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Monday, February 10, 2014


Vatican City, 9 February 2014 (VIS) – At midday today Pope Francis appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square and, before the Marian prayer, he commented on this Sunday's Gospel reading in which Jesus says to his disciples, “You are the salt of the earth … You are the light of the world”.

“It is rather surprising, if we consider to whom Jesus addressed these words. Who were those disciples? They were fishermen, simple people. But Jesus saw them through God's eyes, and his statement may be understood precisely as a consequence of the Beatitudes. He meant to say, if you are poor in spirit, if you are meek, if you are pure of heart, if you are merciful .. you will be the salt of the earth and the light of the world!”

And to better understand the meaning of Christ's phrase, the Holy Father explained that Jewish law prescribed the addition of a little salt to every offering presented to God, as a sign of alliance, and light was for Israel the symbol of the messianic revelation, triumphant over the darkness of paganism. “Christians, the new Israel, therefore received a mission in relation to all mankind: with faith and charity they were able to guide, consecrate and make fruitful all humanity. We all, as baptised persons, are missionary disciples, and are called to become a living gospel in the world: by a holy life we bring 'flavour' to many contexts, and defend them against corruption, like salt; and we will bring the light of Christ with our witness of true charity”.

But if we Christians “lose our flavour, and renounce our presence as salt and light, we lose our effectiveness. But our mission to bring light to the world is beautiful! … And it is also beautiful to preserve the light we have received from Jesus. … The Christian must be a luminous person, who brings light, who always gives light! … A light that is not his or hers, but rather a gift from God, and a gift from Jesus. And we bring this light. If the Christian allows this light to be extinguished, his life no longer has meaning; he is a Christian by name only”.

The Pope concluded by asking the faithful in the square if they wanted to live as shining lamps or as lights that had gone out; when they responded, “Shining lamps!”, he added, “It is God himself who gives us this light, and we offer it to others. Shining lamps! This is the Christian vocation”.


Vatican City, 9 February 2014 (VIS) – Following today's Angelus prayer, the Pope recalled that next Tuesday, 11 February, the feast of the Virgin of Lourdes, will also be World Day of the Sick, “a propitious occasion for placing the sick at the centre of the community”, and he asked all those present to pray for them and with them, and to be close to those suffering ill-health. “In particular, let us imitate Jesus' attitude towards the sick, those who suffered from every type of malady: the Lord cares for all, shares in their suffering and opens hearts to hope”.

He also gave thanks to all healthcare professionals for their valuable work. “Every day they encounter in the sick not merely bodies marked by fragility, but also people, to whom appropriate attention and responses must be given. The dignity of the person is never reduced to his or her faculties or capacities, and is no less when that person is weak, disabled or in need of help. I also think of families, where it is normal to care for those who are sick; but at times the situation can become more difficult. ... Many people write to me, and today I would like to assure a prayer to all these families, and I say to them: do not be afraid of fragility! Help each other with love, and you will all be aware of God's consoling presence”.

The Bishop of Rome mentioned that in these days the Winter Olympics will begin in Sochi, Russia, and greeted all the organisers and athletes, expressing his hope that it will be “a true celebration of sport and friendship”.

Finally, Pope Francis offered some words to those affected by natural disasters in various countries, including those here in Rome. He assured them of his closeness and commented, “nature challenges us to be united and attentive in caring for his Creation, also to prevent, as far as possible, the most serious consequences”.


Vatican City, 8 February 2014 (VIS) – The Church in Sri Lanka was consecrated to the Virgin seventy-five years ago, and to mark this occasion, the faithful of the island have made a pilgrimage to Rome, where they were greeted this morning by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Basilica. The Holy Father commented that shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, the archbishop of Colombo, Jean-Marie Masson, made a vow to build a shrine in honour of Our Lady if the island were preserved from foreign invasion. So it came about that after the end of the war the Shrine of Our Lady of Lanka at Tewatte was constructed.

“Our Lady is always close to us, she looks upon each one of us with maternal love and accompanies us always on our journey”, said the Pontiff. “Do not hesitate to turn to her for every need, especially when the burden of life with all its problems makes itself felt”.

“Your homeland is called the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, on account of its natural beauty and its shape”, he continued. “They say that the pearl is formed from the tears of the oyster. Unfortunately, many tears have been shed in recent years, on account of the internal conflict which caused so many victims and so much damage. It is not easy, I know, to heal the wounds and cooperate with yesterday’s enemy to build tomorrow together, but it is the only path that gives hope for the future, for development and for peace. For this reason, I assure you that you have a particular place in my prayer. I ask the Lord to grant you the gift of peace and reconciliation, and to help you in your effort to ensure a better future for all who live in Sri Lanka”.

The Pope concluded by entrusting the faithful to the maternal intercession of Mary, Our Lady of Lanka, and asked them to pray for him.


Vatican City, 7 February 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During the audience he authorised the promulgation of decrees concerning the following causes:


- Servant of God Francesco Zirano, Italian professed priest of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual killed in hatred of the faith in Algiers, Algeria, Czech Republic in 1603.

- Servants of God Paolo Yun Ji-chung, layperson, and 123 companions killed in hatred of the faith in Korea between 1791 and 1888.


- Servant of God Jesus Maria Echavarria y Aguirre, Mexican bishop of Saltillo and founder of the Guadalupan Catechist Sisters (1858-1954).

- Servant of God Faustino Ghilardi (ne Guglielmo Giacomo), Italian professed priest of the Order of Friars Minor (1858-1937)

- Servant of God Maria Rocio of Jesus Crucified (nee Maria Rafaela Rodriguez Xuarez de la Guardia), Spanish professed nun of the Congregation of Sisters of the Love of God (1923-1956).


