Audiences 2005-2013 8079
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My new Encyclical Caritas in Veritate was officially presented yesterday. Its fundamental vision is inspired from a passage of the Letter of St Paul to the Ephesians, in which the Apostle speaks of acting in accordance with truth in love: "Speaking the truth in love", as we have just heard, "we are to grow up in every way into him who is the Head, into Christ" (Ep 4,15). Charity in truth is therefore the principal force behind the true development of every person and of all humanity. For this reason the entire social doctrine of the Church revolves around the principle caritas in veritate. Only with charity, illumined by reason and by faith, is it possible to achieve goals of development endowed with humane and humanizing values. Charity in truth "is the principle around which the Church's social doctrine turns, a principle that takes on practical form in the criteria that govern moral action" (). In the introduction the Encyclical immediately mentions two fundamental criteria: justice and the common good. Justice is an integral part of that love "in deed and in truth" (1Jn 3,18), to which the Apostle John exhorts us (cf. ). And "to love someone is to desire that person's good and to take effective steps to secure it. Besides the good of the individual, there is a good that is linked to living in society.... The more we strive to obtain a common good corresponding to the real needs of our neighbours, the more effectively we love them" (). Hence there are two operative criteria, justice and the common good. Thanks to the latter, charity acquires a social dimension. Every Christian, the Encyclical says, is called to practise this charity, and it adds: "This is the institutional path... of charity" ().
Like other Magisterial documents this Encyclical too takes up, continues and deepens the Church's analysis and reflection on social themes of vital interest for mankind in our century. It is linked in a special way to what Paul VI wrote more than 40 years ago in Populorum Progressio a milestone in the Church's social teaching in which the great Pontiff outlines certain crucial guidelines, which continue to be timely, for the integral development of man and of the modern world. The world situation, as the news in recent months amply demonstrates, continues to present serious problems and the "scandal" of glaring inequalities which have endured despite past efforts. On the one hand, there are signs of grave social and economic imbalances; on the other, reforms are being called for on various sides which can no longer be postponed in order to narrow the gap in the development of peoples. To this end, the phenomenon of globalization can constitute a real opportunity, but for this reason it is important to initiate a profound moral and cultural renewal as well as responsible discernment concerning decisions leading to the common good. A better future for all is possible, if it is founded on the rediscovery of fundamental ethical values. What is needed, then, is new financial planning in order to redesign development globally, based on the ethical foundation of responsibility before God and to the human being as God's creature.
The Encyclical does not of course aim to offer technical solutions to the vast social problems of the contemporary world. This lies outside the competence of the Magisterium of the Church (cf. n. 9). Yet, it recalls the great principles that prove indispensable to building human development in the years to come. Among them, in the first place, is attention to human life, considered to be the core of all true progress; respect for the right to religious freedom that is always closely linked to human development; the rejection of a Promethean vision of the human being which maintains that he is the absolute author of his own destiny. An unlimited trust in the potential of technology ultimately shows itself to be illusory. We need upright people both in politics and in the economy who sincerely have the common good at heart. In particular, looking at the global emergencies, it is urgent to focus public opinion on the tragedy of hunger and food security which affects a considerable part of humanity. A tragedy of such proportions calls our consciences into question: it must be tackled with determination by eliminating the structural causes that give rise to it and encouraging agricultural development in the poorest countries. I am sure that this path of solidarity towards the development of the poorer countries will certainly help to find a solution to the current global crisis. Without doubt, the role and political power of States must be carefully reassessed, in an epoch in which limitations to their sovereignty de facto exist because of the new international economic, commercial and financial context. On the other hand, there must be no lack in the responsible participation of citizens in national and international politics thanks in part to a renewed commitment of the trade unions called to establish new synergies at the local and international levels. In this field too, a lead role is played by the means of social communication in the strengthening of the dialogue between diverse cultures and traditions.
