a Christian can understand everything, and have full knowledge of God's plans”, he emphasised. “However, as the word itself suggests, the intellect permits us to 'intus legere', to 'read within'. This gift enables us to comprehend things as God does, with God's understanding. … It is a gift intimately linked to faith. When the Holy Spirit abides in our heart and enlightens our mind, it allows us to grow, day after day, in our understanding of what the Lord has said and done”.

Pope Francis explained that the same thing happened to the Apostles on the way to Emmaus, when they did not recognise Jesus because they were not capable of doing so. “But, when the Lord explained his Scriptures to them, so that they were able to understand that He had to suffer and die in order to be resurrected, their minds opened and hope reawakened in their hearts. This is what the Holy Spirit does for us through the gift of understanding”.


Vatican City, 30 April 2014 (VIS) – Following today's catechesis, Pope Francis greeted, among others, the compatriots of St. John Paul II, whose “witness of faith, hope, charity and trust in Divine Mercy” is, he said, particularly tangible in these days. “May his intercession support the life and good intentions of each one of you, the worries and joys of your loved ones, the development and serene future of the Church in Poland, and of your entire homeland”.

Addressing the young, the sick, and newly-weds, he mentioned that yesterday was the liturgical feast of St. Catherine of Siena, patron of Italy and Europe, and he encouraged the young to “learn from her how to live with the clear conscience of those who do not bend to human compromises”, the sick to be inspired by “her example of strength in the moments of greatest pain”; and young couples to “imitate the solidity of faith of those who trust in God”.


Vatican City, 30 April 2014 (VIS) – Pope Francis' universal prayer intention for May is: “That the media may be instruments in the service of truth and peace”.

His intention for evangelisation is: “That Mary, Star of Evangelisation, may guide the Church in proclaiming Christ to all nations”.


Vatican City, 30 April 2014 (VIS) – The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff has published the following calendar of liturgical celebrations over which the Holy Father will preside during the month of May:

Sunday 11: Fourth Sunday of Easter. At 9.30 a.m., priestly ordinations at the Vatican Basilica, and Holy Mass.

Sunday 18: Fifth Sunday of Easter. At 4 p.m., pastoral visit to the parish-sanctuary of “Santa Maria del Divino Amore”.

Saturday 24 to Monday 26: Apostolic trip to the Holy Land.


Vatican City, 30 April 2014 (VIS) – The Council of Cardinals has continued its work in accordance with its agenda, and will conclude this afternoon. It has completed a first review of the Pontifical Councils. On Wednesday afternoon the Council of Cardinals met with Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, who reported on the preparation of the upcoming Synod.
Part of the time was dedicated to the planning of the work to be completed between this meeting and the next one, scheduled for the first days of July.

The new Council for the Economy will meet for the first time on Friday, 2 May, in the Sala Bologna of the Apostolic Palace. The Holy Father will address an introductory greeting to the participants. The main focus of the meeting will be the Statutes of the Council itself and the planning of its work, and it will continue throughout the entire day.

The new Commission for the Protection of Minors will have its first meeting in the coming days, from Thursday 1 to Saturday 3 May, at the Domus Sanctae Marthae. The Commission will reflect on the nature and scope of its tasks, as well as its integration with members representing different geographical areas worldwide. The Holy Father will greet the members of the Commission.


Vatican City, 30 April 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:

- appointed Rev. Jose Roberto Fortes Palau and Rev. Carlos Lema Garcia as auxiliaries of the archdiocese of Sao Paulo (area 655, population 6,633,912, Catholics 4,776,416, priests 995, religious 1,316), Brazil.

Bishop-elect Fortes Palau was born in Jacaref, Brazil in 1965 and was ordained a priest in 1993. He holds a licentiate in spiritual theology from the “Teresianum” Pontifical Institute of Spirituality, Rome, and a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He has served in the following pastoral roles in the city of Sao Jose dos Campos: vicar of the “Sant'Ana” parish, priest of the “Sao Jose” parish, rector of the seminary of theology of the diocese of Sao Jose dos Campos, vicar of the parish of “Sao Bento”, and vicar general of the diocese. He is currently priest of the “Santo Agostino” parish of Sao Jose dos Campos.

Bishop-elect Lema Garcia was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1956 and was ordained a priest in 1985. He holds a doctorate in dogmatic theology and a degree in moral theology from the Holy Cross Pontifical University, Rome, as well as a degree in law from the State University of Sao Paulo. He is a member of the personal prelature of Opus Dei, and has served in the following pastoral roles: chaplain of the Centro Universitario do Itaim in Sao Paulo, chaplain of the CEAC in Brasilia, chaplain of the “Mirador” cultural centre in Porto Alegre, and vicar secretary of the delegation of the prelature in Brazil. He is currently spiritual director of Opus Dei in Brazil.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Vatican City, 29 April 2014 (VIS) – The Council of Cardinals met yesterday, Monday 28 April, for the first sessions of its fourth Meeting. The Holy Father participated most of the time, except when he had other commitments of particular importance, such as the audiences with the King and Queen of Spain on Monday morning and with the president of Paraguay on Tuesday morning, and the Wednesday morning general audience.

Alongside the eight cardinal members of the Council, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin participated regularly.

On Monday afternoon, the Council heard a report from the president of the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organisation of the Economic-Administrative Structures of the Holy See (COSEA), Joseph F.X. Zahra, in relation to some of the areas of activity within its remit.

Following its review in previous Meetings of the Congregations of the Roman Curia, the Council is now focusing on the Pontifical Councils, first in terms of general considerations, followed by an individual appraisal of each one. The Council is expected to complete a first report of its considerations regarding the Pontifical Councils during this Meeting.

The Council of Cardinals will hold a further four-day meeting in July (1-4 July).

There is still much work to be done, and it is therefore to be expected that it will be completed not this year, but instead during the next.

The previous Meetings of the Council took place on 1-3 October 2013, 3-5 December 2013, and 17-19 February 2014.

The first meeting of the new Council for the Economy will be held on Friday, 2 May.


Vatican City, 29 April 2014 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father received in audience:

- Cardinal Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino, archbishop of Caracas.

- Horacio Manuel Cartes Jara, president of the Republic of Paraguay, with his wife and entourage.

- Archbishop Ivo Scapolo, apostolic nuncio in Chile.


Vatican City, 29 April 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Joseph Anthony Toal of Argyll and the Isles, Scotland, as bishop of Motherwell, (area 1,178, population 703,000, Catholics 164,586, priests 103, permanent deacons 13, religious 75), Scotland.

Monday, April 28, 2014


Vatican City, 28 April 2014 (VIS) – This morning, in the study adjacent to Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis received King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain, who then went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

During the cordial discussions the Parties remarked on the good relations between the Holy See and Spain, which have been increasingly consolidated in the spirit of the 1979 Agreements. In this context, mention was made of some current issues regarding the Church’s mission in society and the situation of the country.

This was followed by an exchange of views on matters of an international nature, with special reference to various situations of crisis.


Vatican City, 28 April 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father Francis has sent a video message to the young of Buenos Aires for National Youth Day. The message, in which the Pope speaks off the cuff, had been requested in advance by Cardinal Mario Aurelio Poli, archbishop of Buenos Aires, and was rebroadcast on Saturday afternoon.

“While making this recording I was thinking of what they would say”, says the Pope in the video. “'What are you going?', I have already said. 'That they must not be afraid': I have already told them'. 'That they are free': I have already said so. Then some of the young people in the Gospel came to mind. The young people who came across Jesus, or those he spoke about. … I thought about the young apostles, the young rich man, the prodigal son who seeks a new life with his father's inheritance, the widow's son, dead; … how they were moved by Jesus, filled with enthusiasm, with that wonder that comes from the encounter with Jesus. .. And some of the apostles faltered, some did not behave so well. … There is the struggle to be faithful to this encounter, the encounter with Jesus. … God is very good”, he continues. “God takes advantage of our failures to speak to our hearts. God doesn't say, 'You're a failure, look what you have done'. He reasons with us”.

Pope Francis lists a number of examples of young men in the Gospel, and remarked that young women might complain, “'Father, you are unjust … your examples are all men. What about us?' … You aspire in your lives to consolidate tenderness and fidelity. You are on the path of the women who followed Jesus, through thick and thin. Women have the great gift of being able to give life, of being able to give tenderness, of being able to give peace and joy. There is one model for you, Mary: the woman of fidelity, who did not understand what was happening to her but obeyed nonetheless; who, as soon as she knew her cousin needed her, ran to her, the Virgin of Readiness. Mary, who helped to raise her Son and to accompany Him, and followed Him when he began to preach; who suffered through all that happened to the boy as he grew. She who stayed by His side and told Him of problems: 'Look, they have no wine'. She who, at the moment of the Cross, stayed next to Him. … You are women of the Church … who is female, like Mary. This is your place. Being Church, forming the Church, being with Jesus, with tenderness, to accompany the Church and help her grow”.

