Sunday, August 30, 2009

Families are “fertile ground” for priestly vocations, says the Pope

» 08/30/2009 14:33

Benedict XVI gives Saint Monica as an example, a “model and matron for Christian mothers”, who was able to get her son Augustine to convert and develop his vocation. Family education increases vocations. Pope makes an appeal on the occasion of ‘Save Creation Day’, dedicated this year to air, an element indispensable to life.

Castel Gandolfo (AsiaNews) – “When husband and wife devote themselves generously to the education of their children, guiding and steering them towards the discovery of God’s loving plan, they prepare the spiritually fertile ground from which vocations for the priesthood and consecrated life spring and mature. This shows how closely tied and mutually enlightening marriage and virginity are, beginning with their joint rootedness in Christ’s nuptial love,” said Benedict XVI during his reflection before today’s Angelus in Castel Gandolfo.

The Pontiff said that in this ‘Year for Priests’ we must pray so that “through the intercession of the Saint Curé d’Ars, Christian families may become small churches, and every vocation and every charism, given by the Holy Spirit, may be welcome and valued.”

In order to highlight the importance of family education in stimulating vocations for the consecrated life, Benedict XVI gave as an example the life of Saint Monica, Saint Augustine’s mother, whose liturgical memories were celebrated in the last few days. Saint Monica is in fact viewed as a “model and matron for Christian mothers.”

“A lot of information about her is provided by her son in his autobiographical book, the Confessions, one of the most read masterpieces of the ages. In it we learn that Saint Augustine drank the name of Jesus with his mother’s milk and that he was educated in the Christian religion by his mother, and that its principles remained with him during years of spiritual and moral disorientation. Monica never stopped praying for him and his conversion, and was rewarded for this when he came back to the faith and was baptised. God answered the prayers of this holy mother, to whom the bishop of Thagaste said: ‘it is impossible that the son of these tears should perish.’ In fact, not only did Saint Augustine convert, but [also] chose to lead a monastic life and, upon his return to Africa, founded a community of monks. In a quiet house in Ostia (Italy), the final spiritual exchanges between him and his mother —who was waiting to return to Africa— were moving and uplifting. For her son Saint Monica had become ‘more than a mother, the source of his Christian faith.’ For years her one wish was to see Augustine convert, and now she could see him even consecrate his life to the service of God. She could thus die a happy woman, which occurred on 27 August 387 AD, at the age of 56, after she asked her children not to worry about her burial, but to remember her, wherever they were, on the altar of the Lord. Saint Augustine used to repeat that his mother had ‘generated him twice’.”

See also from CNA, "Pope Benedict points to St. Monica as example of 'holy parent'."

And from YouTube-Vatican's Channel:

Pope: vocations to the priesthood are matured in the family
August 30, 2009


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