Therefore, seeking to plan a development that is not marred by the dysfunctions and distortions that are widespread today, a serious reflection on the very meaning of the economy and on its purposes is obligatory for all. The state of the ecological health of the planet requires it; the cultural and moral crisis of man which is visibly emerging in every part of the globe demands it. If it is to function properly, the economy needs ethics; it needs to recover the important contribution of the principle of gratuitousness and the "logic of gift" in the market economy, where the rule cannot be profit alone. However this is only possible with the commitment of all economists, and politicians, producers and consumers and it presupposes a formation of consciences that gives strength to moral criteria in the elaboration of political and economic projects. On various sides an appeal is rightly being made for rights to presuppose corresponding duties, without which they risk becoming arbitrary. As must always be reiterated, a different lifestyle for the whole of humanity is necessary in which the duties of everyone towards the environment are linked to those towards the individual, considered in himself and in relation to others. Humanity is one family and fruitful dialogue between faith and reason cannot but enrich it, making charitable work in social life more effective and providing the appropriate framework in which to encourage collaboration between believers and non-believers, in the shared prospective of working for justice and peace in the world. As criteria and guidelines for this fraternal interaction, I indicate in the Encyclical the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity, which are closely connected. Lastly, in the face of the problems of today's world that are so immense and profound, I point out the need for a world political authority, regulated by law, which would abide by the above-mentioned principles of subsidiarity and solidarity and would be firmly oriented to the realization of the common good with respect for humanity's great moral and religious traditions.
The Gospel reminds us that man does not live on bread alone: it is impossible to satisfy the profound thirst of the human heart solely with material goods. The human horizon is undoubtedly higher and broader; for this reason every development programme must consider alongside the material the spiritual growth of the human person, who is endowed with both a body and a soul. This is the integral development to which the Church's social doctrine constantly refers. The criterion that orients it is the driving force of "charity in truth". Dear brothers and sisters, let us pray that this Encyclical may also help humanity to feel that it is one family committed to bringing about a world of justice and peace. Let us pray that believers who work in the financial and political sectors may realize how important their consistent Gospel witness is in the service they render to society. In particular, I invite you to pray for the Heads of State and Government of the G8 who are meeting in these days at L'Aquila. May this important World Summit result in decisions and approaches that will serve the true progress of all peoples, especially the poorest. Let us entrust these intentions to the maternal intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church and of mankind.
To special groups
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I welcome all the English-speaking visitors present today, including the university and school groups from America, Canada and England. May your visit to Rome be a time of deep spiritual renewal. Upon you all I invoke God's Blessings of joy and peace.
As usual, my last thoughts are addressed to the young people, the sick and the newlyweds present here today. Dear young people, I know that many of you make the most of the summer season to have an important experience of spirituality and service: I encourage you in this and I point out to you the example of one of your peers, Bl. Piergiorgio Frassati. I hope that you, dear sick people, will find comfort in the words of the Apostle Paul, whom the liturgy presented to us again last Sunday: "I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me" (2Co 12,9). And you, dear newlyweds, may you always be able to cultivate, with prayer and mutual love, the conjugal relationship which you sealed with the Sacrament of Marriage.
Papal Summer Residence, Castel Gandolfo
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In today's Catechesis I would like briefly to review the life of the Holy Curé of Ars. I shall stress several features that can also serve as an example for priests in our day, different of course from the time in which he lived, yet marked in many ways by the same fundamental human and spiritual challenges. Precisely yesterday was the 150th anniversary of his birth in Heaven. Indeed it was at two o'clock in the morning on 4 August 1859 that St John Baptist Mary Vianney, having come to the end of his earthly life, went to meet the heavenly Father to inherit the Kingdom, prepared since the world's creation for those who faithfully follow his teachings (cf. Mt 25,34). What great festivities there must have been in Heaven at the entry of such a zealous pastor! What a welcome he must have been given by the multitude of sons and daughters reconciled with the Father through his work as parish priest and confessor! I wanted to use this anniversary as an inspiration to inaugurate the Year for Priests, whose theme, as is well known, is "Faithfulness of Christ, Faithfulness of Priests". The credibility of witness depends on holiness and, once and for all, on the actual effectiveness of the mission of every priest.
John Mary Vianney was born into a peasant family in the small town of Dardilly on 8 May 1786. His family was poor in material possessions but rich in humanity and in faith. Baptized on the day of his birth, as was the good custom in those days, he spent so many years of his childhood and adolescence working in the fields and tending the flocks that at the age of 17 he was still illiterate.
