Audiences 2005-2013 23099

Wednesday, 23 September 2009 - Saint Anselm

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Benedictine Abbey of Sant'Anselmo [St Anselm] is located on the Aventine Hill in Rome. As the headquarters of an academic institute of higher studies and of the Abbot Primate of the Confederated Benedictines it is a place that unites within it prayer, study and governance, the same three activities that were a feature of the life of the Saint to whom it is dedicated: Anselm of Aosta, the ninth anniversary of whose death occurs this year. The many initiatives promoted for this happy event, especially by the Diocese of Aosta, have highlighted the interest that this medieval thinker continues to rouse. He is also known as Anselm of Bec and Anselm of Canterbury because of the cities with which he was associated. Who is this figure to whom three places, distant from one another and located in three different nations Italy, France, England feel particularly bound? A monk with an intense spiritual life, an excellent teacher of the young, a theologian with an extraordinary capacity for speculation, a wise man of governance and an intransigent defender of libertas Ecclesiae, of the Church's freedom, Anselm is one of the eminent figures of the Middle Ages who was able to harmonize all these qualities, thanks to the profound mystical experience that always guided his thought and his action.

St Anselm was born in 1033 (or at the beginning of 1034) in Aosta, the first child of a noble family. His father was a coarse man dedicated to the pleasures of life who squandered his possessions. On the other hand, Anselm's mother was a profoundly religious woman of high moral standing (cf. Eadmer, Vita Sancti Anselmi, PL 159,
Col 49). It was she, his mother, who saw to the first human and religious formation of her son whom she subsequently entrusted to the Benedictines at a priory in Aosta. Anselm, who since childhood as his biographer recounts imagined that the good Lord dwelled among the towering, snow-capped peaks of the Alps, dreamed one night that he had been invited to this splendid kingdom by God himself, who had a long and affable conversation with him and then gave him to eat "a very white bread roll" (ibid. , col. Col 51). This dream left him with the conviction that he was called to carry out a lofty mission. At the age of 15, he asked to be admitted to the Benedictine Order but his father brought the full force of his authority to bear against him and did not even give way when his son, seriously ill and feeling close to death, begged for the religious habit as a supreme comfort. After his recovery and the premature death of his mother, Anselm went through a period of moral dissipation. He neglected his studies and, consumed by earthly passions, grew deaf to God's call. He left home and began to wander through France in search of new experiences. Three years later, having arrived in Normandy, he went to the Benedictine Abbey of Bec, attracted by the fame of Lanfranc of Pavia, the Prior. For him this was a providential meeting, crucial to the rest of his life. Under Lanfranc's guidance Anselm energetically resumed his studies and it was not long before he became not only the favourite pupil but also the teacher's confidante. His monastic vocation was rekindled and, after an attentive evaluation, at the age of 27 he entered the monastic order and was ordained a priest. Ascesis and study unfolded new horizons before him, enabling him to rediscover at a far higher level the same familiarity with God which he had had as a child.

When Lanfranc became Abbot of Caen in 1063, Anselm, after barely three years of monastic life, was named Prior of the Monastery of Bec and teacher of the cloister school, showing his gifts as a refined educator. He was not keen on authoritarian methods; he compared young people to small plants that develop better if they are not enclosed in greenhouses and granted them a "healthy" freedom. He was very demanding with himself and with others in monastic observance, but rather than imposing his discipline he strove to have it followed by persuasion. Upon the death of Abbot Herluin, the founder of the Abbey of Bec, Anselm was unanimously elected to succeed him; it was February 1079. In the meantime numerous monks had been summoned to Canterbury to bring to their brethren on the other side of the Channel the renewal that was being brought about on the continent. Their work was so well received that Lanfranc of Pavia, Abbot of Caen, became the new Archbishop of Canterbury. He asked Anselm to spend a certain period with him in order to instruct the monks and to help him in the difficult plight in which his ecclesiastical community had been left after the Norman conquest. Anselm's stay turned out to be very fruitful; he won such popularity and esteem that when Lanfranc died he was chosen to succeed him in the archiepiscopal See of Canterbury. He received his solemn episcopal consecration in December 1093.

