HOLY FATHER SPEAKS ON PENTECOST
“Dear brothers and sisters, the first Pentecost happened
when Mary Most Holy was present among the disciples in the cenacle
in Jerusalem and prayed. Today also we entrust ourselves to her
maternal intercession so that the Holy Spirit descend abundantly
upon the Church of our time and fill the hearts of all the faithful
and enkindle in them -- in us -- the fire of his love.”
Pope Benedict XVI gave this Pentecost message to the crowd gathered
at St. Peter’s Square on Sunday May 27 when he led the praying
of the midday Regina Caeli.
Below is a translation of this message from Libreria Editrice Vaticana.
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
Today we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost. And through today's
liturgy we relive the birth of the Church as it is narrated by Luke
in the book of the Acts of the Apostles (2:1-13). Fifty days after
Easter, the Holy Spirit descended upon the community of disciples
-- "persevering with one mind in prayer" -- gathered together
"with Mary, the mother of Jesus" and with the twelve apostles
(cf. Acts 1:14; 2,1).
We can say, therefore, that the Church had its solemn beginning
with the descent of the Holy Spirit. In this extraordinary event
we find the essential and qualifying marks of the Church: the Church
is one, like the community of Pentecost, which was united in prayer
and "of one mind": "it had but one heart and one
soul" (Acts 4:32).
The Church is holy, not because of its own merits, but because,
animated by the Holy Spirit, it keeps its gazed fixed upon Christ
to become conformed to him and his love. The Church is catholic
because the Gospel is destined for all people and for this reason,
already at the beginning, the Holy Spirit gives the Church the ability
to speak in different tongues. The Church is apostolic because,
built upon the foundation of the apostles, it faithfully conserves
their teaching through the uninterrupted chain of apostolic succession.
The Church, moreover, is missionary by its nature, and from the
day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit does not cease to move it along
the roads of the world to the ends of the earth and to the end of
time. This reality, which we can verify in every epoch, is already
anticipated in the Book of Acts, in which the passage of the Gospel
from the Jews to the pagans, from Jerusalem to Rome, is described.
Rome represents the pagan world and therefore all peoples who are
outside the ancient people of God. In fact, the Acts conclude with
the arrival of the Gospel in Rome. We can say, then, that Rome is
the concrete name of the catholicity and missionary spirit of the
Church; it expresses fidelity to the origins, to the Church of all
times, to a Church that speaks in all languages and goes out to
meet every culture.
Dear brothers and sisters, the first Pentecost happened when Mary
Most Holy was present among the disciples in the cenacle in Jerusalem
and prayed. Today also we entrust ourselves to her maternal intercession
so that the Holy Spirit descend abundantly upon the Church of our
time and fill the hearts of all the faithful and enkindle in them
-- in us -- the fire of his love.
[After the recitation of the Regina Caeli the Pope greeted all
the faithful and pilgrims present in St. Peter's Square. To the
English-speaking pilgrims he addressed the following words:]
I warmly greet all the English-speaking pilgrims who have come
here today, especially the Families of Nazareth and the members
of the military community of Hohenfels, who are making their retreat
in Rome. On this Pentecost Sunday the whole Church gives thanks
for the gift of the Holy Spirit sent to the Apostles. May the same
Spirit pour out his gifts upon all of you, filling your hearts with
love and strengthening you to bear witness to the Gospel of Christ.
May God bless you all.
OF THE SAINTS
ST. JOSEPH THE WORKER
This is St. Joseph's second feast day on the Church calendar of celebrations. We honor him also on March 19. St. Joseph is a very important saint.
St. Athanasius was born around 297 in Alexandria, Egypt. He devoted his life to proving that Jesus is truly God.
ST. PHILIP AND ST. JAMES
Both of these saints were part of the original group of Jesus' twelve apostles.
BLESSED MARIE-LEONIE PARADIS
Blessed Marie-Elodie Paradis was born in the village of L'Acadie in Quebec, Canada. It was May 12, 1840.
ST. JUDITH OF PRUSSIA
St. Judith lived in the thirteenth century. She was born in Thuringia. This was in what is now central Germany. She wanted to model her life on the example of St. Elizabeth of Hungary.
BLESSED FRANCOIS DE MONTMORENCY LAVAL
Blessed Francois was the first bishop of Quebec City, Canada. He was born in 1623 in a small town in France.