Nonetheless he knew by heart the prayers his devout mother had taught him and was nourished by the sense of religion in the atmosphere he breathed at home. His biographers say that since his earthly youth he sought to conform himself to God's will, even in the humblest offices. He pondered on his desire to become a priest but it was far from easy for him to achieve it. Indeed, he arrived at priestly ordination only after many ordeals and misunderstandings, with the help of far-sighted priests who did not stop at considering his human limitations but looked beyond them and glimpsed the horizon of holiness that shone out in that truly unusual young man. So it was that on 23 June 1815 he was ordained a deacon and on the following 13 August, he was ordained a priest. At last, at the age of 29, after numerous uncertainties, quite a few failures and many tears, he was able to walk up to the Lord's altar and make the dream of his life come true.
The Holy Curé of Ars always expressed the highest esteem for the gift he had received. He would say: "Oh! How great is the Priesthood! It can be properly understood only in Heaven... if one were to understand it on this earth one would die, not of fright but of love!" (Abbé Monnin, Esprit du Curé d'Ars, p. 113). Moreover, as a little boy he had confided to his mother: "If I were to become a priest, I would like to win many souls" (Abbé Monnin, Procès de l'ordinaire, p. 1064). And so he did. Indeed, in his pastoral service, as simple as it was extraordinarily fertile, this unknown parish priest of a forgotten village in the south of France was so successful in identifying with his ministry that he became, even in a visibly and universally recognizable manner, an alter Christus, an image of the Good Shepherd who, unlike the hired hand, lays down his life for his sheep (cf. Jn 10,11). After the example of the Good Shepherd, he gave his life in the decades of his priestly service. His existence was a living catechesis that acquired a very special effectiveness when people saw him celebrating Mass, pausing before the tabernacle in adoration or spending hour after hour in the confessional.
Therefore the centre of his entire life was the Eucharist, which he celebrated and adored with devotion and respect. Another fundamental characteristic of this extraordinary priestly figure was his diligent ministry of confession. He recognized in the practice of the sacrament of penance the logical and natural fulfilment of the priestly apostolate, in obedience to Christ's mandate: "if you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained" (cf. Jn 20,23). St John Mary Vianney thus distinguished himself as an excellent, tireless confessor and spiritual director. Passing "with a single inner impulse from the altar to the confessional", where he spent a large part of the day, he did his utmost with preaching and persuasive advice to help his parishioners rediscover the meaning and beauty of the sacrament of Penance, presenting it as an inherent demand of the Eucharistic presence (cf. Letter to Priests for the inauguration of the Year for Priests).
The pastoral methods of St John Mary Vianney might hardly appear suited to the social and cultural conditions of the present day. Indeed, how could a priest today imitate him in a world so radically changed? Although it is true that times change and many charisms are characteristic of the person, hence unrepeatable, there is nevertheless a lifestyle and a basic desire that we are all called to cultivate. At a close look, what made the Curé of Ars holy was his humble faithfulness to the mission to which God had called him; it was his constant abandonment, full of trust, to the hands of divine Providence. It was not by virtue of his own human gifts that he succeeded in moving peoples' hearts nor even by relying on a praiseworthy commitment of his will; he won over even the most refractory souls by communicating to them what he himself lived deeply, namely, his friendship with Christ. He was "in love" with Christ and the true secret of his pastoral success was the fervour of his love for the Eucharistic Mystery, celebrated and lived, which became love for Christ's flock, for Christians and for all who were seeking God. His testimony reminds us, dear brothers and sisters, that for every baptized person and especially for every priest the Eucharist is not merely an event with two protagonists, a dialogue between God and me. Eucharistic Communion aspires to a total transformation of one's life and forcefully flings open the whole human "I" of man and creates a new "we" (cf. Joseph Ratzinger, La Comunione nella Chiesa, p. 80).
Thus, far from reducing the figure of St John Mary Vianney to an example albeit an admirable one of 18-century devotional spirituality, on the contrary one should understand the prophetic power that marked his human and priestly personality that is extremely timely. In post-revolutionary France which was experiencing a sort of "dictatorship of rationalism" that aimed at obliterating from society the very existence of priests and of the Church, he lived first in the years of his youth a heroic secrecy, walking kilometres at night to attend Holy Mass. Then later as a priest Vianney distinguished himself by an unusual and fruitful pastoral creativity, geared to showing that the then prevalent rationalism was in fact far from satisfying authentic human needs, hence definitively unliveable.
