02/02/2010, 00.00
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Feast day of the Presentation: Indian nuns pray for Pope

Mumbai Carmelites renew their vows with special prayers for the Mission of the Holy See and for peace in conflict-torn Holy Land.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Pope Benedict XVI “is a source of encouragement and strength to our contemplative life. As we renew the religious vows Grace gave us—chastity, poverty and obedience—we pray that the Holy Father will support us in fulfilling our mission,” Mother Soccoro told AsiaNews. The Carmelite nun is the prioress of Our Lady of Mount Carmel monastery in Adheri, on the outskirts of Mumbai.

“This is a special day for us,” the prioress said as she spoke about the Feast Day of the Presentation, which is dedicated to the consecrated life. “It is our feast day, the day in which we renew our vows. This morning all of the cloistered nuns, eleven counting the novices, went in procession to Mass, with candles. During the celebration, we renewed our vows in accordance with the rules of the Carmelites.”

“Our prayers go to our beloved Pontiff, Benedict XVI. Towards him, we have a deep gratitude because the Pope is always close to our mission and prays that we may hold firm in the spirituality of our mission. In the Encyclical Spe Salvi, he made a reference to the cloistered life, not only as place where one can devote oneself totally to God, but also as a sign of spiritual eternity that underscores, supports and moves the external world.”

This year, the Feast of the Presentation coincides with preparations for the anniversary of the birth of Teresa of Ávila. “The needs of today are the same as those in the time of the great saint. She wanted us to be the daughters of the Church, which must be served with prayers and through faithfulness to the religious life. This calling, today, takes on a very significant meaning” because on this day “the Virgin Mary brought Her son to the temple for the rite of purification, something which draws attention to the importance of faith and obedience.”

For the prioress, this feast day “is the Feast of Light that dispels darkness, which brings discord, wars and hostility. We pray that Mary and the light of Christ illuminate all this and bring peaceful coexistence and harmony among peoples. Our contemplative vocation is in the heart of the Church. On this feast day so connected with the Holy Land, we ask through our prayers, as the Pope did, for peace in that land.” (NC)

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