BLESSED ROSE VENERINI
Blessed Rose was born in Viterbo, Italy, in 1656. Her father was a physician. Rose entered the convent but returned home after a few months.
BLESSED CATHERINE OF ST. AUGUSTINE
St. Catherine was born on May 3, 1632, in a little village in France. She was baptized the same day.
BLESSED NICHOLAS ALBERGATI
Blessed Nicholas was born in Bologna, Italy. Nicholas' family could afford to send him to the university where he began to study law.
St. Antoninus lived in the fifteenth century. Even as a boy he showed that he had good sense and will power.
ST. IGNATIUS OF LACONI
St. Ignatius was the son of a poor farmer in Laconi, Italy. He was born on December 17, 1701.
ST. NEREUS, ST. ACHILLEUS AND ST. PANCRAS
Sts. Nereus and Achilleus were Roman soldiers who died around 304. They were probably Praetorian guards under Emperor Trajan. We know little else about them.
ST. ANDREW FOURNET
St. Andrew Fournet was born on December 6, 1752. He was from Maille, a little town near Poitiers, in France. Andrew's parents were religious people.
St. Matthias was one of Our Lord's seventy-two disciples.
ST. ISIDORE THE FARMER
Saint Isidore was born in 1070, in Madrid, Spain. His parents were deeply religious. They named their son after the great St. Isidore, archbishop of Seville, Spain.
St. Ubald lived in twelfth-century Italy. He was an orphan raised by his uncle, a bishop. Ubald was given a good education.
ST. PASCHAL BAYLON
St. Paschal, a Spanish saint, was born in 1540. From the time he was seven, he worked as a shepherd. He never had the opportunity to go to school.
ST. JOHN I
St. John I was a priest of Rome. He became pope after the death of Pope St. Hormisdas in 523. At that time, Italy's ruler, Theodoric the Goth, was an Arian.
ST. CELESTINE V
Peter di Morone was the eleventh of twelve children. He was born around 1210 in Isernia, Italy. His father died when he was small.
ST. BERNARDINE OF SIENA
St. Bernardine of Siena was born in 1380 in a town near Siena, Italy. He was the son of an Italian governor.
BLESSED EUGENE DE MAZENOD
Blessed Eugene was born in France in 1782. He became a priest in 1811. Father Eugene was sensitive to the needs of the poor and he ministered to them.
ST. RITA OF CASCIA
St. Rita was born in 1381 in a little Italian village. Her parents were older. They had begged God to send them a child. They brought Rita up well.
ST. JOHN BAPTIST ROSSI
St. John Baptist Rossi was born in 1698 in a village near Genoa, Italy. His family loved him. They were proud when a wealthy couple visiting their town offered to educate him. His parents knew the couple and trusted them.
ST. DAVID I OF SCOTLAND
St. David was born in 1080. He was the youngest son of St. Margaret, queen of Scotland, and her good husband, King Malcom.
Venerable Bede, the English priest, was famous as a saint, a priest, a monk, a teacher and a writer of history. He was born in England in 673.
ST. PHILIP NERI
St. Philip Neri was born in Florence, Italy, in 1515. As a child, his nickname was "Good little Phil." He was always so jolly and friendly that everyone he met loved him.
ST. AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY
St. Augustine was the abbot of St. Andrew's monastery in Rome. Pope St. Gregory the Great chose him and forty other monks for a mission dear to his heart.
BLESSED MARGARET POLE
Blessed Margaret was born in 1471. She was the niece of two English kings, Edward IV and Richard III. Henry VII arranged her marriage to Sir Reginald Pole.
St. Maximinius was a bishop who lived in the fourth century. It is believed that he was born in Poitiers, France. As a young man, he heard of a saintly bishop of Trier, in Gaul.
ST. JOAN OF ARC
St. Joan was born in 1412. Her hometown was Domremy, a little village in France. Jacques d'Arc, her father, was a hard working farmer.
THE VISITATION OF MARY
Visitation means "visit." The Archangel Gabriel told the Blessed Virgin Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was going to have a baby.
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
of the Relics of the Passion
for Holy Relics)
Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven,
submit himself to John’s baptism? John preached a
baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke
3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of
the “baptism” of Jesus bloody death upon the
cross. Jesus’ baptism is the acceptance and the beginning
of his mission as God’s suffering Servant (Isaiah
52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among
sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father’s
will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death
for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust
and submission to God?