Pope Francis joked with the young women, with a cheerful tone and Argentine accent, “So don't be angry, you got a better deal than the men!”, and he commended them to “Mary, Lady of the Caress, Lady of Tenderness, Lady of the Readiness to Serve”, who shows them the way. Addressing all the young people, he concluded, “May each one of you encounter Jesus, the Risen Jesus. And I say one thing to you: do not be afraid! Look at Jesus, look at Mary, and go forward!”.


Vatican City, 28 April 2014 (VIS) – The fourth meeting of the Council of Cardinals with the Holy Father began this morning, and will continue during the 29 and 30 April. The Council of Cardinals was instituted by Pope Francis to help him in the governance of the universal Church and to draw up a project for the revision of the apostolic constitution “Pastor Bonus” on the Roman Curia.


Vatican City, 28 April 2014 (VIS) – Today at 9 a.m., at the premises of the Institute for the Works of Religion, the Supervisory Commission of Cardinals met in order to draw up guidelines for their action. Furthermore, it was decided that the Supervisory Commission will initially meet thrice yearly, notwithstanding special circumstances necessitating other meetings.


Vatican City, 28 April 2014 (VIS) – At 10 a.m. today in St. Peter's Square Cardinal Angelo Comastri, vicar general of His Holiness for Vatican City and archpriest of the Vatican Basilica, presided at a Mass of thanksgiving for the canonisation of John Paul II.

The Eucharist was preceded by a greeting from Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow, Poland, who was the new saint's secretary. “Yesterday”, he said, addressing the thousands of faithful who filled the Square, “two Blessed Popes were inscribed among the Saints: the first, John XXIII, a son of the land of Italy, who merited the title of the 'Good Pope'. It was he who announced Vatican Council II, more than half a century ago. The second of the new Saints, John Paul II, son of Poland, the Pope of Divine Mercy, consequently gave life to the decision of the Council and led the Church into the third millennium of Christian faith”.

“We thank God for this dual gift. We offer thanks for the extraordinarily transparent witness of love and service of both these pastors. … For this dual gift we offer our most heartfelt thanks to the Holy Father Francesco. Let us thank him because already in the first year of his pontificate he took the decision to canonise his Predecessors, setting the date for Divine Mercy Sunday”, added the cardinal archbishop, who concluded his address by offering thanks on behalf of his compatriots “to Italy and all of her inhabitants for having welcomed Karol Wojtyla many years ago, as bishop and pope, as he arrived in Rome 'from a far away country'”. Italy became a second homeland to him. Today John Paul II will surely bless her from on high, just as he surely blesses Poland and the entire world. There was a place in his heart for all nations, cultures and languages”.

Cardinal Comastri recalled John Paul II's words: “The saints do not ask us to applaud them; they ask that we imitate them”, and urged the pilgrims to imitate the new saint who had “the courage to openly defend faith in Jesus in an age of 'silent apostasy on the part of people who have all that they need and who live as if God does not exist' … to defend the family, to defend human life, to defend peace while the grim winds of war blew … to encounter the young to free them from the culture of emptiness and the ephemeral and to invite them to welcome Christ, the sole light of life and the only one able to bring the fullness of joy to the human heart”.


Vatican City, 28 April 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Dhaka, Bangladesh, presented by Bishop Theotonius Gomes C.S.C., upon reaching the age limit.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Vatican City, 27 April 2014 (VIS) – Half a million people attended the ceremony held this morning in St. Peter's Square for the canonisation of the “two Pope saints”: John XXIII and John Paul II. Since it was opened to the public at 5 a.m., the square and its environs were filled with faithful from all over the world; Polish pilgrims, however, constituted one of the largest groups. The event was also attended by delegations from over a hundred countries, more than twenty Heads of State and many figures from the world of politics and culture, including the King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain, King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium, Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, the ex-president of the Republic of Poland Lech Walesa, the president of the Argentine parliament Julian Dominguez and the presidents of the European Union, Herman Van Rompuy, and the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso. The celebration was also attended by Floribeth Mora Diaz and Sister Adele Labianca, the carer of Caterina Capitani – the two women who experienced the miracles attributed to John Paul II.

Banners with portraits of the two saints – the same ones used for their respective beatifications – were displayed on the facade of the Basilica. In the square, adorned with more than 30,000 roses from Ecuador, and in Via della Conciliazione, hundreds of thousands of faithful prepared for the celebration by reciting the chaplet of Divine Mercy, intercalated with texts from the magisterium of both pontiffs and preceded by the Hymn to Blessed John XXIII, “Good Shepherd of Christ's flock”. The prayer ended with the Hymn to Blessed John Paul II, “Open the doors to Christ”.

Under intermittent rain, and during litanies invoking the protection of the saints, there began the procession of concelebrating cardinals and bishops who, before taking their places, greeted Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, who also concelebrated alongside the Holy Father. A few minutes after 10 a.m., Pope Francis entered the square and, before proceeding with the rite for the proclamation of the new saints, greeted and embraced the Pope emeritus.

Moments later Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B:, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, accompanied by the postulators, asked Pope Francis to inscribe the names of the two Blessed Popes in the Book of Saints, and the Holy Father pronounced the formula for canonisation:

“For the honour of the Blessed Trinity, the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the increase of the Christian life, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and own own, after due deliberation and frequent prayer for divine assistance, and having sought the counsel of many of our brother Bishops, we declare and define Blessed

John Paul II

be Saints and we enrol them among the Saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole Church.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

This was followed by the presentation to the Pope of the relics of the two saints, which were displayed on the altar throughout the ceremony; these were a phial of the blood of John Paul II, which had been displayed on 1 May 2011, and a piece of skin removed from the body of John XXIII when it was exhumed for his beatification on 3 September 2000.

Following the Gospel reading, the Holy Father pronounced a homily in which he defined St. John XXIII as “the Pope of openness to the Holy Spirit”, and St. John Paul II as “the Pope of the Family”, recalling that “at the heart of this Sunday, which concludes the Octave of Easter and which John Paul II wished to dedicate to Divine Mercy, are the glorious wounds of the risen Jesus”.

“He had already shown those wounds when he first appeared to the Apostles on the very evening of that day following the Sabbath, the day of the resurrection”, he continued. “But Thomas was not there that evening, and when the others told him that they had seen the Lord, he replied that unless he himself saw and touched those wounds, he would not believe. A week later, Jesus appeared once more to the disciples gathered in the Upper Room, and Thomas was present; Jesus turned to him and told him to touch his wounds. Whereupon that man, so straightforward and accustomed to testing everything personally, knelt before Jesus with the words: 'My Lord and my God!'.

“The wounds of Jesus are a scandal, a stumbling block for faith, yet they are also the test of faith. That is why on the body of the risen Christ the wounds never pass away: they remain, for those wounds are the enduring sign of God’s love for us. They are essential for believing in God. Not for believing that God exists, but for believing that God is love, mercy and faithfulness. Saint Peter, quoting Isaiah, writes to Christians: 'by his wounds you have been healed'.

“John XXIII and John Paul II were not afraid to look upon the wounds of Jesus, to touch his torn hands and his pierced side”, exclaimed Pope Francis. “They were not ashamed of the flesh of Christ, they were not scandalised by him, by his cross; they did not despise the flesh of their brother, because they saw Jesus in every person who suffers and struggles. These were two men of courage, filled with the parrhesia of the Holy Spirit, and they bore witness before the Church and the world to God’s goodness and mercy.

“They were priests, bishops and popes of the twentieth century. They lived through the tragic events of that century, but they were not overwhelmed by them. For them, God was more powerful; faith was more powerful – faith in Jesus Christ the Redeemer of man and the Lord of history; the mercy of God, shown by those five wounds, was more powerful; and more powerful too was the closeness of Mary our Mother.

“In these two men, who looked upon the wounds of Christ and bore witness to his mercy, there dwelt a living hope and an indescribable and glorious joy. The hope and the joy which the risen Christ bestows on his disciples, the hope and the joy which nothing and no one can take from them. The hope and joy of Easter, forged in the crucible of self-denial, self-emptying, utter identification with sinners, even to the point of disgust at the bitterness of that chalice. Such were the hope and the joy which these two holy popes had received as a gift from the risen Lord and which they in turn bestowed in abundance upon the People of God, meriting our eternal gratitude.

“This hope and this joy were palpable in the earliest community of believers, in Jerusalem, as we read in the Acts of the Apostles. It was a community which lived the heart of the Gospel, love and mercy, in simplicity and fraternity.

“This is also the image of the Church which the Second Vatican Council set before us. John XXIII and John Paul II cooperated with the Holy Spirit in renewing and updating the Church in keeping with her pristine features, those features which the saints have given her throughout the centuries. Let us not forget that it is the saints who give direction and growth to the Church. In convening the Council, John XXIII showed an exquisite openness to the Holy Spirit. He let himself be led and he was for the Church a pastor, a servant-leader. This was his great service to the Church; he was the pope of openness to the Spirit.

