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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.

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