06.20.2011 – Twenty-First Year – Num. 115
SUMMARY OF PASTORAL VISIT TO SAN MARINO-MONTEFELTRO:
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VATICAN CITY, 19 JUN 2011 (VIS) - This morning Benedict XVI travelled by helicopter from the Vatican to the Republic of San Marino where, at 10 a.m., he presided at Mass in the Serravalle Stadium.
Beginning his homily, the Holy Father affirmed that today's feast of the Blessed Trinity is "the feast of God, of the very centre of our faith. ... The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are one, because God is love and love is the ultimate life-giving power. The unity created by love is greater than purely physical unity", he said.
Commenting on today's reading from the Gospel of St. John - "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life" - the Pope explained that "the world is full of evil, selfishness and wickedness, and God could come to judge this world, to destroy evil and punish the wicked. However, in fact, He shows that He loves the world, that He loves man despite his sins; and He sent what was most precious to Him, His only-begotten Son. Indeed, not only did He send Him, but made of Him a gift to the world".
"Faith in this Trinitarian God has also characterised the Church of San Marino-Montefeltro through the course of her long and glorious history", Pope Benedict went on. "The evangelisation of this land is attributed to Sts. Marinus and Leo who, in the middle of the third century, are said to have come to Rimini from Dalmatia. ... With their faith in the God Who revealed Himself in Jesus Christ, they brought new perspectives and new values to this locality, leading to the birth of a culture and civilisation founded on the human person, made in God's image and hence possessor of rights that have precedence over any human legislation".
Benedict XVI highlighted how, "apart from the faith, we must also recall the absolute faithfulness to the Bishop of Rome, to whom this Church has always shown devotion and affection". In the same context he also mentioned the attention shown by the Church in San Marino "towards the great tradition of the Oriental Church, and her profound devotion for the Virgin Mary".
Turning to address the faithful, the Pope said: "You are called to carry this precious legacy forward at one of the most decisive moments of history", in the face of "profound and rapid cultural, social, economic and political transformations which have opened new horizons and altered mentalities, customs and sensibilities".
"An insidious temptation has led to the belief that man's richness lies not in faith but in his personal and social power, his intelligence, his culture and his ability to manipulate reality scientifically, technologically and socially. Thus, even in these lands, faith and Christian values are beginning to be substituted with a supposed wealth which, in the final analysis, shows itself to be inconsistent and incapable of bearing the weight of that great promise of truth, goodness and beauty which for centuries your forebears identified with the experience of the faith".
The Holy Father also referred to "the crisis many families have to face", a crisis "aggravated by the widespread psychological and spiritual frailty of spouses, and the fatigue experienced by many educators as they seek continuity for young people who are conditioned by many forms insecurity, first and foremost as regards their social role and employment possibilities".
"I exhort all the faithful to be a leaven in the world", the Pope concluded. "In both San Marino and Montefeltro, show yourselves to be Christians, present, active and coherent. May priests and religious always live in cordial and effective ecclesial communion, helping and listening to their diocesan pastor. I appeal to families and young people to open their hearts and respond readily to the Lord's call. We will never repent of having been generous with God! I ask you lay men and women to commit yourselves actively in the community so that, alongside your specific civic, political, social and cultural tasks, you may find time for the life of faith, the pastoral life".
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VATICAN CITY, 19 JUN 2011 (VIS) - Following this morning's Mass and before praying the Angelus, the Pope thanked everyone who had helped prepare and organise his visit to San Marino.
After the Marian prayer he mentioned the beatification today in the French town of Dax of Sr. Marguerite Rutan, a professed sister of the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity. The blessed lived in the second half of the eighteenth century and had worked in the hospital of Dax. During the persecutions that followed the French Revolution "she was condemned to death for her Catholic faith and her faithfulness to the Church", said Benedict XVI, highlighting also how Sr. Marguerite had been "a shining witness of Christ's love for the poor".
Finally the Holy Father recalled the fact that tomorrow marks World Refugee Day, which this year coincides with the sixtieth anniversary of the adoption of the international convention safeguarding people who suffer persecution and are forced to flee their country. "I invite the civil authorities and all people of good will to ensure refugees are welcomed and given dignified living conditions as they await the chance to return freely and safely to their own countries", he concluded.
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VATICAN CITY, 19 JUN 2011 (VIS) - Today at 4.15 p.m. Benedict XVI travelled to Piazza della Liberta in San Marino where he was greeted by the Captains Regent of the republic, Maria Luisa Berti and Filippo Tamagnini.
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After the playing of the pontifical hymn and the national anthem of San Marino, the Pope, accompanied by the Captains Regent, entered the Palazzo Pubblico where he was greeted by the ministers of the republic. He then held a private meeting with the Captains Regent. Subsequently, in the Hall of the Grand and General Council, the Holy Father delivered an address before members of the government, the congress and the diplomatic corps.
Benedict XVI began by reflecting on the origins of the community which came into being seventeen centuries ago around the deacon Marinus, a great preacher of the Gospel. He highlighted how, throughout their history, the inhabitants of the republic that bears the saint's name "have always remained faithful to the values of the Christian faith, which has been a firm foundation for their peaceful coexistence in keeping with criteria of democracy and solidarity".
