Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Practically a holy year, with days
devoted to religious, seminarians, catechists, youth, fraternities, movements,
Marian associations and the canonization of martyrs and confessors of the
faith, Eucharistic adoration in all the churches of world simultaneously, conferences,
cultural events, an exhibition dedicated to St. Peter, a concert and a website
more, including texts, a hymn and logo (at left). It will be the Year of Faith,
devoted, as Benedict XVI wrote in Porta
fidei, to "rediscovering the contents of the faith professed,
celebrated, lived and prayed, and reflecting on the very act by which one
believes, is a commitment that every believer must make his own."
The purpose and events of the Year were presented today at
the Vatican by Msgr. Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for
Promoting the New Evangelization and Msgr. Graham Bell, under-secretary of the
An event that will open on October 11, the fiftieth anniversary
of the beginning of Vatican II, with a Mass concelebrated by all the Synod
Fathers, the Presidents of Episcopal Conferences of the world and by the
Council Fathers who are still alive.
"The Year of the faith", explained Msgr.
Fisichella, "first, aims to support the faith of many believers who, in
the midst of daily fatigues, do not cease to entrust their lives, with
conviction and courage, to the Lord Jesus. Their valuable testimony, which
doesn't make news before men, but is precious in the sight of the Most High, is
what enables the Church to present itself in today's world, as it did in the
past, with the force of the faith and the enthusiasm of the simple. This Year, however, fits within a broader context marked by a general
crisis that also is affecting the faith. Subjected for decades to the raids of
a secularism that in the name of individual autonomy demanded independence from
every revealed authority, and which made its own program that of "living
in the world as if God did not exist," our contemporary age has often
found itself not knowing how to place itself. The crisis of faith is a dramatic
expression of an anthropological crisis that has left man to himself; for this
reason today he finds himself confused, lonely, at the mercy of forces unknown
to him, and without a goal towards which to direct his life. It is necessary to
be able to go beyond the spiritual poverty in which so many of our contemporaries
find themselves, men and women who no longer feel the absence of God from their
lives, as an absence that should be remedied. The Year of Faith, then, will be a path that the Christian community offers to
many who live with a longing for God and desire to meet him again. It is
therefore necessary for believers to feel a responsibility to provide the
companionship of faith, to become close with those who ask the reason for our
This is the calendar of events, presented today, which are
only those of a universal character that will see the presence of the Pope.
* The solemn opening of the Year of the Faith will take place in St. Peter's Square on Thursday, October
11, the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of Vatican II. There will be a
solemn Mass concelebrated by all the Synod Fathers, the Presidents of Episcopal
Conferences of the world and by the Council Fathers who are still alive who can
make it for the event.
* The first event of the Year, Sunday, October 21, will be the canonization of six martyrs
and confessors of the faith. The sign speaks for itself. In the wake of what is
written in Porta
fidei: "By faith, over the centuries, men and women of all
ages, whose name is written in the Book of Life, have confessed the beauty of
following the Lord Jesus where they were called to give testimony of their
being Christians"(PF 13). There will be canonized: Jacques
Barthieu, Jesuit priest and missionary martyr in Madagascar (1896); Peter
Calungsod, lay catechist, martyr in the Philippines (1672); Giovanni Battista
Piamarta, priest and witness of the faith in the education of the youth (1913),
Mother Marianne (Barbara Cope) witness of faith in the leper colony of Molokai
(1918), Mary of Mount Carmel, religious in Spain (1911), Catherine Tekakwitha,
secular Indian converted to Catholicism (1680), and Anna Schäffer, secular
Bavarian witness to the love of Christ from her bed of suffering (1925). We
will have the opportunity, therefore, to reflect and pray about these witnesses
who with the heroism of their lives are placed by the Church as examples of
* On January 25, 2013, the traditional ecumenical celebration
in the basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls will have a more solemn
ecumenical character and we will pray together so that by the common profession
of the creed the Christians who have received the same baptism may not forget
the way of unity as the visible sign to offer the world.
* Saturday, Feb. 2, the celebration for all people who have
dedicated their lives to the Lord through a religious profession will gather in
St. Peter's Basilica for a common prayer to witness that the faith also
requires concrete signs aimed at keeping alive the hope in the Lord who comes.
* Palm Sunday, March 24, will be, as always, dedicated to
young people who are preparing for World Youth Day.
* Sunday, April 28th will be dedicated to all young boys and
girls who have received the sacrament of Confirmation. The Holy Father will
give Confirmation to a small group of young people as a testimony of the public
profession of faith in confirmation of that made in baptism.
* Sunday, May 5 will be dedicated to the celebration of faith
that finds its initial expression in popular piety and that over the course of
the centuries has been passed on as a peculiar form of faith of the people
through the life of the Confraternities.
* The Pentecost Vigil, on May 18, will be dedicated to all
the movements, old and new, with the pilgrimage to the Tomb of Peter, a witness
of the faith who on the day of Pentecost opened the doors of the house to go
into the squares and streets to announce the resurrection of Christ. In St.
Peter's square we will ask the Lord to send his Spirit once more in abundance to
renew the miracles, as in the early days of the early Church.
* On the feast of Corpus Domini, Sunday, June 2, we will have a Solemn Eucharistic Adoration
that will held simultaneously throughout the world. In the cathedral of each
diocese and in every church, it will be possible, at the same hour, to experience
the silence of contemplation as a witness to the faith that contemplates the
mystery of God alive and present among us with his Body and his Blood.
* Sunday, June 16th will be dedicated to the testimony of the
Gospel of life that has always seen the Church as a promoter of human life and defender
of the dignity of the person from the first moment until his or her last
* Sunday, July 7 will see the conclusion of the pilgrimage to
St. Peter that seminarians, novices, and those in vocational paths will
undertake to make public the joy of their choice to follow the Lord in the
service of his Church.
* From July 23 to 28, World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro will
be as always the culmination of a journey that will see young people from
around the world in a joyful meeting to tell everyone of the importance of
* September 29 will be dedicated in particular to Catechists,
to make clear the importance of catechesis in the growth of faith and the
intelligent and systematic understanding of the faith in relation to personal
life and community growth. It will be an opportunity to recall the twentieth
anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic
* Sunday, October 13 will see the presence of all the Marian
realities to show how the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, is an icon of the faith
of every believer, who in their obedient reliance on the will of the Father can
accomplish true marvels.
* On Sunday, November 24, finally, there will be celebrated
the final day of the Year of Faith.
The Calendar of the Year, concluded Msgr. Fisichella,
"is much broader than these great events. Several dicasteries have already
planned initiatives that are published in the calendar. Depending on their fields
of competence, the dicasteries will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of
Vatican II with special conferences and cultural events. A particular
catechetical path, for example, will be proposed in the catacombs by the
Pontifical Council for Culture. From the website you can follow the initiatives
that day after day will come to the attention of the secretary general also
from the different ecclesial realities."