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    » 03/01/2009, 00.00

    VATICAN

    Pope: Belief in angels is part of the Gospel



    Benedict XVI reaffirms the importance of prayer to these "messengers of God," and asks also for prayers to them on behalf of himself and the Roman Curia, which today begins its Lenten spiritual exercises. A greeting to Fiat workers from Pomigliano d’Arco, concerned about the fate of their factory. The pope urges civil and political authorities, together with business owners, to work together "at this difficult moment," remembering that "the priority must be given to workers and their families."

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "We would eliminate a significant part of the Gospel" if we did not believe in angels. The pope reaffirmed this tradition of the Catholic faith at today's Angelus. The angels, Benedict XVI continued, "proclaim his [God's] presence among us, and are a sign of him. Let us invoke them often, that they may support us in our effort to follow Jesus to the point of being identified with him."

    These spontaneous remarks were prompted by the pope's commentary on the gospel for today, the first Sunday of Lent. The Gospel of Mark says that "the Spirit drove him out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan" (Mk. 1:12-13). But "in front of this dark and shadowy figure that dares to tempt the Lord, the angels appear, luminous and mysterious figures. The angels, the Gospel says, 'ministered to' Jesus (Mk. 1:13); they are the counterpoint of Satan."

    And after detailing the presence of the angels in the Old and New Testament, Benedict XVI added: "The angels ministered to Jesus, who is certainly superior to them, and his dignity is here proclaimed in the Gospel in a clear but discreet way. In fact, even in the situation of extreme poverty and humility, when he is tempted by Satan, he remains the Son of God, the Messiah, the Lord.

    "Let us ask them," the pope concluded, "in particular today, to watch over me and my coworkers in the Roman Curia, who this afternoon, like every year, begin the week of spiritual exercises. Mary, Queen of the Angels, pray for us!"

    In effect, from this afternoon until the morning of Saturday, March 7, the pontiff will take part in the spiritual exercises, preached by Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, on the topic: "The priest meets Jesus and follows him." During the week of the exercises, all of the audiences are suspended, including the one on Wednesday.

    After the Marian prayer, Benedict XVI greeted the workers from the Fiat plant in Pomigliano d’Arco (Naples), "who have come to demonstrate their concern over the future of that factory and of the thousands of people who, directly or indirectly, depend on it for work."

    The pope recalled "other situations that are equally difficult" in Italy and elsewhere. "I join," he added, "the bishops and the respective local Churches in expressing my nearness to the families affected by this problem, and I entrust them in prayer to the protection of Mary Most Holy and of St. Joseph, patron of workers. I wish to express my encouragement to the authorities, both political and civil, and also to business owners, so that this delicate moment can be addressed with the cooperation of all. There is a need, in fact, for a strong common effort, recalling that the priority must be given to workers and their families."

    Photo: CPP

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    See also

    08/03/2009 VATICAN
    Pope: I pray for all women, for their dignity and value
    Benedict XVI recalls "International Women's Day," and points to Mother Teresa as an example, together with the many women who work "in obscurity" for the good of humanity. The pontiff asks for prayers for his trips to Africa and the Holy Land. An appeal to include moments of prayer and silence during the season of Lent.

    05/03/2006 VATICAN
    Pope: Lent with Jesus in the desert to fight the spirit of evil

    Benedict XVI invited Christians to make use of this time to liberate themselves from the slavery of deceit, and to live in the freedom of truth. From this evening until Saturday next, he will participate in the spiritual exercises for the Roman Curia. He also set a date with European and African youth: Saturday 11 March.



    10/02/2008 VATICAN
    Pope: Lent, fighting together with Christ the evil that is in us
    Benedict XVI exhorts against "unloading the problem of evil upon others, on society or God, but acknowledging our own responsibilities and taking them upon ourselves deliberately". The 150th anniversary of the apparition of the Virgin of Lourdes and her call to conversion.

    17/02/2013 VATICAN
    Pope: every moment of life we must choose whether to follow God or our own ego
    In his penultimate Angelus Benedict XVI comments on the temptations of Jesus "The core is always in exploiting God for one’s own interests." Listening to him, a huge crowd, of perhaps 70 thousand people.

    22/02/2015 VATICAN
    Pope gifts "Guard your heart" booklet as an aid to conversion in Lent
    At today's Angelus Pope Francis gave away booklets containing "the wealth of our doctrine," the essentials of the faith: "the seven sacraments, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the Ten Commandments, the virtues, works of mercy. .. ". The booklet was distributed by volunteers and homeless people. "Those who are in need are also the ones who give us this great wealth." Lent is a time "for spiritual battle against the spirit of evil", already won by Jesus in the desert. "We go into the desert without fear, because we are not alone, we are with Jesus." This afternoon, the Pope goes to Ariccia on retreat with the Curia: "Pray so that in this desert we can hear the voice of Jesus and correct our many defects".



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