Anselm immediately became involved in a strenuous struggle for the Church's freedom, valiantly supporting the independence of the spiritual power from the temporal. Anselm defended the Church from undue interference by political authorities, especially King William Rufus and Henry I, finding encouragement and support in the Roman Pontiff to whom he always showed courageous and cordial adherence. In 1103, this fidelity even cost him the bitterness of exile from his See of Canterbury. Moreover, it was only in 1106, when King Henry I renounced his right to the conferral of ecclesiastical offices, as well as to the collection of taxes and the confiscation of Church properties, that Anselm could return to England, where he was festively welcomed by the clergy and the people. Thus the long battle he had fought with the weapons of perseverance, pride and goodness ended happily. This holy Archbishop, who roused such deep admiration around him wherever he went, dedicated the last years of his life to the moral formation of the clergy and to intellectual research into theological topics. He died on 21 April 1109, accompanied by the words of the Gospel proclaimed in Holy Mass on that day: "You are those who have continued with me in my trials; as my Father appointed a kingdom for me, so do I appoint for you that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom..." (Lc 22,28-30). So it was that the dream of the mysterious banquet he had had as a small boy, at the very beginning of his spiritual journey, found fulfilment. Jesus, who had invited him to sit at his table, welcomed Anselm upon his death into the eternal Kingdom of the Father.

"I pray, O God, to know you, to love you, that I may rejoice in you. And if I cannot attain to full joy in this life may I at least advance from day to day, until that joy shall come to the full" (Proslogion, chapter 14). This prayer enables us to understand the mystical soul of this great Saint of the Middle Ages, the founder of scholastic theology, to whom Christian tradition has given the title: "Magnificent Doctor", because he fostered an intense desire to deepen his knowledge of the divine Mysteries but in the full awareness that the quest for God is never ending, at least on this earth. The clarity and logical rigour of his thought always aimed at "raising the mind to contemplation of God" (ibid., Proemium). He states clearly that whoever intends to study theology cannot rely on his intelligence alone but must cultivate at the same time a profound experience of faith. The theologian's activity, according to St Anselm, thus develops in three stages: faith, a gift God freely offers, to be received with humility; experience, which consists in incarnating God's word in one's own daily life; and therefore true knowledge, which is never the fruit of ascetic reasoning but rather of contemplative intuition. In this regard his famous words remain more useful than ever, even today, for healthy theological research and for anyone who wishes to deepen his knowledge of the truths of faith: "I do not endeavour, O Lord, to penetrate your sublimity, for in no wise do I compare my understanding with that; but I long to understand in some degree your truth, which my heart believes and loves. For I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, that unless I believed, I should not understand" (ibid., 1).

Dear brothers and sisters, may the love of the truth and the constant thirst for God that marked St Anselm's entire existence be an incentive to every Christian to seek tirelessly an ever more intimate union with Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life. In addition, may the zeal full of courage that distinguished his pastoral action and occasionally brought him misunderstanding, sorrow and even exile be an encouragement for Pastors, for consecrated people and for all the faithful to love Christ's Church, to pray, to work and to suffer for her, without ever abandoning or betraying her. May the Virgin Mother of God, for whom St Anselm had a tender, filial devotion, obtain this grace for us. "Mary, it is you whom my heart yearns to love", St Anselm wrote, "it is you whom my tongue ardently desires to praise".

To special groups:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I offer a warm welcome to the English-speaking visitors present at today's Audience, including the members of the Australian Girls Choir and the school groups from Norway and Scotland. I ask you to join me in praying that my imminent Visit to the Czech Republic will bear many spiritual fruits, and upon all of you and your families, I invoke God's Blessings of joy and peace!

My thoughts now turn to the young people, the sick and the newlyweds. May the witness of faith and charity that motivated St Pius of Pietrelcina, whom we are commemorating today, encourage you, dear young people, to plan your future as a generous service to God and neighbour. May it help you, dear sick people, to experience in your suffering the support and comfort of the Crucified Christ. And may it impel you, dear newlyweds, to keep your family constantly attentive to the poor. Lastly, may the example of this Saint who is so popular be for priests in this Year for Priests and for all Christians an invitation to trust in God's goodness always, confidently receiving and celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation, of which the Saint of the Gargano who tirelessly dispensed divine mercy was an assiduous and faithful minister.