“In his own service to the People of God, John Paul II was the pope of the family. He himself once said that he wanted to be remembered as the pope of the family. I am particularly happy to point this out as we are in the process of journeying with families towards the Synod on the family. It is surely a journey which, from his place in heaven, he guides and sustains”.

The Holy Father concluded. “May these two new saints and shepherds of God’s people intercede for the Church, so that during this two-year journey toward the Synod she may be open to the Holy Spirit in pastoral service to the family. May both of them teach us not to be scandalised by the wounds of Christ and to enter ever more deeply into the mystery of divine mercy, which always hopes and always forgives, because it always loves”.

St. Peter's Basilica will remain open today from 2 to 10 p.m., to enable pilgrims to venerate the bodies of the two canonised Popes displayed in glass cases, to which the word “Saint” has been added.


Vatican City, 27 April 2014 (VIS) – Following the Mass celebrated in St. Peter's Basilica for the canonisation of the two Blessed Pontiffs, John XXIII and John Paul II, and before reciting the Regina Coeli, the Holy Father greeted the faithful and pilgrims in St. Peter's Square and in the adjacent streets. He thanked the cardinals, bishops, priests, official delegations from the various countries, and the Italian authorities “who have come to pay homage to the two Pontiffs who have made an indelible contribution to the cause of the development of peoples and of peace”.

The Pope affectionately greeted pilgrims from the dioceses of Bergamo and Krakow, and encouraged them to honour the memory of the saints, continuing with their teachings. Likewise, he thanked the diocese of Rome, Cardinal Vallini, the municipal authorities, the mayor and the forces of order, as well as the different organisations and volunteers “who with great generosity have prepared these memorable days”. He also thanked the media for making it possible for so many people to participate, and mentioned the elderly and the sick, commenting that the two new saints were very close to them.

Pope Francis then prayed to the Virgin Mary, “whom St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II loved like true sons”. After welcoming the official delegations, and for the first time in a canonisation or beatification ceremony, Pope Francis toured St. Peter's Square and Via della Conciliazione in the Popemobile to bless and greet the pilgrims who participated in this historic event.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


Vatican City, 26 April 2014 (VIS) – Today, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, was received in audience by the Holy Father Francis. He subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by the secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti.

The cordial discussions, which took place within the context of good bilateral relations between the Holy See and Ukraine, focused on the current situation; the hope was expressed that all the parties involved will collaborate constructively to re-establish political and social stability throughout the country, in accordance with international law, and to promote understanding between peoples in the region. Attention then turned to the specific role that Churches and religious organisations, as well as all believers, are called upon to fulfil in fostering mutual respect and harmony among all components of society.

Finally, mention was made of possible further initiatives by the international community in this regard.


Vatican City, 26 April 2014 (VIS) – The city of Rome is preparing to receive hundreds of thousands of faithful for the canonisation of John XXIII and John Paul II in St. Peter's Square tomorrow, which will be attended by delegations from more than 100 countries and at least 24 Heads of State.

Already during this past week the Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi (ORP) has installed 19 maxi-screens to enable faithful and pilgrims to see the ceremony for the canonisation of the two Popes in both Rome and Milan. Three will be located in the central Via dei Fori Imperiali, one at Rome's Fiumicino airport and another in Piazza del Duomo, Milan. However, the majority of these new screens will be set up in the streets adjacent to St. Peter's Square: Via della Conciliazione, Piazza Pio XII, and in the pedestrian zone and gardens of Castel Sant'Angelo. There are screens in Piazza Navona and Piazza Farnese for Polish- and French-speaking pilgrims respectively, and another at the Basilica of St. Mary Major. News and films relating to the two Popes, as well as public service information, will be broadcast in six languages until Monday 28 April.

Bishop Liberio Andreatta, commenting on this unprecedented event, remarks: “Never in the history of Rome or in the history of the world has this occurred: two Pope Saints and two living Popes who knew them”. There is, therefore, a rich and varied agenda of activities preceding the event. Yesterday, French pilgrims began their “Path of Holiness” which will conclude on 27 April; it consists of an itinerary of art and faith taking in the five churches of the French community in Rome. Similarly, university students planning to attend the canonisation took part in Mass in the chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”. Today, at 6 p.m., pilgrims from Bergamo, the province where John XXIII was born, will gather in the Basilica of St. John Lateran, while at 7 p.m. a prayer vigil will begin at the church of Santa Maria in Montesanto, “the artists' church”, in Piazza del Popolo.

At 9 p.m. the “white night” of prayer will begin. Churches in the centre of Rome will remain open for prayer vigils or confession, and liturgical celebrations will take place in various languages in the churches of Sant' Agnese in Agone, San Marco al Campidoglio, Sant'Anastasia, Santissimo Nome di Gesu, Santa Maria in Vallicella, San Giovanni dei Fiorentini, Sant'Andrea della Valle, San Bartolomeo all'Isola Tiberina, Sant'Ignazio di Loyola in Campo Marzio, the Holy Stigmata of St. Francis, the Twelve Apostles, and the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The young people of Catholic Action will meet in the parish of Santa Maria delle Grazie al Trionfale from 10.30 p.m. until 5 a.m on 27 April.

Tomorrow, 100 members of the ORP and 550 volunteers from Catholic associations will be available to assist those present in Via della Conciliazione, providing all types of information. From 5 a.m. eight buses will transport to St. Peter's Square 200 priests and deacons for the distribution of the Eucharist, as well as 5000 Roman priests and 200 seminarians from the capital and from Bergamo, who will attend the ceremony. Bishop Andreatta emphasises that entry to St. Peter's Square is free and there are no tickets. The Prefecture of the Papal Household has also issued a reminder to the public to be vigilant regarding ticket touting and requests for money from agencies and tour operators for the purposes of obtaining tickets, reiterating that participation in celebrations presided by the Holy Father is entirely free.

The municipality of Rome has made special transport provisions for this period. The metro lines will be open around the clock from 26 to 28 April, the number of buses in service will increase, policing will be reinforced and there will be fourteen mobile medical units, as well as 2,630 civil protection volunteers in active service.

The internet will also play a role during these special days. The Office of the Postulation of the Vicariate of Rome has created a free App, “Santo Subito”, available in four languages and providing news, maps, itineraries and an order of service for the canonisation ceremony, along with an agenda of all the events planned from 25 to 28 April.

The Vatican Museums are celebrating the canonisation with a photographic exhibition entitled “The humility and courage that changed history”, which presents 120 photographs of the two Pope saints. This photographic anthology, which will remain open to the public until 19 July, is divided into two sections: the first, entirely in black and white, narrates the pontificate of John XXIII, whereas the second, in colour, presents that of John Paul II, the longest of the twentieth century.


Vatican City, 26 April 2014 (VIS) – Blessed Pope John XXIII was born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli at Sotto il Monte, Italy, in the Diocese of Bergamo on 25 November 1881. He was the fourth in a family of 14. The family worked as sharecroppers. It was a patriarchal family in the sense that the families of two brothers lived together, headed by his great-uncle Zaverio, who had never married and whose wisdom guided the work and other business of the family. Zaverio was Angelo's godfather, and to him he always attributed his first and most fundamental religious education. The religious atmosphere of his family and the fervent life of the parish, under the guidance of Fr. Francesco Rebuzzini, provided him with training in the Christian life.

He entered the Bergamo seminary in 1892. Here he began the practice of making spiritual notes, which he continued in one form or another until his death, and which have been gathered together in the “Journal of a Soul”. Here he also began the deeply cherished practice of regular spiritual direction. In 1896 he was admitted to the Secular Franciscan Order by the spiritual director of the Bergamo seminary, Fr. Luigi Isacchi; he made a profession of its Rule of life on 23 May 1897.

From 1901 to 1905 he was a student at the Pontifical Roman Seminary. On 10 August 1904 he was ordained a priest in the church of Santa Maria in Monte Santo in Rome's Piazza del Popolo. In 1905 he was appointed secretary to the new Bishop of Bergamo, Giacomo Maria Radini Tedeschi. He accompanied the Bishop in his pastoral visitations and collaborated with him in his many initiatives: a Synod, management of the diocesan bulletin, pilgrimages, social works. In the seminary he taught history, patrology and apologetics. He was an elegant, profound, effective and sought-after preacher.

These were the years of his deepening spiritual encounter with two saints who were outstanding pastors: St Charles Borromeo and St Francis de Sales. They were years, too, of deep pastoral involvement and apprenticeship, as he spent every day beside "his" Bishop, Radini Tedeschi. When the Bishop died in 1914, Fr. Angelo continued to teach in the seminary and to minister in various pastoral areas.

When Italy went to war in 1915 he was drafted as a sergeant in the medical corps and became a chaplain to wounded soldiers. When the war ended, he opened a "Student House" for the spiritual needs of young people.