Dear brothers and sisters, 150 years after the death of the Holy Curé of Ars, contemporary society is facing challenges that are just as demanding and may have become even more complex. If in his time the "dictatorship of rationalism" existed, in the current epoch a sort of "dictatorship of relativism" is evident in many contexts. Both seem inadequate responses to the human being's justifiable request to use his reason as a distinctive and constitutive element of his own identity. Rationalism was inadequate because it failed to take into account human limitations and claims to make reason alone the criterion of all things, transforming it into a goddess; contemporary relativism humiliates reason because it arrives de facto at affirming that the human being can know nothing with certainty outside the positive scientific field. Today however, as in that time, man, "a beggar for meaning and fulfilment", is constantly in quest of exhaustive answers to the basic questions that he never ceases to ask himself.
The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council had very clearly in mind this "thirst for the truth" that burns in every human heart when they said that it is the task of priests "as instructors of the people in the faith" to see to the "formation of a genuine Christian community", that can "smooth the path to Christ for all men" and exercise "a truly motherly function" for them, "showing or smoothing the path towards Christ and his Church" for non-believers and for believers, while also "encouraging, supporting and strengthening believers for their spiritual struggles" (cf. Presbyterorum Ordinis PO 6).
The teaching which in this regard the Holy Curé of Ars continues to pass on to us is that the priest must create an intimate personal union with Christ that he must cultivate and increase, day after day.
Only if he is in love with Christ will the priest be able to teach his union, this intimate friendship with the divine Teacher to all, and be able to move people's hearts and open them to the Lord's merciful love. Only in this way, consequently, will he be able to instil enthusiasm and spiritual vitality in the communities the Lord entrusts to him. Let us pray that through the intercession of St John Mary Vianney, God will give holy priests to his Church and will increase in the faithful the desire to sustain and help them in their ministry. Let us entrust this intention to Mary, whom on this very day we invoke as Our Lady of the Snow.
To special groups
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I offer a warm welcome to the English-speaking visitors present at today's Audience, especially the pilgrimage groups from England, China, Korea and the United States of America. Yesterday the Church celebrated the 150th anniversary of the death of St John Vianney, the Curé of Ars, who is the patron saint of parish priests. In this Year for Priests, let us pray that through his intercession all priests will be renewed in love of the Lord, in the joyful pursuit of holiness and in generous commitment to the spread of the Gospel. Upon you and your families I invoke God's blessings of joy and peace!
My thoughts turn lastly to the sick, the newlyweds and the young people, especially to those participating in The Fifth International Encounter "Youth Towards Assisi". Today, the liturgical Memorial of the Dedication of the Basilica of St Mary Major, the liturgy invites us to turn our gaze to Mary, Mother of Christ. Always look to her, dear young people, imitating her in doing God's will faithfully; turn to her with trust, dear sick people, to experience the effectiveness of her protection in moments of trial; entrust your family to her, dear newlyweds, so that it may always be supported by her maternal intercession.
Papal Summer Residence, Castel Gandolfo
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The celebration of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, next Saturday, is at hand and we are in the context of the Year for Priest. I therefore wish to speak of the link between Our Lady and the priesthood. This connection is deeply rooted in the Mystery of the Incarnation.
When God decided to become man in his Son, he needed the freely-spoken "yes" of one of his creatures. God does not act against our freedom. And something truly extraordinary happens: God makes himself dependent on the free decision, the "yes" of one of his creatures; he waits for this "yes". St Bernard of Clairvaux explained dramatically in one of his homilies this crucial moment in universal history when Heaven, earth and God himself wait for what this creature will say.
Mary's "yes" is therefore the door through which God was able to enter the world, to become man. So it is that Mary is truly and profoundly involved in the Mystery of the Incarnation, of our salvation. And the Incarnation, the Son's becoming man, was the beginning that prepared the ground for the gift of himself; for giving himself with great love on the Cross to become Bread for the life of the world. Hence sacrifice, priesthood and Incarnation go together and Mary is at the heart of this mystery.
