Benedict XVI Invites us to Pray for a Christian Europe

Source: FSSPX News

During his 14th pastoral visit in Italy, on May 24, the pope followed in the footsteps of St. Benedict (480-547) some 100 km south of Rome. After the Mass, celebrated in the morning at Cassino, on the Square Miranda which is henceforth called Benedict XVI’s Square, the pope invoked St. Benedict in French so that “his spiritual testimony may help peoples living on this continent to remain faithful to their Christian roots and to build a Europe united and showing solidarity,  based upon the search for justice and peace."

Late in the afternoon, the Holy Father presided over  Vespers in the basilica of the Benedictine Abbey of Mount Cassino. Then he prayed silently by the tomb of St. Benedict and St. Scolastica (480?-543?), the sister of the founder of the Benedictine Order. During his homily, Benedict XVI invited the attendants to pray for a Christian Europe: “Thanks to the activity of monasteries that are structured in accordance with the threefold daily commitment of prayer, study and work, entire peoples on the European continent have experienced authentic redemption and a beneficial moral, spiritual and cultural development, learning the meaning of continuity with the past, practical action for the common good, openness to God and the transcendent dimension. Let us pray that Europe may always be able to make the most of this patrimony of Christian principles and ideals that constitute an immense cultural and spiritual wealth.”

The pope also called to mind the violent battles which took place on Mount Cassino during “the dreadful disaster of the Second World War”, and esteemed that this place bombarded in 1944 seemed “like a silent warning to reject every form of violence in order to build peace: in families, in communities, among peoples and throughout humanity.” Benedict XVI went to the Polish military graveyard of Cassino, not far from the Abbey, for a brief private visit during which he was to say a “prayer for all the victims of every war in every country.”

The next and 15th pastoral visit of Benedict XVI in Italy will take place on June 21, 2009, at the shrine of San Giovanni Rotondo, in the region of Pouilles (southern Italy). The pope will pray near the mortal remains of the Capuchin Padre Pio da Pietrelcina (1887-1968) placed in a glass case since April 2008, and exposed to the veneration of the faithful. Next, Benedict XVI will offer Mass at the shrine and, in the afternoon, he will go to the House for the relief of sufferings, a hospital founded by Padre Pio in 1956. Lastly, in the main church of the shrine, the pope will meet with priests, religious and young people before leaving. (Sources: apic/imedia)