Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pope: contemplating the cross one understands the greatness of human dignity

» 02/10/2010 12:57

One understands man’s value by contemplating how God accepted to suffer for him. A reflection that comes from the thought of Saint Anthony of Padua, the figure Benedict XVI dedicated his general audience to. In a times of crisis, "the economy needs ethics to function efficiently, not any ethics but an ethics that is people friendly”.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The greatness of human dignity and value of the human being is fully visible in the "mirror of the Cross", in seeing how God accepted to suffer for man. Taking his cue from the figure of Saint Anthony of Padua Benedict XVI dedicated his audience today to the importance of the cross for our culture, our humanism, born of the Christian faith.

A saint who was part of the first generation of Friars Minor and who "laid the foundations of Franciscan theology", "contributed significantly to the development of Franciscan spirituality" and who in a period of economic growth, recommended that the poor not be forgotten. "A very important and timely teaching - the Pope said. Recalling the words of Caritas in Veritate, Benedict XVI said that "when the economic crisis and severe economic imbalances impoverish many people the economy needs ethics to function efficiently, not any ethics but an ethics that is people friendly".

To eight thousand people present at the Vatican for the general audience the pope recalled the saint, "one of the most popular in the whole Catholic Church, revered not only in Padua, but around the world", was born in Lisbon in 1195 to a noble family. Baptized as Fernando, as a young man he entered the canons who followed the monastic rule of St. Augustine. His interest in studying the Bible and the Church Fathers helped him acquire "a theological science which he began to incorporate into his teaching and preaching."

A fundamental episode that was to change his life took place in 1220 in Coimbra, where the relics of the first five Franciscan missionaries to Morocco, who were martyred there, were brought. In the young Ferdinand the desire to imitate them was born. He asked to leave the canons and to enter the Franciscans. He left for Morocco. He fell ill, he went to Assisi, where in 1221, he participated in the famous "Chapter of Mats" and where he "also met with St. Francis. Later, he lived for a time in total obscurity in a convent near Forli in northern Italy, where the Lord called him to another mission. Invited by completely random circumstances, to preach at the ordination of a priest, he was equipped with such knowledge and eloquence, that his superiors assigned him to preaching".

See also:

From Zenit, "On St. Anthony of Padua: One of the Most Popular Saints in the Whole Catholic Church"

From CNA, "Pope extols St. Anthony of Padua's insights on prayer"

From Catholic World News, "St. Anthony knew true wealth comes through faith, Pope tells audience"

From Catholic News Service, "Christian faith without love cannot live, pope says"

And from YouTube-Vatican's Channel:

Pope: the cross enriches the meaning of life
February 10, 2010


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