In 1919 he was made spiritual director of the seminary, but in 1921 he was called to the service of the Holy See. Benedict XV brought him to Rome to be the Italian president of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. In 1925 Pius XI named him Apostolic Visitator in Bulgaria, raising him to the episcopate with the titular Diocese of Areopolis. For his Episcopal motto he chose Oboedientia et Pax, which became his guiding motto for the rest of his life.

On 19 March 1925 he was consecrated a Bishop and left for Bulgaria. He was granted the title of apostolic delegate and remained in Bulgaria until 1935, visiting Catholic communities and establishing relationships of respect and esteem with the other Christian communities. In the aftermath of the 1928 earthquake his solicitude was everywhere present. He endured in silence the misunderstandings and other difficulties of a ministry on the fringes of society, and thus refined his sense of trust and abandonment to Jesus crucified.

In 1935 he was appointed as apostolic delegate in Turkey and Greece. The Catholic Church was present in many ways in the young Turkish republic. His ministry among the Catholics was intense, and his respectful approach and dialogue with the worlds of Orthodoxy and Islam became a feature of his tenure. When the Second World War broke out he was in Greece. He tried to get news from the prisoners of war to their families and assisted many Jews to escape by issuing "transit visas" from the Apostolic Delegation. In December 1944 Pius XII appointed him Nuncio in France.

During the last months of the war and the beginning of peace he aided prisoners of war and helped to normalise the ecclesiastical organisation of France. He visited the great shrines of France and participated in popular feasts and in important religious celebrations. He was an attentive, prudent and positive observer of the new pastoral initiatives of the Bishops and clergy of France. His approach was always characterised by a striving for Gospel simplicity, even amid the most complex diplomatic questions. The sincere piety of his interior life found expression each day in prolonged periods of prayer and meditation. In 1953 he was created a Cardinal and sent to Venice as Patriarch. He was filled with joy at the prospect of ending his days in the direct care of souls, as he had always desired since becoming a priest. He was a wise and enterprising pastor, following the model pastors he had always venerated and walking in the footsteps of St Laurence Giustiniani, first Patriarch of Venice. As he advanced in years his trust in the Lord grew in the midst of energetic, enterprising and joyful pastoral labours.

At the death of Pius XII he was elected Pope on 28 October 1958, taking the name John XXIII. His pontificate, which lasted less than five years, presented him to the entire world as an authentic image of the Good Shepherd. Meek and gentle, enterprising and courageous, simple and active, he carried out the Christian duties of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy: visiting the imprisoned and the sick, welcoming those of every nation and faith, bestowing on all his exquisite fatherly care. His social magisterium in the Encyclicals Pacem in terris and Mater et Magistra was deeply appreciated.

He convoked the Roman Synod, established the Commission for the Revision of the Code of Canon Law and summoned the Second Vatican Council. He was present as Bishop in his Diocese of Rome through his visitation of the parishes, especially those in the new suburbs. The faithful saw in him a reflection of the goodness of God and called him "the good Pope". He was sustained by a profound spirit of prayer. He launched an extensive renewal of the Church, while radiating the peace of one who always trusted in the Lord. Pope John XXIII died on the evening of 3 June 1963, in a spirit of profound trust in Jesus and of longing for his embrace.

He was beatified by John Paul II on 3 September 2000. His liturgical feast day is 11 October, the day of the opening of Vatican Council II.

In his homily, John Paul II pronounced the following words about his predecessor:

“Today we contemplate in the glory of the Lord another Pontiff, John XXIII, the Pope who impressed the world with the friendliness of his manner which radiated the remarkable goodness of his soul. By divine design their beatification links these two Popes who lived in very different historical contexts but, beyond appearances, share many human and spiritual similarities. Pope John's deep veneration for Pius IX, to whose beatification he looked forward, is well known. During a spiritual retreat in 1959, he wrote in his diary: "I always think of Pius IX of holy and glorious memory, and by imitating him in his sacrifices, I would like to be worthy to celebrate his canonization" (Journal of a Soul, Ed. San Paolo, 2000, p. 560)”.

“Everyone remembers the image of Pope John's smiling face and two outstretched arms embracing the whole world. How many people were won over by his simplicity of heart, combined with a broad experience of people and things! The breath of newness he brought certainly did not concern doctrine, but rather the way to explain it; his style of speaking and acting was new, as was his friendly approach to ordinary people and to the powerful of the world. It was in this spirit that he called the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, thereby turning a new page in the Church's history: Christians heard themselves called to proclaim the Gospel with renewed courage and greater attentiveness to the "signs" of the times”.

“The Council was a truly prophetic insight of this elderly Pontiff who, even amid many difficulties, opened a season of hope for Christians and for humanity”.

“In the last moments of his earthly life, he entrusted his testament to the Church: "What counts the most in life is blessed Jesus Christ, his holy Church, his Gospel, truth and goodness". We too wish to receive this testament, as we glorify God for having given him to us as a Pastor”.


Vatican City, 26 April 2014 (VIS) – Karol Jozef Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his October 1978 election to the papacy, was born in the Polish town of Wadowice, a small city fifty kilometres from Krakow, on 18 May 1920. He was the youngest of three children born to Karol Wojtyla and Emilia Kaczorowska. His mother died in 1929. His eldest brother Edmund, a doctor, died in 1932 and his father, a non-commissioned army officer died in 1941. A sister, Olga, had died before he was born.

He was baptised on June 20, 1920 in the parish church of Wadowice by Fr. Franciszek Zak, made his First Holy Communion at age 9 and was confirmed at 18. Upon graduation from Marcin Wadowita high school in Wadowice, he enrolled in Krakow's Jagiellonian University in 1938 and in a school for drama.

The Nazi occupation forces closed the university in 1939 and young Karol had to work in a quarry (1940-1944) and then in the Solvay chemical factory to earn his living and to avoid being deported to Germany.

In 1942, aware of his call to the priesthood, he began courses in the clandestine seminary of Krakow, run by Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha, archbishop of Krakow. At the same time, Karol Wojtyla was one of the pioneers of the "Rhapsodic Theatre," also clandestine.

After the Second World War, he continued his studies in the major seminary of Krakow, once it had re-opened, and in the faculty of theology of the Jagiellonian University. He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Sapieha in Krakow on November 1, 1946.

Shortly afterwards, Cardinal Sapieha sent him to Rome where he worked under the guidance of the French Dominican, Garrigou-Lagrange. He finished his doctorate in theology in 1948 with a thesis on the subject of faith in the works of St. John of the Cross (Doctrina de fide apud Sanctum Ioannem a Cruce). At that time, during his vacations, he exercised his pastoral ministry among the Polish immigrants of France, Belgium and Holland.

In 1948 he returned to Poland and was vicar of various parishes in Krakow as well as chaplain to university students. This period lasted until 1951 when he again took up his studies in philosophy and theology. In 1953 he defended a thesis on "evaluation of the possibility of founding a Catholic ethic on the ethical system of Max Scheler" at Lublin Catholic University. Later he became professor of moral theology and social ethics in the major seminary of Krakow and in the Faculty of Theology of Lublin.

On July 4, 1958, he was appointed titular bishop of Ombi and auxiliary of Krakow by Pope Pius XII, and was consecrated September 28, 1958, in Wawel Cathedral, Krakow, by Archbishop Eugeniusz Baziak.

On January 13, 1964, he was appointed archbishop of Krakow by Pope Paul VI, who made him a cardinal June 26, 1967 with the title of S. Cesareo in Palatio of the order of deacons, later elevated pro illa vice to the order of priests.

Besides taking part in Vatican Council II (1962-1965) where he made an important contribution to drafting the Constitution Gaudium et spes, Cardinal Wojtyla participated in all the assemblies of the Synod of Bishops.

The Cardinals elected him Pope at the Conclave of 16 October 1978, and he took the name of John Paul II. On 22 October, the Lord's Day, he solemnly inaugurated his Petrine ministry as the 263rd successor to the Apostle. His pontificate, one of the longest in the history of the Church, lasted nearly 27 years.

Driven by his pastoral solicitude for all Churches and by a sense of openness and charity to the entire human race, John Paul II exercised the Petrine ministry with a tireless missionary spirit, dedicating it all his energy. He made 104 pastoral visits outside Italy and 146 within Italy. As bishop of Rome he visited 317 of the city's 333 parishes.

He had more meetings than any of his predecessors with the people of God and the leaders of nations. More than 17,600,000 pilgrims participated in the General Audiences held on Wednesdays (more than 1160), not counting other special audiences and religious ceremonies (more than 8 million pilgrims during the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 alone), and the millions of faithful he met during pastoral visits in Italy and throughout the world. We must also remember the numerous government personalities he encountered during 38 official visits, 738 audiences and meetings held with Heads of State, and 246 audiences and meetings with Prime Ministers.

His love for young people brought him to establish the World Youth Days. The 19 WYDs celebrated during his pontificate brought together millions of young people from all over the world. At the same time his care for the family was expressed in the World Meetings of Families, which he initiated in 1994.

