Brian R Corbin's Reflections on Religion and Life

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Pontiff Marks World Refugee Day

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 20, 2010 ( Zenit.org ).- On today’s celebration of World Refugee Day, Benedict XVI is calling attention to the needs of those who have been forced to move away from their homeland.The Pope stated this today after praying the midday Angelus with the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

“Today the United Nations celebrates World Refugee Day,” he said, “to recall attention to the problems of those who have been forced out of their own land and familiar customs, traveling to environments that, often, are profoundly different.”

“Refugees desire to find welcome and to be recognized in their dignity and their fundamental rights,” the Holy Father affirmed.

“At the same time,” he continued, “they intend to offer their contribution to the society that welcomes them.”

Benedict XVI concluded: “Let us pray that, in a just reciprocity, there be a response adequate to such expectations and they show the respect that they have for the identity of the community that receives them.”

Visit Caritas Internationalis for more information on how the Church responds to refugees throughout the world.

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Filed under: Caritas, Migration, Official Statements, Papal Teachings

Pope Benedict XVI: THE STATE MUST SUPPORT VICTIMS OF USURY

 VATICAN CITY, 1 JUL 2009 (VIS) –

Among his greetings at the end of the general audience, celebrated this morning in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope addressed representatives of the Italian National Anti-Usury Council, whom he thanked for the “important and much appreciated work you carry our with victims of this social blight.

 “My hope”, he added, “is that there be a renewed commitment on everyone’s part effectively to combat the devastating phenomenon of usury and extortion, which constitutes a humiliating form of slavery. On the part of the State may there be no lack of appropriate aid and support for families in difficulties who find the courage to denounce those who take advantage of their often tragic situation”.

AG/USURY HOLIDAYS/… VIS 090701 (210)

Filed under: consumerism, Economic Policy, Market Place, Papal Teachings, Uncategorized

Benedict XVI’s Prayer for Those Fallen in War and for Builders of Peace

The Holy Father lit a votive candle and recited the following prayer for the fallen of all countries in all wars:

 

“O God, our Father,

endless source of life and peace,

welcome into Your merciful embrace

the fallen of the war that raged here,

the fallen on all wars that have bloodied the earth.

Grant that they may enjoy the light that does not fail,

which in the reflection of Your splendour

illumines the consciences of all men and women of good will.

You, Who in Your Son Jesus Christ gave suffering humanity

a glorious witness of Your love for us,

You, Who in our Lord Christ

gave us the sign of a suffering that is never in vain,

but fruitful in Your redeeming power,

grant those who yet suffer

for the blind violence of fratricidal wars

the strength of the hope that does not fade,

the dream of a definitive civilisation of love,

the courage of a real and daily activity of peace.

Give us your Paraclete Spirit

so that the men of our time

may understand that the gift of peace

is much more precious than any corruptible treasure,

and that while awaiting the day that does not end

we are all called to be builders of peace for the future of Your children.

Make all Christians more convinced witnesses of life,

the inestimable gift of Your love,

You Who live and reign for ever and ever

Amen”.

Filed under: Official Statements, Papal Teachings, Spirituality

Pope creates five saints, says they hold lessons for economic crisis

 

By John Thavis Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI canonized five new saints and said their dedication to the Eucharist, the poor and the world of work made them models for today’s Christians in an era of economic crisis.

By orienting their lives to Christ, the five men and women showed that “it is possible to lay the foundations for construction of a society open to justice and solidarity, overcoming that economic and cultural imbalance that continues to exist in a great part of our planet,” the pope said. The pope celebrated the canonization Mass in St. Peter’s Square April 26, joined by tens of thousands of pilgrims who held up photos or drawings of the saints.

Four of the new saints were Italian and one was Portuguese. Dressed in bright gold vestments, the 82-year-old pontiff listened as biographies of the five were read aloud, and then pronounced the canonization formula, drawing applause from the crowd. Afterward, relics of the new saints were brought to the altar. In his homily, the pope said the saints’ life stories hold valuable lessons for modern Christians. Each of the newly canonized had a special devotion to the Eucharist, and each transformed that spiritual power into social action, he said.

The five new saints are:

 — St. Arcangelo Tadini, a parish priest from the northern Italian area of Brescia, who preached strongly in defense of workers’ rights during the industrialization period of the late 1800s. He organized an association to help factory workers, established a spinning mill to give young girls of the area gainful employment, and eventually founded a religious order of sisters who worked alongside women in the factories. Pope Benedict said his Gospel-inspired social activity was “prophetic” and is particularly relevant in the current economic crisis. He said the saint taught people that a deep personal relationship with Christ is the key to bringing Christian values into the workplace.

 — St. Bernardo Tolomei, who, inspired by his love for prayer and for manual labor, founded a unique Benedictine monastic movement in Italy in the 14th century. Born in Siena, he was forced by an onset of blindness to give up a public career, and he decided to found a small hermitic community. He later founded the monastery of Santa Maria di Monte Oliveto Maggiore, and died in 1348 of the plague while helping victims of the disease; his burial place, in a common pit, has never been found. The pope called him “an authentic martyr of charity” and said his service to others was an inspiration to all.

 — St. Nuno de Santa Maria Alvares Pereira, a Portuguese army hero in the late 1300s, who, after the death of his wife, abandoned his military career and gave up his wealth to enter a Carmelite monastery. In particular he helped the poor, distributing food to the needy. He was totally dedicated to Marian prayer, and fasted in Mary’s honor three days of the week. The pope said he was happy to canonize a person whose faith grew while in the military, a context generally viewed as unfavorable to holiness. It demonstrates that the values and principles of the Gospel can be realized in any situation, especially when they are employed for the common good, he said.

 — St. Geltrude Comensoli, born in the mid-19th century in the Brescia area, who established a religious institute dedicated to the adoration of the Eucharist. In approving the institute in 1880, Pope Leo XIII asked her to include as part of its mission the education of young female factory workers. Pope Benedict said this connection of contemplative charity with “lived charity” was particularly important “in a society that is lost and often wounded like our own.” He said the saint’s life shows that adoration takes precedence over acts of charity, because “from love for Christ died and resurrected, and truly present in the Eucharist, comes that evangelical charity that pushes us to consider all men as brothers.”

— St. Caterina Volpicelli, who founded a community of sisters centered on Eucharistic adoration and service to the poor, especially young orphans, in the slums of Naples in the mid-1800s. The pope said she correctly saw that in order to bring the Gospel to bear on society it was necessary to “liberate God from the prisons in which man has confined him.” Banners depicting the newly canonized were hung on the faOade of St. Peter’s Basilica, and fluttered in the breeze during the two-hour liturgy.

At the end of the Mass, the pope greeted pilgrims in several languages and said he hoped the new saints would inspire people to witness the Gospel courageously in their daily lives.

Filed under: consumerism, Culture, Market Place, Papal Teachings, Social Doctrine, Social Justice, Spirituality

Pope: workers, families must be crisis priority


Pope Benedict XVI is encouraging political leaders and industrialists to make workers and their families the priority during the economic crisis.

Benedict spoke to pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square Sunday. Fiat autoworkers from southern Italy, worried about the future of their factory, were in the crowd.

The pope says he wants to encourage political leaders as well as industrialists to work together during what he calls a ‘delicate moment.’

He says strong, joint efforts are needed, but that they must keep in mind that the priority must be workers and their families.

Filed under: Economic Policy, Market Place, Papal Teachings