Monday, May 17, 2010

B16 Overwhelmed By 200k Supporters in Rome

“The real enemy to fear and fight,” he went on, “is sin, spiritual evil, which sometimes taints the members of the Church. We live in the world – says the Lord – but we are not of the world (cf Jn, 17:14), and we must guard ourselves against its seductions. Rather we must fear sin and for this, we must be strongly rooted in God, be one with what is good, with love and service.

It is what the Church and its ministries, together with the faithful, have done and continue to do with fervid commitment for the spiritual and material well being of people in every part of the world.

Above all, it is what you usually try to do in your parishes, associations and movements, which is to serve God and mankind in the name of Christ. Let us continue together with confidence on this path, and let the trials, which the Lord allows, push us towards greater radicality and coherence.” Pope Benedict XVI

All pictures above courtesy of Daylife

VATICAN CITY, (Catholic Online) - Back from an extraordinary and prophetic visit to Portugal where he led a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, the Pilgrim Pope, Benedict XVI was greeted by a crowd in excess of 200,000 people on Sunday when he led the Regina Caeli at noon.

This ancient prayer to Our Lady is a special feature during the Easter observance. This is one of four Marian antiphons which is usually said after night prayer before going to sleep. It is also recited from from Easter Sunday through Pentecost, the seventh Sunday after Easter.

Queen of Heaven

V. Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
R. For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia.
V. Has risen, as he said, alleluia.
R. Pray for us to God, alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
R. For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Let us pray. O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Regina caeli

V. Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia.
R. Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia.
V. Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia.
R. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia.
R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

This huge crowd represented an extraordinary show of global solidarity which is emerging among the faithful throughout the globe to demonstrate solidarity with the Holy Father and all priests. Yellow balloons were seen everywhere. The crowd waved banners and signs which read "Together with the Pope" and "Your Holiness, you are not alone; the whole Church is with you." The crowd was exuberant in its support of his leadership of the Church during these challenging times.

The gathering was sponsored by the Italian Bishops and facilitated by lay movements throughout Italy. It brought an unprecedented crowd - in excess of three times the number which gathered in St. Peters Square on Easter Sunday. The crowds were so large that they lined the Via della Conciliazione and spilled out into the side streets. It was a teeming sea of faithful Christians affirming their love for the Lord and His Church by standing with the Successor of Peter.

Pope Benedict XVI, buoyed by the show of affection, told the faithful, "Dear friends.It is beautiful to see this multitude today in St. Peter's Square, as it was moving for me to see the immense multitude at Fatima." In a strong message he referred to the "spiritual evil infecting the Church". He reminded the faithful that "The true enemy to fear and combat is sin, spiritual evil, which, unfortunately, also infects members of the Church.."

He asked them " to fear sin and thus be strongly rooted in God, in the good, in love, in service", reminding them "that is what the Church, its ministers, united with the faithful, have done and continue to do with fervid commitment for the spiritual and material good of persons in every part of the world..That is what you in particular constantly try to do in the parishes, in associations and movements: serve God and man in the name of Christ."

"Today you show the great affection and the profound nearness of the Church and the Italian people to the Pope and your priests," he added, "who care for you daily so that in the effort of spiritual renewal we may always better serve the Church, the People of God and those who turn to us with confidence."

The Pope reminded the faithful to pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the Church in these days leading to the great Solemnity of Pentecost, "In the course of this week we will pray with the whole Church for the coming of the Holy Spirit, asking him to pour out his gifts upon our families, our parishes, and all whom we love."

On Sunday morning scores of busses and trains arrived bringing the faithful to prayer with the Pope. Il Messaggero, the daily newspaper, reported that the gathering was a "mobilisation of grass roots Catholics", with the Church "showing its muscles."

The obviously encouraged Pontiff told the pilgrims "I thank you with all my heart, dear brothers and sisters, for your warm presence ... Today you show the great affection and profound closeness of the Church and the Italian people to the Pope and your priests."

On Saturday, Pope Benedict addressed Kirchentag, an ecumenical gathering of Christians held in his native Bavaria. He told those who gathered that "bad seeds" which had infected some within the priesthood must not harm the reputation of the Church. Recalling the parable of the Lord he indicated that weeds "exist even in the bosom of the Church", but that good seed had been sown and will bear fruit.

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