John Paul II successfully encouraged dialogue with the Jews and with the representatives of other religions, whom he several times invited to prayer meetings for peace, especially in Assisi.

Under his guidance the Church prepared herself for the third millennium and celebrated the Great Jubilee of the year 2000 in accordance with the instructions given in the Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio adveniente. The Church then faced the new epoch, receiving his instructions in the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio ineunte, in which he indicated to the faithful their future path.

With the Year of the Redemption, the Marian Year and the Year of the Eucharist, he promoted the spiritual renewal of the Church.

He gave an extraordinary impetus to Canonizations and Beatifications, focusing on countless examples of holiness as an incentive for the people of our time. He celebrated 147 beatification ceremonies during which he proclaimed 1,338 Blesseds; and 51 canonizations for a total of 482 saints. He made Therese of the Child Jesus a Doctor of the Church.

He considerably expanded the College of Cardinals, creating 231 Cardinals (plus one in pectore) in 9 consistories. He also called six full meetings of the College of Cardinals.

He organized 15 Assemblies of the Synod of Bishops - six Ordinary General Assemblies (1980, 1983, 1987, 1990, 1994 and 2001), one Extraordinary General Assembly (1985) and eight Special Assemblies (1980,1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998 (2) and 1999).

His most important Documents include 14 Encyclicals, 15 Apostolic Exhortations, 11 Apostolic Constitutions, 45 Apostolic Letters.

He promulgated the Catechism of the Catholic Church in the light of Tradition as authoritatively interpreted by the Second Vatican Council. He also reformed the Eastern and Western Codes of Canon Law, created new Institutions and reorganized the Roman Curia.

As a private Doctor he also published five books of his own: "Crossing the Threshold of Hope" (October 1994), "Gift and Mystery, on the fiftieth anniversary of my ordination as priest" (November 1996), "Roman Triptych" poetic meditations (March 2003), "Arise, Let us Be Going" (May 2004) and "Memory and Identity" (February 2005).

In the light of Christ risen from the dead, on 2 April a.D. 2005, at 9.37 p.m., while Saturday was drawing to a close and the Lord's Day was already beginning, the Octave of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday, the Church's beloved Pastor, John Paul II, departed this world for the Father.

From that evening until April 8, date of the funeral of the late Pontiff, more than three million pilgrims came to Rome to pay homage to the mortal remains of the Pope. Some of them queued up to twenty-four hours to enter St. Peter's Basilica.

On April 28, the Holy Father Benedict XVI announced that the normal five-year waiting period before beginning the cause of beatification and canonization would be waived for John Paul II. The cause was officially opened by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general for the diocese of Rome, on June 28 2005.

He was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on 1 May 2011, who, in his homily, remembered him thus:

“Today our eyes behold, in the full spiritual light of the risen Christ, the beloved and revered figure of John Paul II. Today his name is added to the host of those whom he proclaimed saints and blesseds during the almost twenty-seven years of his pontificate, thereby forcefully emphasizing the universal vocation to the heights of the Christian life, to holiness, taught by the conciliar Constitution on the Church, Lumen gentium”.

“In his Testament, the new Blessed wrote: 'When, on 16 October 1978, the Conclave of Cardinals chose John Paul II, the Primate of Poland, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, said to me: "The task of the new Pope will be to lead the Church into the Third Millennium"'. And the Pope added: 'I would like once again to express my gratitude to the Holy Spirit for the great gift of the Second Vatican Council, to which, together with the whole Church - and especially with the whole episcopate - I feel indebted. I am convinced that it will long be granted to the new generations to draw from the treasures that this Council of the twentieth century has lavished upon us. As a Bishop who took part in the Council from the first to the last day, I desire to entrust this great patrimony to all who are and will be called in the future to put it into practice. For my part, I thank the Eternal Shepherd, who has enabled me to serve this very great cause in the course of all the years of my Pontificate'. And what is this 'cause'? It is the same one that John Paul II presented during his first solemn Mass in Saint Peter's Square in the unforgettable words: 'Do not be afraid! Open, open wide the doors to Christ!' What the newly-elected Pope asked of everyone, he was himself the first to do: society, culture, political and economic systems he opened up to Christ, turning back with the strength of a titan - a strength which came to him from God - a tide which appeared irreversible. By his witness of faith, love and apostolic courage, accompanied by great human charisma, this exemplary son of Poland helped believers throughout the world not to be afraid to be called Christian, to belong to the Church, to speak of the Gospel. In a word: he helped us not to fear the truth, because truth is the guarantee of liberty. To put it even more succinctly: he gave us the strength to believe in Christ, because Christ is Redemptor hominis, the Redeemer of man. This was the theme of his first encyclical, and the thread which runs though all the others”.

“When Karol Wojtyla ascended to the throne of Peter, he brought with him a deep understanding of the difference between Marxism and Christianity, based on their respective visions of man. This was his message: man is the way of the Church, and Christ is the way of man. With this message, which is the great legacy of the Second Vatican Council and of its 'helmsman', the Servant of God Pope Paul VI, John Paul II led the People of God across the threshold of the Third Millennium, which thanks to Christ he was able to call 'the threshold of hope'. Throughout the long journey of preparation for the great Jubilee he directed Christianity once again to the future, the future of God, which transcends history while nonetheless directly affecting it. He rightly reclaimed for Christianity that impulse of hope which had in some sense faltered before Marxism and the ideology of progress. He restored to Christianity its true face as a religion of hope, to be lived in history in an 'Advent' spirit, in a personal and communitarian existence directed to Christ, the fullness of humanity and the fulfilment of all our longings for justice and peace”.


Vatican City, 26 April 2014 (VIS) – A letter was published today, in Latin and dated 21 March, by which the Holy Father appoints Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, as his special envoy to the consecration of the shrine of St. Augustine of Hippo (recently restored) on the centenary of its elevation to a Basilica, which will take place in Annaba, Algeria on 2 May 2014. The mission accompanying the Cardinal will be composed of Msgr. Christian Mauvais, vicar general of the archdiocese of Algiers, and Fr. Michel Guillaud of the diocese of Constantine/Hippo.


Vatican City, 26 April 2014 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father received in audience:

- Juan Orlando Hernandez Alvarado, president of the Republic of Honduras, with his wife and entourage.

- King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium, and entourage.

- Bronislaw Komorowski, president of the Republic of Poland, with his wife and entourage.

Yesterday, Friday 25 April, the Holy Father received in audience Salvador Sanchez Ceren, president-elect of the Republic of El Salvador, with his wife and entourage.


Vatican City, 26 April 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Loikaw, Myanmar, presented by Bishop Sotero Phamo, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law, and has appointed Bishop Stephen Tjephe, auxiliary of the same diocese, as apostolic administrator “sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis”.

Friday, April 25, 2014


Vatican City, 25 April 2014 (VIS) – The bishops of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference, from South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland, were received in audience by Pope Francis this morning, at the end of their “ad limina” visit. Francis handed them his prepared address, in which he recalls the arduous labours of the missionaries and the men and women of these countries in sowing the seed of faith and reaching out to the people in the villages, towns and cities, and especially in the ever-expanding urban townships. He emphasised the “flourishing parishes, thriving often against very great odds: far distances between communities and a dearth of material resources”. He praised the efforts made for the preparation of permanent deacons and the formation of lay catechists to assist the clergy where there are few priests.

“Priests and religious brothers and sisters are of one mind and heart in their service of God’s most vulnerable sons and daughters: widows, single mothers, the divorced, children at risk and especially the several million AIDS orphans, many of whom head households in rural areas. Truly the richness and joy of the Gospel is being lived and shared by Catholics with others around them”. The Pope remarks that, despite the difficulties faced by Catholic minority communities in countries where many religions are present, “the richness and joy of the Gospel is being living and shared by Catholics with others around them”, and he prays that they “will continue to persevere in building up the Lord's Kingdom with their lives that testify to the truth, and with the work of their hands that ease the sufferings of so many”.

He notes the serious pastoral challenges communities face, according to the bishops, such as the declining birth rate which affects the number of vocations, the tendency of some Catholics to drift away from the Church in favour of other groups who seem to promise something better, and abortion, which “compounds the grief of many women who now carry within them deep physical and spiritual wounds after succumbing to the pressure of a secular culture which devalues God's gift of sexuality and the right to life of the unborn”. He adds, “the rate of separation and divorce is high, even in many Christian families, and children frequently do not grow up in a stable home environment. We also observe with great concern, and can only deplore, an increase in violence against women and children. All these realities threaten the sanctity of marriage, the stability of life in the home and consequently the life of society as a whole. In this sea of difficulties, we bishops and priests must give a consistent witness to the moral teaching of the Gospel”.