The Pope praised the Sammarineses' adherence to this "legacy of values" and encouraged them "to conserve and take advantage of it, so that it becomes the foundation of your deepest identity. ... Thanks to this identity you can build a society attentive to the true good of human beings, to their dignity and freedom, a society capable of safeguarding the rights of all people to live in peace. These are the advantages of healthy secularism, within which the institutions of civil society must act in their constant commitment to defend the common good.
"The Church", he added, "respectful of the legitimate autonomy of the civil authorities, collaborates with them in the service of man, defending his fundamental rights and the ethical norms which are inscribed in his very nature. For this reason the Church is committed to ensuring that legislative authorities always promote and protect human life, from conception to natural end. She also asks that families receive due recognition and effective support".
The Holy Father went on: "We well know how the institution of the family is currently being called into question, almost in an attempt to deny its irreplaceable value. The consequences of this fall on the weakest sectors of society, especially the young who are more vulnerable and therefore more easily exposed to disorientation, to situations of self-marginalisation and to the slavery of dependency. Educational institutions sometimes struggle to find adequate responses for the young who, as the support of the family falls away, often find that a normal insertion into the fabric of society is denied them".
The Pope then turned his attention to the economic crisis, which is also affecting San Marino following years in which trade and tourism had brought some degree of prosperity. He also mentioned the issue of people who live on one side of the border and work on the other, expressing the hope that it could be resolved "while bearing in mind the right to work and the protection of families". The current situation "is a stimulus to reconsider our progress and an occasion for discernment", he said. "It puts the whole of society before the pressing need to face problems with courage and a sense of responsibility, with generosity and dedication, drawing on that love of freedom which characterises your people".
"You", Benedict XVI told the authorities present, "have the task of constituting the earthly city, with due autonomy and with respect for those human and spiritual principles to which individual citizens are called to adhere in their own consciences. At the same time, you have the duty to continue to work actively to build a community founded on shared values".
Having completed his address, the Holy Father, accompanied by the Captains Regent, visited the basilica of San Marino where he was welcomed by the rector, Msgr. Lino Tosi. After pausing in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament and venerating the relics of St. Marinus, the Pope left the building and travelled to the heliport of Torraccia where he bid farewell to the State authorities. He then travelled by helicopter to the sports ground of Pennabilli, Italy, where he was due to meet with young people from the diocese of San Marino-Montefeltro.
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VATICAN CITY, 19 JUN 2011 (VIS) - At 6.45 p.m. today the Pope arrived by helicopter at the sports ground in the Italian town of Pennabilli. Having been welcomed by the civil authorities, he travelled to the cathedral
where he prayed before the Blessed Sacrament. The Holy Father then moved on to Piazza Vittorio Emanuele where he met with young people from the diocese of San Marino-Montefeltro.
Following some words of greeting pronounced by Bishop Luigi Negri of San Marino-Montefeltro, and by one of the young people present, Benedict XVI delivered his address.
Referring to the Gospel episode in which a rich young man asks "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?", the Pope said: "Perhaps we would not speak like this today, but the precise meaning of the question is this: what must I do, how must I live in order to live truly, in order to find life?"
"It is precisely by looking into ourselves with truth, sincerity and courage that we gain some intuition of the beauty of life, but also of its precariousness, and we feel a sense of dissatisfaction and disquiet which nothing tangible can fill", he said.
Benedict XVI invited his youthful audience not to be afraid to "ask yourselves the fundamental questions about the meaning and value of life. Do not be content with partial and immediate responses, which are certainly easier and more comfortable in the short term, which can give a moment or two of happiness and exaltation but which cannot bring you to the true joy of living, the joy that comes to those who build - as Jesus says - not upon sand but upon solid rock. Learn, then, to reflect upon and to read your human experience, not superficially but in depth. With wonder and joy you will discover that your heart is a window open to infinity!"
"Even in the era of scientific and technological progress (which has given us so much) man still desires more, he desires more than just comfort and wellbeing. He remains open to the entire truth of his existence, which cannot be limited to material things but is open to a much broader horizon".
The Holy Father warned young people against the risk "of becoming imprisoned in the material world, in the immediate, the relative, the useful; of losing sensibility towards things that concern our spiritual dimension. This does not mean despising the use of reason or rejecting scientific progress; quite the contrary, it means understanding that each of us has not only a 'horizontal' but also a 'vertical' dimension. Science and technology cannot replace the world of life, our horizons of meaning and freedom, the richness of relationships of friendship and of love".
"In Christ you can find the answers to the questions that accompany your journey, not in a superficial or facile way but walking and living with Jesus. The meeting with Christ is not limited to embracing a doctrine or a philosophy; what He proposes is sharing His very life and thus learning to live, learning who man is, who I am".
The Pope encouraged the young people "not to be afraid to face difficult situations, moments of crisis or the trials of life, because the Lord accompanies you, He is with you. I encourage you to grow in friendship with Him through frequent reading of the Gospel and of all Sacred Scripture, faithful participation in the Eucharist as a personal meeting with Christ, committed efforts within the ecclesial community, and following a good spiritual guide".
"Allow the mystery of Christ to illuminate your entire being! Then will you be able to bring others to this novelty which can change relations, institutions and structures, and so build a more just and united world animated by the search for the common good".
At the end of his meeting with young people, the Pope travelled back the Pennabilli sports ground where he boarded his helicopter to return to the Vatican.
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