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  • » 03/08/2009, 00.00

    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.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - On the international day dedicated to women, Benedict XVI has pledged that he is praying "for all women, that they may be increasingly respected in their dignity and valued in their positive capabilities." He also asked for prayers for his upcoming trips to Cameroon and Angola (March 17-23) and to the Holy Land (May 8-15).

    Speaking to about 20,000 faithful gathered today in St. Peter's Square for the Angelus, the pontiff recalled that today's date, March 8, "invites us to reflect on the condition of women and to renew our commitment so that always and everywhere women may live and manifest to the full their capabilities, obtaining full respect for their dignity." The pope cited pontifical documents, especially the masterful Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem by John Paul II (August 15, 1988), but added that, more than documents, what is important is the testimony of female saints: "Our age has seen that of Mother Teresa of Calcutta: a humble daughter of Albania who became, by the grace of God, an example to the entire world in the exercise of charity and of service to human advancement." "How many other women," he added, "work every day, in obscurity, for the good of humanity and for the Kingdom of God! Today I pledge my prayers for all women, that they may always be increasingly respected in their dignity and valued in their positive capabilities."

    The pontiff then asked for the "spiritual support of all" for his upcoming apostolic voyages. "Next week," the pope said, "from March 17 to 23, I will go to Africa, first to Cameroon and then to Angola, to demonstrate the concrete closeness of myself and of the Church to the Christians and populations of that continent which is particularly dear to me. Then, from May 8 to 15 I will make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to ask the Lord, in visiting the places sanctified by his earthly passage, for the precious gift of unity and peace for the Middle East and for all humanity."

    Before the Marian prayer, Benedict XVI had recalled the Gospel reading for the Second Sunday of Lent, about the Transfiguration of Jesus, relating it to his experience of prayer during spiritual exercises with the Roman Curia, which concluded yesterday.

    "The Transfiguration of Jesus," the pope said, "was substantially an experience of prayer (cf. Luke 9:28-29). Prayer, in fact, reaches its peak, and thus becomes a source of interior light, when the spirit of man clings to that of God, and their wills blend almost to the point of forming a single whole. When Jesus went up onto the mountain, he immersed himself in the contemplation of the loving plan of the Father, who had sent him into the world to save humanity."

    "Dear brothers and sisters," he concluded, "I urge you to find prolonged moments of silence, and of retreat if possible, during this season of Lent, in order to review your lives in the light of the heavenly Father's plan of love. Let yourselves be guided in this more intense listening to God by the Virgin Mary, teacher and model of prayer. Even in the deep darkness of the passion of Christ, she did not lose, but instead preserved in her heart the light of her divine Son. For this reason, let us invoke her as Mother of trust and of hope!"

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    See also

    23/04/2009 JORDAN - VATICAN
    Amman prepares to receive a pope for the third time
    In the first Arab country to be visited by Benedict XVI, newspaper articles, a book, websites dedicated to the papal pilgrimage. Expectations of expressions of support for the presence of Christians, the peace process, and the opening of new paths of interreligious dialogue.

    27/11/2008 ISRAEL - VATICAN
    Benedict XVI will go to the Holy Land, possibly in May
    The news has been released by Haaretz, and has been partly confirmed by the Israeli embassy to the Holy See, according to which "contacts" are underway for a "probable" visit of the pope next year.

    01/03/2009 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."

    01/04/2009 VATICAN
    Pope: the Church accompanies Africa in the great challenges that await it
    At the general audience, Benedict XVI recalls the stages of his first trip to the African continent. The presentation of the working document for the next African Synod. The need for evangelization, hope for the young, the role of women, the pursuit of interreligious dialogue with the Muslims.

    09/03/2008 VATICAN
    Pope: Israelis and Palestinians must stop the violence in the Holy Land
    At the Angelus, Benedict XVI also recalls the kidnapping of Archbishop Rahho. This morning, among the young people at the Centro San Lorenzo, commenting on the resurrection of Lazarus, the pope spoke of the hope and faith that the gesture of Jesus is intended to produce, today as then.



    Editor's choices

    VATICAN
    Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan



    During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.


    VATICAN-CHINA
    May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.


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