Saint Peter's Square

Wednesday, 30 September 2009 - Apostolic Visit to the Czech Republic

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In accordance with the custom after international Apostolic Journeys, I take the opportunity of today's General Audience to speak of the pilgrimage I made a few days ago to the Czech Republic. I do so first of all as an act of thanksgiving to God who granted me to make this Visit and abundantly blessed it. It was a real pilgrimage and, at the same time, a mission to the heart of Europe: a pilgrimage, because for more than a millennium Bohemia and Moravia have been lands of faith and holiness; and a mission, because Europe needs to rediscover in God and in his love its firm foundation of hope. It is not by chance that the holy evangelizers of those peoples, Cyril and Methodius, are Patrons of Europe together with St Benedict. "The love of Christ is our strength": this was the motto of the Journey, an affirmation which re-echoes the faith of so many heroic witnesses of the remote and recent past I am thinking in particular of the last century but which, above all, aims to interpret the certainty of Christians today. Yes, our strength is the love of Christ! It is a strength that inspires and gives life to true revolutions, peaceful and liberating, and that sustains us in moments of crisis, permitting us to straighten up when freedom, recovered with great effort, risks losing itself, its own truth.

I met with a warm welcome. The President of the Republic, to whom I renew the expression of my gratitude, wanted to be present at various events and received me, together with my collaborators, with great cordiality at his residence, the capital's historic Castle. The entire Bishops' Conference, and in particular the Cardinal Archbishop of Prague and the Bishop of Brno, made me feel with great warmth the deep bond that binds the Czech Catholic community to the Successor of St Peter. I thank them too for having carefully prepared the liturgical celebrations. I am also grateful to all the civil and military Authorities and to all those who in various ways contributed to the success of my Visit.

The love of Christ first revealed itself in the face of a Child. In fact, on my arrival in Prague I made my first stop at the Church of Our Lady of Victory where the Infant Jesus, known precisely as the "Infant of Prague", is venerated. This image refers to the mystery of God made man, to the "close God", the foundation of our hope. Before the "Infant of Prague", I prayed for all children, for parents and for the future of the family. The true "victory" for which we ask Mary today is the victory of love and life in the family and in society!

Prague Castle, extraordinary from the historical and architectural viewpoints, suggests a further, more general reflection: its vast layout includes many monuments, scenes and institutions, almost as if it represented a polis in which the Cathedral and Palace, square and park, harmoniously coexist. Thus, in this same context, my Visit touched on the civil and the religious environments that are not in opposition but in harmony, while retaining their distinctiveness. Thus, addressing the Political and Civil Authorities and the Diplomatic Corps I chose to recall the indissoluble bond that must always exist between freedom and truth. One must not fear truth, because it is a friend of man and of his freedom; indeed, only in the sincere search for the true, the good and the beautiful is it really possible to offer a future to today's youth and to the generations to come. Moreover, what is it that attracts so many people to Prague if not its beauty, a beauty that is not only aesthetic but also historical and religious in the broadest human sense? Those who exercise responsibility in the political and educational fields must be able to find light in that truth which is a reflection of the Creator's eternal Wisdom; and they are personally called to bear witness to it with their lives. Only a serious commitment of intellectual and moral rectitude is worthy of the sacrifice of all those who paid the price of freedom so dearly!

A symbol of this synthesis between truth and beauty is Prague's splendid Cathedral, called after Sts Vitus, Wenceslaus and Adalbert, where the celebration of Vespers was held with the priests, religious, seminarians and lay representatives of the associations and ecclesial movements.
For the Central and Eastern European communities it is a difficult period: in addition to the consequences of the long winter of atheistic totalitarianism are the harmful effects of a certain Western secularism and consumerism. I therefore encouraged all to draw ever new energy from the Risen Lord, to be able to be a Gospel leaven in society and to involve themselves, as is already happening, in charitable activities and, especially, in the educational and scholastic fields.

