21 November 2017
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • » 02/10/2010, 00.00


    Pope: contemplating the cross one understands the greatness of human dignity

    One understands man’s value by contemplating how God accepted to suffer for him. A reflection that comes from the thought of Saint Anthony of Padua, the figure Benedict XVI dedicated his general audience to. In a times of crisis, "the economy needs ethics to function efficiently, not any ethics but an ethics that is people friendly”.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The greatness of human dignity and value of the human being is fully visible in the "mirror of the Cross", in seeing how God accepted to suffer for man. Taking his cue from the figure of Saint Anthony of Padua Benedict XVI dedicated his audience today to the importance of the cross for our culture, our humanism, born of the Christian faith.  

    A saint who was part of the first generation of Friars Minor and who "laid the foundations of Franciscan theology", "contributed significantly to the development of Franciscan spirituality" and who in a period of economic growth, recommended that the poor not be forgotten.  "A very important and timely teaching - the Pope said.   Recalling the words of Caritas in Veritate, Benedict XVI said that "when the economic crisis and severe economic imbalances impoverish many people the economy needs ethics to function efficiently, not any ethics but an ethics that is people friendly".

    To eight thousand people present at the Vatican for the general audience the pope recalled the saint, "one of the most popular in the whole Catholic Church, revered not only in Padua, but around the world", was born in Lisbon in 1195 to a noble family. Baptized as Fernando, as a young man he entered the canons who followed the monastic rule of St. Augustine. His interest in studying the Bible and the Church Fathers helped him acquire "a theological science which he began to incorporate into his teaching and preaching."  

    A fundamental episode that was to change his life took place in 1220 in Coimbra, where the relics of the first five Franciscan missionaries to Morocco, who were martyred there, were brought. In the young Ferdinand the desire to imitate them was born. He asked to leave the canons and to enter the Franciscans. He left for Morocco. He fell ill, he went to Assisi, where in 1221, he participated in the famous "Chapter of Mats" and where he "also met with St. Francis. Later, he lived for a time in total obscurity in a convent near Forli in northern Italy, where the Lord called him to another mission. Invited by completely random circumstances, to preach at the ordination of a priest, he was equipped with such  knowledge and eloquence, that his superiors assigned him to preaching".

    Thus began an " intense and effective apostolic activity to induce many people who had left the Church to return. He was also among the first teachers of theology of the Friars Minor, if not the first. He began his teaching at Bologna, with the blessing of Francis, who sent him a brief letter that opened with these words: 'I would like you to teach theology to the friars'. Anthony laid the foundations of Franciscan theology.  

    He was later appointed provincial superior of the Franciscans in northern Italy and at the end of that task retired to near Padua, where he used to sometimes stay. Less than a year later, in 1231, he died. "Padua bestowed eternal honour and devotion to him. Gregory IX, "after hearing him preach called him the Ark of the Covenant, and canonized him only a year after his death in 1232, after miracles which occurred through his intercession." Pius XII in 1946 proclaimed him Doctor of the Church, with the title "Evangelical Doctor" because from his writings emerge" the freshness and beauty of the Gospel ; still today we can read them to great spiritual profit."

    Of the two cycles of sermons that Anthony began writing, the "Sunday Sermons" and "Sermons on the Saints," Benedict XVI stressed what the saint said about prayer. "Anthony reminds us that prayer requires an atmosphere of silence that does not coincide with the separation from outside noise, but it is inner experience, which aims to remove the distractions caused by the concerns of the soul, creating the same silence in the soul . Prayer is divided into four essential attitudes", which translated from Latin are "trustingly open your heart to God, speak affectionately to Him, present Him your needs, praise Him and thank Him".  

    "The vision of the crucified also inspires thoughts of gratitude to God and respect for the dignity of the human person, so that everyone, believers and nonbelievers, can find meaning, which enriches life." Anthony writes: "Christ, who is your life, is hanging in front of you, so that you will look at the cross like in a mirror. There you will discover how mortal your wounds were, that no medicine could heal, if not the blood of the Son of God.  If you look carefully you will realize how great are your dignity and your value ... Nowhere else can man better realize what he is worth, than looking in the mirror of the cross". "Pondering these words - said the Pope - we can better understand the importance of the image of the Crucified for our culture, our humanism, born of the Christian faith."

    One last thought, Benedict XVI dedicated to "those who dedicate themselves to preaching. May these, inspired by the example of Antony, take care to combine solid and sound doctrine, piety and fervent, incisiveness in communication. "

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    See also

    13/02/2007 VATICAN
    Pope: the love that accepted the Cross asks to be “welcomed” and “spread” by man
    In his message for Lent 2007, Benedict XVI invited all to give the love of Christ to others by struggling against any form of contempt for life and exploitation of others and by easing the tragedy of solitude and neglect suffered by so many people.

    10/01/2010 VATICAN
    Pope condemns violence against migrants and Christians
    In today's Angelus, Benedict XVI reaffirms that migrants are "people to be respected " with "rights and duties" in a clear allusion to the events taking place in Calabria, southern Italy. At the same time, the pontiff calls on political and religious authorities of "some countries" (read: Egypt, Malaysia, Iraq ...) to guarantee the freedom to Christians, the object of violence, and to make sure not to use God's name as justification for murder. The memory of the baptism of 14 infant children in the Sistine Chapel. In Baptism we become children of God and brothers in a new model of society.

    03/02/2010 VATICAN
    Pope: "a missionary fire must always burn” in the heart of the Church
    Illustrating the figure of St. Dominic of Guzman, Benedict XVI speaks of the "temptation" of career and power, "to which even those who have a role in animation and government in the Church are not immune " and recommends priests and seminarians to lovingly care for the "cultural dimension" of faith.

    21/01/2009 VATICAN - USA
    Pope to Obama: promote peace and defend the dignity of man
    Telegram from Benedict XVI to the 44th President of the USA. An invitation to preserve the United States “political and religious” heritage to build a “truly free and just society”. A prayer to grant the new president “unfailing wisdom and strength in the exercise of your high responsibilities”.

    11/11/2010 VATICAN - G20
    Pope to G20: defend human dignity
    Benedict XVI recalls the ethical roots of the financial and economic crisis, and calls for shared, just and stable solutions. Only a shared understanding of the value of man which respects to divine law, can enable effective cooperation between different identities for the common good.

    Editor's choices

    Mass for a deceased underground priest. Card. Zen asks for God ‘s grace to save the Church in China and the Holy See from the 'precipice'

    Li Yuan

    Fr. Wei Heping, 41, died in mysterious circumstances, his body dumped in a river in Taiyuan (Shanxi). For the police claim he committed suicide. Family members are not allowed to even see the autopsy report. For Card. Zen the Holy See (which "is not necessarily the Pope") seeks a compromise at all costs with the Chinese government, risking "to sell out the faithful Church". Justice and Peace publish a booklet about Fr. Wei, not to forget.

    Pope: No more war, its only fruit is death, 'our self-destruction'

    Marking the Feast of All Souls, Francis celebrated Mass at the American Cemetery in Nettuno. "When so many times in history men think of a war, they are convinced of bringing a new world, they are convinced of making a 'spring'. It ends in a winter, ugly, cruel, with the reign of terror and death."


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®