Let us now go to the Cross. Before dying, Jesus sees his Mother beneath the Cross and he sees the beloved son. This beloved son is certainly a person, a very important individual, but he is more; he is an example, a prefiguration of all beloved disciples, of all the people called by the Lord to be the "beloved disciple" and thus also particularly of priests. Jesus says to Mary: "Woman, behold, your son!" (Jn 19,26). It is a sort of testament: he entrusts his Mother to the care of the son, of the disciple. But he also says to the disciple: "Behold, your mother!" (Jn 19,27). The Gospel tells us that from that hour St John, the beloved son, took his mother Mary "to his own home". This is what it says in the [English] translation; but the Greek text is far deeper, far richer. We could translate it: he took Mary into his inner life, his inner being, "eis tà ìdia", into the depths of his being. To take Mary with one means to introduce her into the dynamism of one's own entire existence it is not something external and into all that constitutes the horizon of one's own apostolate. It seems to me that one can, therefore, understand how the special relationship of motherhood that exists between Mary and priests may constitute the primary source, the fundamental reason for her special love for each one of them. In fact, Mary loves them with predilection for two reasons: because they are more like Jesus, the supreme love of her heart, and because, like her, they are committed to the mission of proclaiming, bearing witness to and giving Christ to the world. Because of his identification with and sacramental conformation to Jesus, Son of God and Son of Mary, every priest can and must feel that he really is a specially beloved son of this loftiest and humblest of Mothers.
The Second Vatican Council invites priests to look to Mary as to the perfect model for their existence, invoking her as "Mother of the supreme and eternal Priest, as Queen of Apostles, and as Protectress of their ministry". The Council continues, "priests should always venerate and love her, with a filial devotion and worship" (cf. Presbyterorum Ordinis PO 18). The Holy Curé d'Ars, whom we are remembering in particular in this Year, used to like to say: "Jesus Christ, after giving us all that he could give us, wanted further to make us heirs to his most precious possession, that is, his Holy Mother (B. Nodet, Il pensiero e l'anima del Curato d'Ars, Turin 1967, p. 305). This applies for every Christian, for all of us, but in a special way for priests. Dear brothers and sisters, let us pray that Mary will make all priests, in all the problems of today's world, conform with the image of her Son Jesus, as stewards of the precious treasure of his love as the Good Shepherd. Mary, Mother of priests, pray for us!
To special groups
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I offer a warm welcome to the English-speaking visitors present at today's Audience, including the Sisters of St Anne, the altar servers from Malta, and the pilgrims from Australia and the United States of America. As the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin draws near in this Year of the Priest, my Catechesis today is centred on Mary the Mother of priests. She looks upon them with special affection as her sons. Indeed, their mission is similar to hers; priests are called to bring forth Christ's saving love into the world. On the Cross, Jesus invites all believers, especially his closest disciples, to love and venerate Mary as their Mother. Let us pray that all priests will make a special place for the Blessed Virgin in their lives, and seek her assistance daily as they bear witness to the Gospel of Jesus. Upon you and your families I invoke God's blessings of joy and peace!
I now address the young people, the sick and the newlyweds. Yesterday we celebrated the Memorial of St Clare of Assisi, who was able to live her adherence to Christ with courage and generosity. Imitate her example, particularly you, dear young people, so that like her you may respond faithfully to the Lord's call. I encourage you, dear sick people, to be united with the suffering Jesus as you carry your cross with faith. And may you, dear newlyweds, be apostles of the Gospel of love in your family.
After the Catechesis, Pope Benedict XVI also appealed for solidarity and prayer for the peoples of Eastern Asia and Japan.
Lastly, my thoughts turn to the numerous peoples who have been hit by a violent typhoon in the past few days in the Philippines, in Taiwan, in certain south-Eastern Provinces of the People's Republic of China and in Japan, which latter country has also been sorely tried by a strong earthquake.
I wish to express my spiritual closeness to all who are in conditions of serious hardship, and I ask everyone to pray for them and for all those who have lost their life. I hope they will not be left without the comfort of solidarity and material assistance.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today is the liturgical Memorial of St John Eudes, a tireless apostle of the devotion to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary who lived in France in the 17th century that was marked by opposing religious phenomena and serious political problems. It was the time of the Thirty Years' War, which devastated not only a large part of Central Europe but also souls. While contempt for the Christian faith was being spread by certain currents of thought which then prevailed, the Holy Spirit was inspiring a spiritual renewal full of fervour with important figures such as de Bérulle, St Vincent de Paul, St Louis-Marie Grignon de Montfort and St John Eudes. This great "French school" of holiness also included St John Mary Vianney. Through a mysterious design of Providence, my venerable Predecessor Pius XI canonized John Eudes and the Curé d'Ars together, on 31 May 1925, holding up to the whole world two extraordinary examples of priestly holiness.