Vatican City, 8 February 2014 (VIS) – In a letter made public today, written in Latin and dated 16 January, the Holy Father nominated Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, as his special envoy to Panama for the concluding celebrations for the jubilee year for the fifth centenary of the erection of the first diocese (Santa Maria la Antigua) on the American Continent, scheduled to take place from 14-15 February 2014.


Vatican City, 10 February 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

- Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar general of His Holiness for the diocese of Rome.

- Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

- Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia of Turin, Italy.

On Saturday, 8 February, the Holy Father received in audience:

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

Nineteen prelates of the Polish Episcopal Conference on their “ad limina” visit:

- Archbishop Andrzej Dziega of Szczecin-Kamien, with his auxiliary, Bishop Marian Blazej Kruszylowicz, O.F.M. Conv.;

- Bishop Edward Dajczak of Koszalin-Kolobrzeg, with his auxiliary, Bishop Krzysztof Zadarko;

- Bishop Stefan Regmunt of Zielona Gora-Gorzow, with his auxiliary, Bishop Tadeusz Litynski, and former auxiliary, Bishop Pawel Socha, C.M.;

- Archbishop Slawoj Leszek Glodz of Gdansk, with Archbishop emeritus Tadeusz Goclowski, C.M.M

- Bishop Ryszard Kasyna of Pelplin, with his auxiliary, Bishop Wieslaw Smigiel;

- Bishop Andrzej Wojciech Suski of Turun, with his auxiliary, Bishop Jozef Szamocki;

- Archbishop Wojciech Ziemba of Warmia, with his auxiliary, Bishop Jacek Jezierski;

- Bishop Jan Styrna of Elblag, with his auxiliary, Bishop Jozef Wysocki;

- Bishop Jerzy Mazur, S.V.D. of Elk, with his auxiliary, Bishop Romuald Kaminski.

- Cardinal Julian Herranz.


Vatican City, 10 February 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:

- appointed Rev. Moses Hamungole as bishop of Monze (area 61,160, population 1,682,000, Catholics 302,205, priests 81, religious 166), Zambia. The bishop-elect was born in Kafue, Zambia in 1967 and was ordained a priest in 1994. He holds a licentiate in social communications from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and a doctorate in social communications from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. He has served in the following pastoral and administrative roles: vicar of the “New Kanyama” and “Railway-Chowa” parishes, director of Radio Yatsani and the communications office of the archdiocese of Lusaka, secretary for communications for the AMECEA in Nairobi, Kenya, and president of SIGNIS, Africa. He is currently director of English and Kishwahili programmes for Vatican Radio. He succeeds Bishop Emilio Patriarca, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, upon having reached the age limit, was accepted by the Holy Father.

- appointed Msgr. Demetrio Jiminez Sanchez-Mariscal, O.S.A., as bishop prelate of the territorial prelature of Cafayate (area 46,847, population 64,572, Catholics 57,352, priests 13, permanent deacons 1, religious 31), Argentina. The bishop-elect was born in Los Carralbos, Spain in 1963, took his perpetual vows in 1986 and was ordained a priest in 1988. He holds a licentiate in philosophy from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome, and a Master's degree in Science of Religions from the Pontifical Comillas University of Madrid, Spain. He has served in a number of pastoral and academic roles, including professor and bursar of the monastery of Santa Maria de la Vid, Burgos, Spain, vicar of the parish of San Manuel y San Benito, Madrid, vicarial secretary of the Agostinian region of San Jose, Argentina, regional vicar of the Agostinian Order in Argentina and Uruguay, priest of San Agustin in Buenos Aires, lecturer in the Tagaste Agostinian centre for theological studies and in the Instituto Teologico Escurialense, affiliated to the Pontifical University of Salamanca, visiting professor in theology of religions and interreligious dialogue in the Centro di Misionologia del Cono Sur Juan Pablo II, co-ordinator general and ordinary professor of the Escuela di Teologia y Ciencias Religiosas of the prelature of Cafayate, adjunct professor of philosophy at the Catholic University of Argentina, and associate professor in the faculty of philosophy at the St. Thomas Aquinas University in Buenos Aires. He currently works in the “Nuesta Senora de la Candelaria” parish and legal representative of the San Agustin college in Catamarca, Cafayate. He succeeds Bishop Mariano Anastasio Moreno Garcia, O.S.A., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same territorial prelature, upon having reached the age limit, was accepted by the Holy Father.

On Saturday, 8 February, the Holy Father:

- appointed Msgr. Fabio Fabene, office head of the Congregation for Bishops, as under-secretary of the Synod of Bishops.

- appointed Rev. John Keenan as bishop of Paisley (area 580, population 372,800, Catholics 88,600, priests 58, permanent deacons 6, religious 37), Scotland. The bishop-elect was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1964 and was ordained a priest in 1995. He holds a “Bachelor of Laws” degree from the University of Glasgow, a licentiate in philosophy and a baccalaureate in theology from the Gregorian Pontifical University. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including vicar of the parish of “Christ the King” in King's Park, and chaplain of the Holyrood Secondary School in Glasgow. He is currently chaplain of the University of Glasgow, priest of the parish of “St. Patrick's” in Anderston, and director of vocations for the archdiocese of Glasgow.


Vatican City, 10 February 2014 (VIS) – No VIS bulletin will be transmitted tomorrow, the eighty-fifth anniversary of the institution of Vatican City State by the signing of the Lateran Pacts. Service will resume on Wednesday, 12 February.
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