I extended this message of hope founded on faith in Christ to the entire People of God during two great Eucharistic Celebrations that took place respectively in Brno, the capital of Moravia, and in Stará Boleslav, the place where St Wenceslaus, the nation's principal Patron, was martyred. Moravia immediately calls to mind Sts Cyril and Methodius, the evangelizers of the Slav peoples, and hence the inexorable power of the Gospel, flowing through history and the continents, carrying life everywhere, like a river of healing waters. Christ's words: "Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (
Mt 11,28) are engraved above the portal of the Cathedral of Brno. These very words rang out last Sunday in the liturgy, re-echoing the perennial voice of the Saviour, hope of the peoples, yesterday, today and forever. An eloquent sign of Christ's lordship and of his mercy is the existence of the holy Patrons of the different Christian nations, such as, precisely, Wenceslaus, a young king of Bohemia in the 10th century who was distinguished for his exemplary Christian witness and was assassinated by his brother. Wenceslaus put the Kingdom of Heaven before the fascination of earthly power and has lived on for ever in the heart of the Czech people as an example and protector in the alternating vicissitudes of history. To the numerous young people present at the Mass for St Wenceslaus, who also came from neighbouring countries, I extended the invitation to recognize Christ as the truest friend who satisfies the deepest aspirations of the human heart.

Lastly, among others, I must mention two meetings: the ecumenical gathering and the encounter with the academic community. The former, held in the Archbishop's Residence in Prague, gathered the representatives of the various Christian communities in the Czech Republic and the leader of the Jewish Community. In thinking of the history of this country, which unfortunately experienced harsh conflicts among Christians, it was a cause of deep gratitude to God to be meeting together as disciples of the one Lord to share the joy of faith and historical responsibility in the face of today's challenges. The effort to progress towards an ever fuller and more visible unity amongst us, believers in Christ, makes our common commitment to rediscovering the Christian roots of Europe stronger and more effective. The latter aspect, which my beloved Predecessor John Paul II had very much at heart, also emerged at the Meeting with university rectors and representatives of the teaching body and of the students, as well as with other important figures of the cultural world. In this context I wanted to insist upon the role of the university institution, one of the fundamental structures of Europe, of which Prague Athenaeum is one of the oldest and most prestigious on the continent: Charles University, called after the Emperor Charles IV who founded it, together with Pope Clement VI. The university is a vital environment for society, a guarantee of freedom and development, as is shown by the fact that the so-called "Velvet Revolution" came into being precisely in university circles. Twenty years after that historic event, I proposed the idea anew of an integral human formation rooted in truth, to oppose a new dictatorship, that of relativism combined with the domination of technology. The humanistic and scientific cultures cannot be separated; on the contrary, they are the two sides of the same coin: we are once again reminded of this by the Czech Republic, the homeland of great writers such as Kafka and of the Abbot Mendel, a pioneer of modern genetics.

Dear friends, I thank the Lord because with this Visit he has granted me to meet a people and a Church with profoundly historical and religious roots and which this year is commemorating various events of lofty spiritual and social value. I renew a message of hope to my brothers and sisters in the Czech Republic and an invitation to have the courage of goodness in order to build the present and future of Europe. I entrust the fruits of my Pastoral Visit to the intercession of Mary Most Holy and of all the Saints of Bohemia and Moravia. Thank you.

To special groups

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I offer a warm welcome to the English-speaking pilgrims present at today's Audience, including groups from Britain and Ireland, Scandinavia, Indonesia and the United States of America. I greet especially the School Sisters of St Francis and the new students from the English and Irish Colleges. May the time you spend in Rome deepen your faith and bring you closer to Christ. God bless all of you, and your loved ones at home.

Lastly I greet the young people, the sick and the newlyweds. Dear young people, listen to Christ, the word of truth, and be ready to accept his plan for your life. Dear sick people, feel Jesus beside you and witness with your trust to the life-giving power of the Cross. Dear newlyweds, with the grace of the Sacrament that you have recently received, day after day reinforce your love and walk on the path of holiness.

Saint Peter's Square

Wednesday, 7 October 2009 – Saint John Leonardi

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The day after tomorrow, 9 October, will be the 400th anniversary of the death of St John Leonardi, Founder of the religious order of Clerics Regular of the Mother of God. He was canonized on 17 April 1938 and chosen as Patron of Pharmacists on 8 August 2006. He is also remembered for his great missionary zeal. Together with Mons. Juan Bautista Vives and Martín de Funes, a Jesuit, he planned and contributed to founding a specific Congregation of the Holy See for the missions, Propaganda Fide, which has forged thousands of priests down the centuries, many of them martyrs. Thus he was a luminous priestly figure whom I like to point out as an example to all presbyters in this Year for Priests. He died in 1609 from influenza, contracted while he was doing all he could to minister to those stricken by the epidemic in the Campitelli neighbourhood of Rome.