In the context of the Year for Priests, I want to dwell on the apostolic zeal of St John Eudes, which he focused in particular on the formation of the diocesan clergy. The saints are true interpreters of Sacred Scripture. In the experience of their lives the saints have verified the truth of the Gospel; thus they introduce us into a knowledge and understanding of the Gospel. In 1563 the Council of Trent issued norms for the establishment of diocesan seminaries and for the formation of priests, since the Council was well aware that the whole crisis of the Reformation was also conditioned by the inadequate formation of priests who were not properly prepared for the priesthood either intellectually or spiritually, in their hearts or in their minds. This was in 1563; but since the application and realization of the norms was delayed both in Germany and in France, St John Eudes saw the consequences of this omission. Prompted by a lucid awareness of the grave need for spiritual assistance in which souls lay because of the inadequacy of the majority of the clergy, the Saint, who was a parish priest, founded a congregation specifically dedicated to the formation of priests. He founded his first seminary in the university town of Caen, a particularly appreciated experience which he very soon extended to other dioceses. The path of holiness, which he took himself and proposed to his followers, was founded on steadfast trust in the love that God had revealed to humanity in the priestly Heart of Christ and in the maternal Heart of Mary. In those times of cruelty, of the loss of interiority, he turned to the heart to speak to the heart, a saying of the Psalms very well interpreted by St Augustine. He wanted to recall people, men and women and especially future priests, to the heart by showing them the priestly Heart of Christ and the motherly Heart of Mary. Every priest must be a witness and an apostle of this love for Christ's Heart and Mary's Heart. And here we come to our own time.
Today too people feel in need of priests who witness to God's infinite mercy with a life totally "conquered" by Christ and who learn to do this in the years of their seminary training. After the Synod in 1990 Pope John Paul II published the Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis in which he returned to and updated the norms of the Council of Trent and stressed above all the necessary continuity between the priest's initial and continuing formation. For him this is a true starting point for an authentic reform of the life and apostolate of priests. It is also the key to preventing the "new evangelization" from being merely an attractive slogan and to ensuring that it is expressed in reality. The foundations laid in seminary formation constitute that indispensable "humus spirituale" in which "to learn Christ", letting oneself be gradually configured to him, the one and only High Priest and Good Shepherd. The seminary period should therefore be seen as the actualization of the moment when the Lord Jesus, after calling the Apostles and before sending them out to preach, asks them to be with him (cf. Mc 3,14). When St Mark recounts the calling of the Twelve Apostles he says that Jesus had a twofold purpose: firstly that they should be with him, and secondly, that they should be sent out to preach. Yet, in being with him always, they really proclaim Christ and bring the reality of the Gospel to the world.
During this Year for Priests I ask you, dear brothers and sisters, to pray for priests and for all those who are preparing to receive the extraordinary gift of the ministerial priesthood. I address to you all and thus I conclude the exhortation of St John Eudes who said to priests: "Give yourselves to Jesus in order to enter the immensity of his great Heart which contains the Heart of his Holy Mother and the hearts of all the Saints and lose yourselves in this abyss of love, charity, mercy, humility, purity, patience, submission and holiness" (Coeur admirable, III, 2).
With this in mind, let us now sing the "Our Father" in Latin.
To special groups
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I offer a warm welcome to the English-speaking visitors present at today's Audience, including the pilgrims from India and Nigeria. Our Catechesis considers St John Eudes whose feast we celebrate today. He lived in 17th-century France which, notwithstanding considerable trials for the faith, produced many outstanding examples of spiritual courage and insight. St John Eudes' particular contribution was the foundation of a religious congregation dedicated to the task of giving solid formation to the diocesan priesthood. He encouraged seminarians to grow in holiness and to trust in God's love revealed to humanity in the priestly heart of Jesus and in the maternal heart of Mary. During this year let us pray in a special way for priests and seminarians that, inspired by today's Saint, they may spiritually "enter into the heart of Jesus", becoming men of true love, mercy, humility and patience, renewed in holiness and pastoral zeal. My dear Brothers and Sisters, upon you and your families I invoke God's blessings of joy and peace!
Lastly, I greet the young people, the sick and the newlyweds. May the wonderful figure of St John Eudes, whom I have just mentioned, help each one of you to make more and more progress in loving God who gives fullness of meaning to youth, to suffering and to family life. I thank you all for your presence. May the Lord bless you!
Audiences 2005-2013 8079