Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pope in San Giovanni Rotondo: For "Year for Priests," Padre Pio--model of sanctity for all priests

REUTERS Sun Jun 21, 8:59 AM ET
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Pope Benedict XVI prays in front of the exhumed body of the mystic saint Padre Pio in the crypt of Santa Maria delle Grazie in San Giovanni Rotondo, southern Italy June 21, 2009. Padre Pio is one of the Catholic Church's most popular saints and during his lifetime the monk was said to have the stigmata, the wounds of Jesus' crucifixion on his hands and feet.REUTERS/Andreas Solaro/Pool (ITALY RELIGION)

Pope: a life of prayer and charity like Padre Pio, against activism and secularisation

» 06/21/2009 12:38

Benedict XVI visits San Giovanni Rotondo and proposes the characteristics of the Saint from Pietrelcina to capuchin monks, Padre Pio spiritual groups and all faithful. The Pope prays before the body of the saint.

San Giovanni Rotondo (AsiaNews) – “Simplicity”, humility and having been “seized by Christ”, the characteristics of Padre Pio, part of the inheritance he left his brother capuchins, the prayer groups inspired by him and all Christians, to combat secularism and activism: this was the pope's message during his pastoral visit to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Graces, in San Giovanni Rotondo, the final resting place of the bodily remains of Padre Pio, who was canonized in 2002. At the beginning of the Year for Priests, Benedict XVI has launched another model for all priests showing to all the example of the friar from Pietrelcina: "A simple man of humble origins, 'seized by Christ' (Phil 3:12) ... to make of him an elected instrument of the perennial power of his Cross: the power of love for souls, forgiveness and reconciliation, spiritual fatherhood, effective solidarity with the suffering. The stigmata, that marked his body, closely united him to the Crucified and Risen Christ ".

From the Vatican, the pontiff travelled by plane to the sanctuary. Before the Eucharist, together with hundreds of thousands of faithful from all over the world, the Pope paused for a few minutes in the crypt which houses the body of the saint, lighting two lamps in memory of his visit.

In his homily, Benedict XVI reflected on the Gospel of the day, which recounts the miracle of the clamed storm (Mk 4, 35-41). “The solemn gesture of calming the stormy sea is clearly a sign of the lordship of Christ over the negative powers and it induces us to think of His divinity: "Who is He – ask the disciples in wonder - that even the wind and the sea obey him?" (Mk 4.41). Their faith is not yet steadfast, it is taking shape, is a mixture of fear and trust; rather Jesus trusting abandonment to the Father is full and pure. This is why He sleeps during the storm, completely safe in the arms of God - but there will come a time when Jesus will feel anxiety and fear: When His time comes, He shall feel upon himself the whole weight of the sins of humanity, as a massive swell that is about to fall upon Him. Oh yes, that shall be a terrible storm, not a cosmic one, but a spiritual one. It will be Evil’s last, extreme assault against the Son of God….. In that hour, Jesus was on the one hand entirely One with the Father, fully given over to him – on the other, as in solidarity with sinners, He was separated and He felt abandoned”.

See also:

From "The Star", "Pope urges town to honour mystic monk's faith"

From CNA, "Pope’s visit to Padre Pio will inspire greater closeness to Christ, says Capuchin rector"


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