The Holy Father expresses his appreciation for the unity of the bishops with their people and their solidarity with the vast number of unemployed in their countries. “Most of your people can identify at once with Jesus Who was poor and marginalised, Who had no place to lay His head”. He asks the prelates to offer, alongside the material support they provide, “the greater support of spiritual assistance and sound moral guidance”. He also comments on the reduced number of priests and seminarians, and urges “the authentic promotion of vocations in every territory, a prudent selection of candidates for seminary studies, fatherly encouragement of those men in formation, and attentive accompaniment in the years after ordination”.

Likewise, he encourages the rediscovery of the sacrament of reconciliation, “as a fundamental dimension of the life of grace”, and emphasises that “Christian matrimony is a lifelong covenant of love between one man and one woman; it entails real sacrifices in order to turn away from illusory notions of sexual freedom and in order to foster conjugal fidelity”, and approves the bishops' programmes of preparation for the sacrament of marriage, which are “inspiring young people with new hope for themselves and for their future as husbands and wives, fathers and mothers”.

Finally, he refers to the bishops' concerns regarding the “breakdown of Christian morals, including a growing temptation to collude with dishonesty”, an issue the bishops addressed in their pastoral statement on corruption, in which they note that “corruption is theft from the poor … hurts the most vulnerable … harms the whole community … destroys our trust”. “The Christian community is called be be consistent in its witness to the virtues of honesty and integrity, so that we may stand before the Lord, and our neighbours, with clean hands and a pure heart, as a leaven of the Gospel in the life of society”. He concludes, “With this moral imperative in mind, I know that you will continue to address this and other grave social concerns, such as the plight of refugees and migrants. May these men and women always be welcomed by our Catholic communities, finding in them open hearts and homes as they seek to begin a new life”.


Vatican City, 25 April 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has sent a video message to the Polish faithful, compatriots of Pope John Paul II, and a written message to the citizens of Bergamo, the province in which the village of “Sotto il Monte”, birthplace of Pope John XXIII, is located.

In his video message, rebroadcast by Polish Television (TVP) and by Polish Radio, the Pope remarks that he is happy to be able to proclaim John Paul II a saint, and expresses his gratitude to the Polish Pope for his “tireless service, is spiritual guidance, for bringing the Church into the third millennium of faith, and for his extraordinary witness of holiness”. Francis recalls the words Pope Benedict XVI used to describe Pope Wojtyla in the homily of his beatification in May 2011: “society, culture, political and economic systems he opened up to Christ, turning back with the strength of a titan – a strength which came to him from God – a tide which appeared irreversible. By his witness of faith, love and apostolic courage, accompanied by great human charisma, this exemplary son of Poland helped believers throughout the world not to be afraid to be called Christian, to belong to the Church, to speak of the Gospel. In a word: he helped us not to fear the truth, because truth is the guarantee of liberty”.

In his message to the citizens of Bergamo, published in the daily newspaper “L'Eco di Bergamo” with which Pope Roncalli collaborated during the years of his priesthood, he invites them to “give thanks to God for his holiness, a great gift to the universal Church”, and he encourages them to “conserve the memory of the land in which it germinated: a land of profound faith lived in daily life, in families that are poor but united by the love of the Lord, of communities capable of sharing in simplicity”.

The Holy Father comments that “the renewal brought by Vatican Council II opened up the way, and it is a special joy that the canonisation of Pope Roncalli should take place alongside that of Blessed John Paul II, who continued this renewal during his long pontificate”. He expresses his hope that “civil society too may always draw inspiration from the life of Bergamo's Pope and from the environment that he generated, searching new ways, adapted to the times, of building co-existence based on the perennial values of fraternity and solidarity”.


Vatican City, 25 April 2014 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon celebrated Mass in the Roman church of St. Ignatius of Loyola to give thanks for the canonisation of the Jesuit father St. Jose de Anchieta S.J. (1534-1597), evangeliser of Brazil, linguist, dramatist and founder of the cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980, Pope Francis extended his liturgical cult to the universal Church on 3 April, a process equivalent to canonisation.

In his homily, the Pope commented on the Gospel story of the disciples of Emmaus who relate their experience to Peter, who has also seen the Risen Christ; then shortly after Christ Himself appears in the room. “The disciples cannot believe their joy; they cannot believe because of their joy”, he said. “It is a moment of wonder, of encounter with Jesus Christ, in which there seems to be too much joy to be true; indeed, to assume the joy and wonder of that moment seems risky to us and we are tempted to take refuge in scepticism, in 'not exaggerating'. It is easier to believe in a spirit than in the living Christ! It is easier to go to a necromancer who predicts the future, who reads cards, than to trust in the hope of a triumphant Christ, a Christ who vanquishes death! An idea or imagination is easier to believe than the docility of this Lord who rises again from death, and what he invites us to! This process of relativising faith ends up distancing us from the encounter, distancing us from God's caress. It is as if we 'distilled' the reality of the encounter with Jesus Christ in the still of fear, in the still of excessive security, of wanting to control the encounter ourselves. The disciples were afraid of joy … and so are we”.

He went on to speak about the reading from the Acts of the Apostles which narrates the healing of the paralytic, prostrate at the door of the Temple, begging. Peter and John were unable to give him anything he sought: neither gold nor silver, but they cure him by offering him what they have: the name of Jesus. The crippled man's joy is contagious and, in the midst of the hubbub Peter announces the message. “The joy of the encounter with Jesus Christ, which it is so frightening for us to accept, is infectious and cries out the message: and this is how the Church grows! The paralytic believes, because 'the Church does not grow by proselytism, but by attraction'; the testimonial attraction of this joy that proclaims Jesus Christ. It is a witness born of joy, accepted and then transformed into proclamation. It is the foundational joy … without this joy, a Church cannot be founded! A Christian community cannot be established! It is an apostolic joy that irradiates and expands”.

Also St. Jose de Anchieta knew how to communicate what he had experienced with the Lord, what he had seen and heard from Him … and, along with Nobrega, he was the first Jesuit Ignatius send to America. He was a boy aged nineteen. He had so much joy that he was able to found a nation: he put in place the cultural foundations of a nation, in Jesus Christ. He had not studied theology, and he had not studied philosophy; he was a boy! But he had felt the gaze of Jesus Christ, and he had let himself be filled with joy, and chose light. This was and is his holiness. He was not afraid of joy”.

The Bishop of Rome concluded by mentioning that St. Jose de Anchieta had a beautiful hymn to the Virgin Mary, to whom he compared the message of peace, that proclaims the joy of the Good News. “May she, who in that Sunday dawn, sleepless with hope, was not afraid of joy, accompany us on our pilgrimage, inviting us all to rise, to set our paralyses aside, to enter together into the peace and joy that Jesus, the Risen Lord, promises us”.


Vatican City, 25 April 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Thirteen prelates of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference:

- Bishop Xolelo Thaddeus Kumalo of Eshowe;

- Bishop Zolile Peter Mpambani of Kokstad;

- Bishop Pius Mlungisi Dlungwane of Mariannhill;

- Bishop Stanisław Jan Dziuba of Umzimkulu;

- Archbishop Buti Joseph Tlhagale of Johannesburg, apostolic administrator “Sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis” of Klerksdorp;

- Bishop Jose Luis Gerardo Ponce de Leon of Manzini, Swaziland, apostolic administrator “Sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis” of the apostolic vicariate of Ingwavuma;

- Bishop Giuseppe Sandri of Witbank;

- Archbishop William Matthew Slattery of Pretoria, military ordinary for South Africa;

- Bishop Valentine Tsama Seane of Gaborone, Botswana;

- Bishop Jeremiah Madimetja Masela of Polokwane;

- Bishop Kevin Dowling of Rustenburg;

- Bishop Joao Noe Rodrigues of Tzaneen;

- Bishop Frank Atese Nubuasah of Pauzera, apostolic vicar of Francistown, Botswana.

- Cardinal Polycarp Pengo, archbishop of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

- Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.


Vatican City, 25 April 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:

- appointed Rev. Paul Simick as apostolic vicar of Nepal (area 147,180, population 28,610,000, Catholics 7,950, priests 71, religious 170). The bishop-elect was born in Gitdubling, India in 1963 and was ordained a priest in 1992. He holds a licentiate and a doctorate in biblical theology from the Pontifical Urbaniana University, Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including priest of the “Christ the King” parish, Pakyong, India; dean of the East Sikkim Deanery; bursar and subsequently deputy head of St. Xavier's School, Pakyong. He succeeds Bishop Anthony Francis Sharma, S.J., whose resignation upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

- appointed Archbishop Anselmo Guido Pecorari, formerly apostolic nuncio in Uruguay, as apostolic nuncio in Bulgaria.


Vatican City, 25 April 2014 (VIS) – We inform our readers that, due to the canonisation of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II this coming Sunday, the Vatican Information Service will transmit special editions of its daily bulletin on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 April.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Vatican City, 24 April 2014 (VIS) – This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace the Holy Father Francis received in audience the prime minister of the Republic of Albania, Edi Rama, who subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

During the cordial discussions, the Parties remarked upon the good relations between the Holy See and the Republic of Albania, and focused on themes of common interest regarding the relations between the ecclesial and civil communities, including interreligious dialogue and the contribution of the Church to the common good of Albanian society.

