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Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Our Lady of Guadalupe

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Today especially in Mexico is a great celebration of Mary's appearance there in 1531. It is a testament of Mary's influence - she comes to bring us closer to Her Son. Read my post on Our Lady of Guadalupe.


del_button December 12, 2006 at 4:36 PM
Anonymous said...


Saint Peter’s Square
Sunday, 10th December 2006

Dear Brothers and sisters!

This morning I had the joy of dedicating one new parish Church, entitled to Mary - Star of the Evangelization, in Rome’s Neighborhood of North Torrino. It is an event that, though it refers in itself to that neighborhood, inside acquires symbolic meaning of the liturgical season of the Advent, while we prepare ourselves to celebrate the Nativity of the Lord. In these days the liturgy constantly reminds us that “God comes” to visit His people, in order to dwell in their midst and to form with them a communion of one life and love, that is one family.

The Gospel of John expresses therefore the mystery of the Incarnation: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us"; literally, "he made his dwelling among us" (John 1:14). Does not the building of a church amid the houses of a village or neighborhood of a city evoke perhaps this great gift and mystery?

The church-building is a concrete sign of the Church-community, made up of the “living stones” which are the believers, an image so loved by the Apostles. St. Peter (2:4-5) and St. Paul (Ephesians 2:20-22), highlight how the "cornerstone" of this spiritual temple is Christ and that, united to him and very compact, we are also called to participate in the building of this living temple.

Therefore, though it is God Who takes the initiative of coming to inhabit in the midst of men, and although always He is the main craftsman of this plan, it is true also that He does not will to carry it without our active collaboration. Therefore, to prepare for the Nativity of the Lord means to engage one self to build "God's dwelling with men". Nobody is excluded; everyone can and must contribute to make this house of the communion spacious and beautiful.

At the end of the time, it will be completed and will be the “Heavenly Jerusalem”: “I saw a new sky then and one new earth - law in the Book of the Apocalypse.” I saw a new heaven and a new earth" -- we read in the Book of Revelation -- "I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.. 'Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race'" (Revelation 21:1-3). The Advent invites us to fix our eyes towards the “Heavenly Jerusalem”, which is the ultimate destiny of our pilgrimage. At the same time, it exhorts us to engage ourselves with prayer, conversion and the good works, to receive Jesus in our lives, in order to construct along with Him this spiritual building of which each one of us - our families and our communities - is a precious stone.

Among all the stones that make up the Heavenly Jerusalem, the most splendid and valuable is St. Mary Most Holy, the one closest to Christ -- the cornerstone. Through her intercession, let us pray that this Advent will be for the whole Church a time of spiritual building and so speed up the coming of the Kingdom of God.

After the Angelus:

I follow with heartfelt concern all that is happening in the Middle East, where the possibilities for a solution to the crisis besetting the region alternate with tensions and difficulties that cause fears of new violence.

Lebanon deserves a special mention, on whose soil, today as yesterday, men who are different on the cultural and religious plane, are called to live together to build a nation of dialogue and coexistence, and to favor the common good. That is why, in the face of recent events, I share the strong fears expressed by the patriarch, His Beatitude the Lord Cardinal Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir, and by the Maronite bishops in the communiqué they published last Wednesday.

Together with them, I appeal to the Lebanese and to their political leaders to be interested exclusively in the good of the country and harmony between its communities, inspiring their commitment in that unity that is the responsibility of one and all, and that requires patient and persevering efforts, along with confident and permanent dialogue. I also appeal to the international community that they should help to identify urgent, peaceful and just solutions, necessary for Lebanon and for the whole Middle East. I invite everyone to the prayer in this grave moment.

On Thursday, December 14, in St. Peter's Basilica, I will have a meeting with the students of the Roman universities. Dear young people: I await you in great numbers to prepare for Christmas invoking from the Lord Jesus the gift of intellectual charity for the whole university community.

(The Pope greeted pilgrims in several languages)

Greeting in English: I greet the English-speaking visitors and pilgrims here today. On this second Sunday of Advent, the Church puts before us the figure of John the Baptist, the voice crying in the wilderness: "Prepare a way for the Lord". During this Advent season, as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of Christ, let us prepare a place for him in our hearts. I invoke God's abundant blessings upon all of you, and upon your families and loved ones at home.

Translation by CINS

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