John Leonardi was born in 1541 at Diecimo in the Province of Lucca. The youngest of seven siblings, his adolescence was marked by the rhythm of faith lived in a healthy, hard-working family, as well as by regular visits to a workshop in his home town that made and sold essences and medicines. When John was 17, his father enrolled him in an ordinary apothecary's course in Lucca, aiming to make him a future pharmacist, indeed an apothecary, as it was then termed. For about 10 years young John attended this course, alert and hardworking, but when, in accordance with the legislation of the ancient Republic of Lucca he earned the official recognition that would authorize him to open his own apothecary's shop, he started wondering whether the moment had not come to carry out a plan he had always had at heart. After mature reflection he decided to train for the priesthood. Thus, having left the apothecary's shop and having acquired an adequate theological formation, he was ordained a priest and, on the day of Epiphany 1572, celebrated his first Mass. However, he never lost his interest in medicine, because he felt that the professional mediation of the pharmacist would permit him to fulfil his vocation to the full, one in which he could pass on to men and women, by means of a holy life, "the medicine of God", which is the Crucified and Risen Jesus Christ, the "measure of all things".

Inspired by the conviction that all human beings need this medicine more than anything else, St John Leonardi sought to make the personal encounter with Jesus Christ his fundamental raison d'ętre. "It is necessary to start afresh from Christ", he liked to repeat again and again. The primacy of Christ over all things became for him the concrete criterion of judgement and action and the vital principle of his priestly activity, which he exercised while a vast and widespread movement of spiritual renewal was taking place in the Church, thanks to the flourishing of new religious institutes and the luminous witness of Saints such as Charles Borromeo, Philip Neri, Ignatius of Loyola, Joseph Calasanctius, Camillus de Lellis and Aloysius Gonazaga. He dedicated himself enthusiastically to the apostolate among boys through the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, gathering around him a group of young men with whom, on 1 September 1574, he founded the Congregation of Reformed Priests of the Blessed Virgin, later called the Order of Clerics Regular of the Mother of God. He recommended his disciples to keep "before their eyes and minds only the honour, service and glory of Jesus Christ Crucified", and, as a good pharmacist used to administering doses, he added using a precise reference: "lift up your hearts a little higher to God and with him measure all things".

Motivated by apostolic zeal, in May 1605 he sent Pope Paul V, who had just been elected, a Petition in which he suggested the criteria for an authentic renewal of the Church. Observing that it is "necessary for those who aspire to the reform of human morals to seek especially and above all things, the glory of God", he added that they must shine out "for their integrity of life and the excellence of their morals so that, rather than constraining people, they gently draw them to reform".
He remarked that "any one who wishes to carry out a serious religious and moral reform must first of all, like a good doctor, make an attentive diagnosis of the evils besetting the Church, thereby to be able to prescribe the most appropriate remedy for each one of them". And he noted that "likewise the renewal of the Church must be brought about in her leaders and in their subordinates, both above and below. It must be started by those in charge and extended to their subjects". For this reason, while asking the Pope to promote a "universal reform of the Church", he concerned himself with the Christian formation of the people and especially of children, to be educated "from their earliest years... in the purity of Christian faith and holy morals".

Dear brothers and sisters, the luminous figure of this Saint invites priests in the first place, and all Christians, to strive constantly for "the high standard of Christian living", which means holiness, naturally each one in accordance with his own state. Indeed, authentic ecclesial renewal can only stem from faithfulness to Christ. In those years, on the cultural and social threshold between the 16th and 17th centuries, the premises of the contemporary culture of the future began to be outlined. It was characterized by an undue separation between faith and reason that produced, among its negative effects, the marginalization of God, with the illusion of the possible and total autonomy of man who chooses to live "as though God did not exist". This is the crisis of modern thought, which I have frequently had the opportunity to point out and which often leads to forms of relativism. John Leonardi perceived what the real medicine for these spiritual evils was and summed it up in the expression: "Christ first of all", Christ at the centre of the heart, at the centre of history and of the cosmos. And, St John said forcefully, humanity stands in extreme need of Christ because he is our "measure". There is no area that cannot be touched by his power; there is no evil that cannot find a remedy in him, no problem that is not resolved in him. "Either Christ or nothing!". This was his recipe for every type of spiritual and social reform.