Attention then turned to the principal regional issues and Albania’s progress towards full integration within the European Union.


Vatican City, 24 April 2014 (VIS) – This morning the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., issued the following statement:

“Several telephone calls have taken place in the context of Pope Francis’ personal pastoral relationships. Since they do not in any way form part of the Pope's public activities, no information is to be expected from the Holy See Press Office. That which has been communicated in relation to this matter, outside the scope of personal relationships, and the consequent media amplification, cannot be confirmed as reliable, and is a source of misunderstanding and confusion. Therefore, consequences relating to the teaching of the Church are not to be inferred from these occurrences”.


Vatican City, April 2014 (VIS) – Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran and Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.J., respectively president and secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, have signed the message that this dicastery sends each year to followers of Buddhism on the festival of Vesakh.

Vesakh is the principal Buddhist holy day that commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha. According to tradition, the historical Buddha was born, achieved enlightenment and passed away during the full moon of the month of May; therefore, the date on which Vesakh is celebrated varies from year to year and from country to country. On those days, Buddhists visit local temples to offer the monks food and to hear the teachings of the Buddha, taking special care to meditate and to observe the eight precepts of Buddhism.

This year's message is entitled: “Buddhists and Christians: Together Fostering Fraternity”. Extensive extracts from the text are published below:

“Our cordial greetings this year are inspired by Pope Francis’ Message for the World Day of Peace 2014, entitled Fraternity, the Foundation and Pathway to Peace. There, Pope Francis observes that 'fraternity is an essential human quality, for we are relational beings. A lively awareness of our relatedness helps us to look upon and to treat each person as a true sister or brother; without fraternity it is impossible to build a just society and a solid and lasting peace.

Your religious tradition inspires the conviction that friendly relations, dialogue, the sharing of gifts, and the respectful and harmonious exchange of views lead to attitudes of kindness and love which in turn generate authentic and fraternal relationships. You are also convinced that the root of all evil is the ignorance and misunderstanding born of greed and hatred, which in turn destroy the bonds of fraternity. Unfortunately, 'daily acts of selfishness, which are at the root of so many wars and so much injustice', prevent us from seeing others 'as beings made for reciprocity, for communion and self-giving'.

As Buddhists and Christians, we live in a world all too often torn apart by oppression, selfishness, tribalism, ethnic rivalry, violence and religious fundamentalism, a world where the 'other' is treated as an inferior, a non-person, or someone to be feared and eliminated if possible. Yet, we are called, in a spirit of cooperation with other pilgrims and with people of good will, to respect and to defend our shared humanity in a variety of socio-economic, political and religious contexts. Drawing upon our different religious convictions, we are called especially to be outspoken in denouncing all those social ills which damage fraternity; to be healers who enable others to grow in selfless generosity, and to be reconcilers who break down the walls of division and foster genuine brotherhood between individuals and groups in society.

Our world today is witnessing a growing sense of our common humanity and a global quest for a more just, peaceful and fraternal world. But the fulfilment of these hopes depends on a recognition of universal values. We hope that interreligious dialogue will contribute, in the recognition of the fundamental principles of universal ethics, to fostering a renewed and deepened sense of unity and fraternity among all the members of the human family. Indeed, 'each one of us is called to be an artisan of peace, by uniting and not dividing, by extinguishing hatred and not holding on to it, by opening paths to dialogue and not by constructing new walls! Let us dialogue and meet each other in order to establish a culture of dialogue in the world, a culture of encounter!'.

To build a world of fraternity, it is vitally important that we join forces to educate people, particularly the young, to seek fraternity, to live in fraternity and to dare to build fraternity. We pray that your celebration of Vesakh will be an occasion to rediscover and promote fraternity anew, especially in our divided societies”.


Vatican City, April 2014 (VIS) – “Why do you seek the living one among the dead?”. With this question Pope Francis began his first catechesis following Holy Week, on the feast of St. George, the Holy Father's name day. He continued, “How often we look for life among dead things, things that cannot give life, that are here today and gone tomorrow!”.

The Pope explained that these words help us “when we close ourselves within any form of selfishness or complacency; when we allow ourselves to be seduced by earthly powers and the things of this world, forgetting God and neighbour; when we place our trust in worldly vanities, in money, in success”, and he commented that for us, as for Thomas and Mary Magdalene, “it is not easy to open oneself to Jesus; it is not obvious to accept he life of the Risen Christ and His presence among us”.

“This question helps us resist the temptation to look back, to what was yesterday, and pushes us forward into the future. … Today this question is also addressed to us. You, why are you looking among the dead for one who is alive? You, who close in on yourself after a failure or who no longer have the strength to pray? You who feel alone, abandoned by friends, and perhaps even by God? You who have lost hope or you who feel imprisoned by your sins? You who aspire to beauty, spiritual perfection, justice, peace?”.

“We need to hear ourselves repeat and remind each other of the angel’s admonition”, concluded the Holy Father, “since it helps us to emerge from our moments of sadness and opens up horizons of joy and hope. That hope that removes stones from graves and encourages us to proclaim the Good News, capable of generating new life for others. … Let us not seek among those many tombs that promise everything and give nothing!”.


Vatican City, 23 April 2014 (VIS) – Following today's general audience, the Holy Father launched an appeal for the workers of the Lucchini steelworks in Piombino, which closed down a few days ago causing mass layoffs. Pope Francis urged them not to despair, remarking that “when human hopes are extinguished, the divine hope that never disappoints always remains alive”. He appealed to those in positions of responsibility to use all their creativity and generosity “to reignite hope in the hearts of our brothers and sisters and in the hearts of all those who have been left jobless as a result of waste and the economic crisis. Please, open your eyes and don’t stand there with your arms crossed!”


Vatican City, 24 April 2014 (VIS) – The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today announced that on Sunday, 27 April, at 6 p.m., Cardinal Philippe Nakellentuba Ouedraogo, archbishop of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, will take possession of the title of St. Mary the Consoler at Tiburtino (Via de Casal Bertone, 80).


Vatican City, 24 April 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Fourteen prelates of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference on their “ad limina” visit:

- Archbishop Jabulani Adatus Nxumalo of Bloemfontaine;

- Bishop Jan de Groef of Bethlehem;

- Bishop Edward Gabriele Risi of Keimoes-Upington;

- Bishop Abel Gabuza of Kimberley;

- Bishop Peter John Holiday of Kroonstad;

- Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town;

- Bishop Michael Wusternberg of Aliwal;

- Bishop Adam Leszek Musialek of De Aar;

- Bishop Francisco Fortunato De Gouveia of Oudtshoorn;

- Bishop Vincent Mduduzi Zungu of Port Elizabeth;

- Bishop Dabula Anton Mpako of Queenstown;

- Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, archbishop of Durban, with his auxiliary Bishop Barry Alexander Anthony Wood;

- Bishop Thomas Graham Rose of Dundee.

- Bishop Lazzaro You Heung-sik of Daejeon, South Korea.

- Cardinal Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy.


Vatican City, 24 April 2014 (VIS) – On Friday 18 the Holy Father accepted the resignation of Rev. Dom Umberto Beda Paluzzi, O.S.B., from the pastoral care of the territorial abbey of Montevergine in Italy, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

On Thursday, 17 April, the Holy Father:

- appointed Rev. Jose Augusto Traquina Maria as auxiliary of the patriarchate of Lisbon (area 3,735, population 2,237,000, Catholics 1,871,000, priests 551, permanent deacons 86, religious 1,516), Portugal. The bishop-elect was born in Alcobaca, Portugal in 1954 and was ordained a priest in 1985. He holds a licentiate in theology from the Portuguese Catholic University. He has held a number of pastoral roles, including canon of the Cathedral of Lisbon, vicar, coordinator of the permanent secretariat of the diocesan presbyteral council, and spiritual director.

- appointed Jose Trinidad Fernandez Angulo as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Caracas (area 991, population 4,644,000, Catholics 3,960,000, priests 490, permanent deacons 9, religious 1,597), Venezuela. The bishop-elect was born in Merida, Venezuela in 1964 and was ordained a priest in 1989. He holds a licentiate in philosophy from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and has held a number of pastoral roles, including director of studies, deputy director of various seminaries, and professor.

- Rev. Can. Francisco Jose Villas-Boas Senra de Faria Coelho, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Braga (area 2,857, population 964,800, Catholics 886,700, priests 465, permanent deacons 12, religious 676), Portugal. The bishop-elect was born in Mozambique in 1961 and was ordained a priest in 1986. He studied theology and philosophy, and holds a licentiate in history of the Church from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. In 2008 he was awarded a doctorate from the Phoenix International University in the U.S.A. During his pastoral ministry he has served as a professor of theology, spiritual director, canon of the Cathedral, parish priest and religious assistant.



