Monday, May 3, 2010

B16's Turin Visit

"The Shroud is an icon written in blood; the blood of a man who has been scourged, crowned with thorns, crucified and wounded in his right side. Every trace of blood speaks of love and of life. Especially that large mark near the side, made by blood and water that poured copiously from a great wound caused by a Roman spear, that blood and that water speak of life..." Pope Benedict XVI-Turin, Italy, May 3, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI (R) prays in the Cathedral during the Holy Shroud exhibition in Turin May 2, 2010 (Daylife pictures)

Turin, Italy, May 2, 2010 / 10:43 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Holy Father celebrated Mass Sunday morning in St. Charles Square in Turin. During his homily, he taught about the new commandment of Christ and told how Christ's passion, witnessed in the Shroud of Turin, gives us hope.

Pope Benedict arrived at Turin on Sunday morning for a Pastoral visit to the city. The first event in a day filled with commitments was Mass with 25,000 people in St. Charles Square.

Teaching from the day's Gospel reading, the Holy Father said that Jesus, in proposing the new commandment to love one another as he loved them, gives the disciples a means "to continue his presence in a new way among them."

The Pope pointed out that this remains true: "If we love each other, Jesus continues to be present among us."

What differentiates the call to love from a similar command in the Old Testament, explained the Holy Father, is that Jesus adds, "Just as I have loved you, so also must you love one another."

This new commandment differs from that of the Old Testament because loving "as Jesus has loved" means "a love without limits, universal, able to also transform all of the negative circumstances and all of the obstacles ... to progress in love."

In giving us this new commandment, the Pope added later, "Jesus asks us to live his same love, which is the truly credible, eloquent and effective sign for announcing to the world the coming of the Kingdom of God."

In his extensive homily, the Holy Father called particularly for priests and deacons to know, in the face of the great deal of work, how to draw strength to carry the good news to the people from their "relationship of love with God in prayer."

He also told them to focus their existence on the Gospel, to "cultivate a real dimension of communion and fraternity" with those around them and to provide a witness in their ministry to the "power of love that comes from on high."

To all Christians, Benedict XVI said that in the face of the great variety of difficulties life presents, we can be fortified to live through them by the "certainty that comes from the faith, the certainty that we are not alone, that God loves each of us without distinction and (that) he is close to everyone with his love."

The Christian community, he added, "must be a concrete instrument of this love."

He continued exhorting everyone, especially young people, never to lose the hope that comes “from the Risen Christ, from the victory of God over sin and death."

This, he said, is the message of the Shroud of Turin, in which we see our sufferings “mirrored” in the suffering of Christ.

It's for this reason, he went on, that it is a sign of hope.

Christ took on the cross to put evil in check, said the Holy Father, and in his Easter is “the anticipation of that moment in which, also for us, every tear will be dried and there will no longer be death, mourning, lamenting, or worry.”

Related Links:

Translation of the remarks Benedict XVI gave today after venerating the Shroud of Turin

The pontiff said the relic had "wrapped the remains of a crucified man in full correspondence with what the Gospel tells us of Jesus"

Near the Shroud of Turin, Benedict XVI met today with youth of the city and region, encouraging them to live life to the fullest and be witnesses of Christ. "Be witnesses of Christ in our times," the Pope told the young people, who filled a rainy St. Charles Plaza, spotting it with their multicolored umbrellas

Members of the royal Savoy family -- prince Victor Emmanuel, his wife Marina Doria and son Emmanuele Filiberto -- were among the guests at the mass.The shroud came into the possession of the Savoys in 15th century, and they moved it to Turin in 1578

Today is the feast of two apostles, Philip and James

As in the case of the other apostles, we see in James and Philip human men who became foundation stones of the Church, and we are reminded again that holiness and its consequent apostolate are entirely the gift of God, not a matter of human achieving

Old Calendar: Finding of the Holy Cross; Saints Alexander I, pope; Eventius and Theodulus, martyrs and Juvenal, bishop and confessor

Catholics cannot let a proper sympathy for people in hard circumstances lead to lying and worse. Illegals are not “undocumented.” They’ve broken the law, which is what illegal means. The rule of law is one of the central things that make the United States a desirable destination

"Today it is not easy to talk about eternal life and things everlasting because the mentality of our time tells us that nothing definitive exists; everything changes, and changes quickly. In many cases, 'change' has become a watchword, ... and in this way you young people are also led to think that it is impossible to make definitive choices that commit you for life." B16 to youth arrayed

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