There is another aspect of St John Leonardi's spirituality that I would like to emphasize. On various occasions he reasserted that the living encounter with Christ takes place in his Church, holy but frail, rooted in history and in its sometimes obscure unfolding, where wheat and weeds grow side by side (cf.
Mt 13,30), yet always the sacrament of salvation. Since he was clearly aware that the Church is God's field (cf. Mt 13,24), St John was not shocked at her human weaknesses. To combat the weeds he chose to be good wheat: that is, he decided to love Christ in the Church and to help make her, more and more, a transparent sign of Christ. He saw the Church very realistically, her human frailty, but he also saw her as being "God's field", the instrument of God for humanity's salvation. And this was not all. Out of love for Christ he worked tirelessly to purify the Church, to make her more beautiful and holy. He realized that every reform should be made within the Church and never against the Church In this, St John Leonardi was truly extraordinary and his example is ever timely. Every reform, of course, concerns her structures, but in the first place must have an effect in believers' hearts. Only Saints, men and women who let themselves be guided by the divine Spirit, ready to make radical and courageous decisions in the light of the Gospel, renew the Church and make a crucial contribution to building a better world.

Dear brothers and sisters, St John Leonardi's life was illumined throughout by the splendour of the "Holy Face" of Jesus, preserved and venerated in the Cathedral Church of Lucca, which has become an eloquent symbol and an indisputable synthesis of the faith that enlivened him. Conquered by Christ, like the Apostle Paul, he pointed out to his followers and continues to point out to all of us, the Christocentric ideal for which "it is necessary to strip oneself of every personal interest and look only to the service of God", keeping "before the eyes of the mind only the honour, service and glory of Jesus Christ Crucified". Besides the Face of Christ, St John fixed his gaze on the motherly face of Mary. The One whom he chose to be Patroness of his Order was for him a teacher, sister and mother, and he experienced her constant protection. May the example and intercession of this "fascinating man of God" be a reference and an encouragement, particularly in this Year for Priests, for priests and for all Christians to live their own vocation with passionate enthusiasm.

To special groups:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I offer a warm welcome to the English-speaking visitors at today's Audience, including the Sisters and friends of the Congregation of Jesus and the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, celebrating the 400th anniversary of their foundation by Mary Ward. My particular greetings go to the groups of faithful from Iraq, from the Archdiocese of Samoa-Apia, and to the diaconate ordination candidates from the Pontifical North American College accompanied by their families and friends. Upon all of you I invoke God's Blessings of joy and peace!

I now address my cordial greeting to the Italian-speaking faithful, in particular to Cardinal Ivan Dias, to his Collaborators at the Dicastery for the Evangelization of Peoples and to the Superiors and Students of the Pontifical Urban College of Propaganda Fide. Dear friends, may the figure of St John Leonardi, to whom you are bound, inspire your missionary action at the service of the Church. I greet the priests of the Pontifical Colleges of St Peter Apostle and St Paul Apostle in Rome: I wish you all a fruitful academic year. I greet the participants in the pilgrimage promoted by the Order of the Mother of God, on the occasion of the concluding celebrations for the 400th anniversary of the death of their Founder, St John Leonardi.

I greet the priests, women religious and seminarians of the Institute of Christ the King High Priest, and encourage them to persevere in their adherence to Christ and to the Church. I greet the representatives of "Pianeta Down" Association, of the "Costruiamo il futuro" Foundation and the faithful from Illegio. I also greet the "Cavalieri del Ringraziamento" of Roio, L'Aquila. Once again I entrust the expectations and hopes of the peoples hit by the recent earthquake to the Virgin Mary of the Cross, venerated at the Shrine of Roio.

Lastly I extend a cordial greeting to the young people, the sick and the newlyweds. Today the Church honours Our Lady of the Rosary, a liturgical Memorial that gives me the opportunity to reassert the importance of the prayer of the Rosary, so dear also to my venerable Predecessors. I commend it to you, dear young people, so that it may help you to do God's will and find in the Immaculate Heart of Mary a safe shelter. May it enable you, dear sick people, to experience the comfort of our Heavenly Mother, so that she may sustain you in moments of trial. May the recitation of this prayer be for you, dear newlyweds a daily custom in your family which, thanks to Mary's intercession will thus grow in unity and fidelity to the Gospel.

Saint Peter's Square

Audiences 2005-2013 23099