Vatican City, 17 April 2014 (VIS) – At 9.30 this morning, in the Vatican Basilica, Pope Francis presided over the Holy Chrism Mass which is celebrated today, Holy Thursday, in all Cathedral Churches throughout the world. The Holy Father concelebrated with the Cardinals, Bishops and priests (diocesan and religious) present in Rome. During the Eucharistic celebration, the priests renewed the vows they made on the day of their ordination; the oils used for catechumens, to anoint the sick, and for confirmation were then blessed. Following the Gospel reading, the Pope pronounced the following homily:

“In the eternal 'today' of Holy Thursday, when Christ showed his love for us to the end, we recall the happy day of the institution of the priesthood, as well as the day of our own priestly ordination. The Lord anointed us in Christ with the oil of gladness, and this anointing invites us to accept and appreciate this great gift: the gladness, the joy of being a priest. Priestly joy is a priceless treasure, not only for the priest himself but for the entire faithful people of God: that faithful people from which he is called to be anointed and which he, in turn, is sent to anoint.

Anointed with the oil of gladness so as to anoint others with the oil of gladness. Priestly joy has its source in the Father’s love, and the Lord wishes the joy of this Love to be 'ours' and to be 'complete'. I like to reflect on joy by contemplating Our Lady, for Mary, the 'Mother of the living Gospel, is a wellspring of joy for God’s little ones'. I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that the priest is very little indeed: the incomparable grandeur of the gift granted us for the ministry sets us among the least of men. The priest is the poorest of men unless Jesus enriches him by his poverty, the most useless of servants unless Jesus calls him his friend, the most ignorant of men unless Jesus patiently teaches him as he did Peter, the frailest of Christians unless the Good Shepherd strengthens him in the midst of the flock. No one is more 'little' than a priest left to his own devices; and so our prayer of protection against every snare of the Evil One is the prayer of our Mother: I am a priest because he has regarded my littleness. And in that littleness we find our joy. Joy in our littleness!

For me, there are three significant features of our priestly joy. It is a joy which anoints us (not one which 'greases' us, making us unctuous, sumptuous and presumptuous), it is a joy which is imperishable and it is a missionary joy which spreads and attracts, starting backwards – with those farthest away from us.

A joy which anoints us. In a word: it has penetrated deep within our hearts, it has shaped them and strengthened them sacramentally. The signs of the ordination liturgy speak to us of the Church’s maternal desire to pass on and share with others all that the Lord has given us: the laying on of hands, the anointing with sacred chrism, the clothing with sacred vestments, the first consecration which immediately follows … Grace fills us to the brim and overflows, fully, abundantly and entirely in each priest. We are anointed down to our very bones … and our joy, which wells up from deep within, is the echo of this anointing.

An imperishable joy. The fullness of the Gift, which no one can take away or increase, is an unfailing source of joy: an imperishable joy which the Lord has promised no one can take from us. It can lie dormant, or be clogged by sin or by life’s troubles, yet deep down it remains intact, like the embers of a burnt log beneath the ashes, and it can always be renewed. Paul’s exhortation to Timothy remains ever timely: I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands.

A missionary joy. I would like especially to share with you and to stress this third feature: priestly joy is deeply bound up with God’s holy and faithful people, for it is an eminently missionary joy. Our anointing is meant for anointing God’s holy and faithful people: for baptising and confirming them, healing and sanctifying them, blessing, comforting and evangelising them.

And since this joy is one which only springs up when the shepherd is in the midst of his flock (for even in the silence of his prayer, the shepherd who worships the Father is with his sheep), it is a 'guarded joy', watched over by the flock itself. Even in those gloomy moments when everything looks dark and a feeling of isolation takes hold of us, in those moments of listlessness and boredom which at times overcome us in our priestly life (and which I too have experienced), even in those moments God’s people are able to 'guard' that joy; they are able to protect you, to embrace you and to help you open your heart to find renewed joy.

A 'guarded joy': one guarded by the flock but also guarded by three sisters who surround it, tend it and defend it: sister poverty, sister fidelity and sister obedience.

The joy of priests is a joy which is sister to poverty. The priest is poor in terms of purely human joy. He has given up so much! And because he is poor, he, who gives so much to others, has to seek his joy from the Lord and from God’s faithful people. He doesn’t need to try to create it for himself. We know that our people are very generous in thanking priests for their slightest blessing and especially for the sacraments. Many people, in speaking of the crisis of priestly identity, fail to realise that identity presupposes belonging. There is no identity – and consequently joy of life – without an active and unwavering sense of belonging to God’s faithful people. The priest who tries to find his priestly identity by soul-searching and introspection may well encounter nothing more than 'exit' signs, signs that say: exit from yourself, exit to seek God in adoration, go out and give your people what was entrusted to you, for your people will make you feel and taste who you are, what your name is, what your identity is, and they will make you rejoice in that hundredfold which the Lord has promised to those who serve him. Unless you 'exit' from yourself, the oil grows rancid and the anointing cannot be fruitful. Going out from ourselves presupposes self-denial; it means poverty.

Priestly joy is a joy which is sister to fidelity. Not primarily in the sense that we are all 'immaculate' (would that by God’s grace we were!), for we are sinners, but in the sense of an ever renewed fidelity to the one Bride, to the Church. Here fruitfulness is key. The spiritual children which the Lord gives each priest, the children he has baptised, the families he has blessed and helped on their way, the sick he has comforted, the young people he catechises and helps to grow, the poor he assists… all these are the 'Bride' whom he rejoices to treat as his supreme and only love and to whom he is constantly faithful. It is the living Church, with a first name and a last name, which the priest shepherds in his parish or in the mission entrusted to him. That mission brings him joy whenever he is faithful to it, whenever he does all that he has to do and lets go of everything that he has to let go of, as long as he stands firm amid the flock which the Lord has entrusted to him: Feed my sheep.

Priestly joy is a joy which is sister to obedience. An obedience to the Church in the hierarchy which gives us, as it were, not simply the external framework for our obedience: the parish to which I am sent, my ministerial assignments, my particular work … but also union with God the Father, the source of all fatherhood. It is likewise an obedience to the Church in service: in availability and readiness to serve everyone, always and as best I can, following the example of 'Our Lady of Promptness' who hastens to serve Elizabeth her kinswoman and is concerned for the kitchen of Cana when the wine runs out. The availability of her priests makes the Church a house with open doors, a refuge for sinners, a home for people living on the streets, a place of loving care for the sick, a camp for the young, a classroom for catechising children about to make their First Communion… Wherever God’s people have desires or needs, there is the priest, who knows how to listen (ob-audire) and feels a loving mandate from Christ who sends him to relieve that need with mercy or to encourage those good desires with resourceful charity.

All who are called should know that genuine and complete joy does exist in this world: it is the joy of being taken from the people we love and then being sent back to them as dispensers of the gifts and counsels of Jesus, the one Good Shepherd who, with deep compassion for all the little ones and the outcasts of this earth, wearied and oppressed like sheep without a shepherd, wants to associate many others to his ministry, so as himself to remain with us and to work, in the person of his priests, for the good of his people.

On this Holy Thursday, I ask the Lord Jesus to enable many young people to discover that burning zeal which joy kindles in our hearts as soon as we have the stroke of boldness needed to respond willingly to his call.

On this Holy Thursday, I ask the Lord Jesus to preserve the joy sparkling in the eyes of the recently ordained who go forth to devour the world, to spend themselves fully in the midst of God's faithful people, rejoicing as they prepare their first homily, their first Mass, their first Baptism, their first confession… It is the joy of being able to share with wonder, and for the first time as God’s anointed, the treasure of the Gospel and to feel the faithful people anointing you again and in yet another way: by their requests, by bowing their heads for your blessing, by taking your hands, by bringing you their children, by pleading for their sick… Preserve, Lord, in your young priests the joy of going forth, of doing everything as if for the first time, the joy of spending their lives fully for you.

On this Thursday of the priesthood, I ask the Lord Jesus to confirm the priestly joy of those who have already ministered for some years. The joy which, without leaving their eyes, is also found on the shoulders of those who bear the burden of the ministry, those priests who, having experienced the labours of the apostolate, gather their strength and rearm themselves: 'get a second wind', as the athletes say. Lord, preserve the depth, wisdom and maturity of the joy felt by these older priests. May they be able to pray with Nehemiah: 'the joy of the Lord is my strength'.

Finally, on this Thursday of the priesthood, I ask the Lord Jesus to make better known the joy of elderly priests, whether healthy or infirm. It is the joy of the Cross, which springs from the knowledge that we possess an imperishable treasure in perishable earthen vessels. May these priests find happiness wherever they are; may they experience already, in the passage of the years, a taste of eternity (Guardini). May they know, Lord, the joy of handing on the torch, the joy of seeing new generations of their spiritual children, and of hailing the promises from afar, smiling and at peace, in that hope which does not disappoint”.

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