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ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
TO PILGRIMS WHO HAD COME TO ROME
FOR THE CANONIZATION OF FIVE NEW SAINTS

Paul VI Audience Hall
Monday, 24 October 2005

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters.

After yesterday's solemn celebration, I am pleased to meet you again. You have come to pay homage to five new saints: Jozef Bilczewski, Zygmunt Gorazdowski, Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga, Gaetano Catanoso and Felix of Nicosia. I cordially greet you all and I thank you for the affection you have shown me. I greet the Cardinals present, the Bishops, the priests as well as the distinguished civil Authorities; I greet the religious men and women and all the lay faithful.

In Ukrainian the Pope said:

I welcome the Pastors and faithful here from Ukraine. I greet the representatives of the State Authorities. Today, let us give thanks for the Canonization of two great Saints: Archbishop Jozef Bilczewski and Fr Zygmunt Gorazdow-ski. Both accomplished their priesthood united to Christ and totally dedicated to others. Prayer, love for the Eucharist and the practice of charity: this was their path to holiness. I entrust the Church in Ukraine and all the Ukrainian People to the protection of these Patronal Saints. May God, through their intercession, bless you all abundantly.

In Polish the Pope said:

I cordially greet the Poles here present. I am pleased that together we can give glory to the new saints. The holiness of Jozef Bilczewski can be described in three words: prayer, work, abnegation. "To be all things for everyone in order to save at least one": this was the desire of St Zygmunt Gorazdowski. Both of them, drawing power from prayer and the Eucharist, gave themselves totally to God and efficaciously carried material and spiritual help to the most needy. I entrust the faithful of the Church in Poland, and particularly the Bishops and priests, to their protection. God bless you.

In Spanish the Pope said:

A great figure of the Chilean Nation is Fr Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga, priest of the Society of Jesus, who I had the joy of canonizing yesterday. Finding myself here with you, dear brothers and dear sisters, I feel very close to all the People of Chile. I desire my greeting also to go to those spiritually united to this great feast of action, of giving thanks and of praise to the Lord for the proclamation of the new Saint.

The purpose of his life was to be another Christ. Thus, one understands better his filial awareness of the Father, his spirit of prayer, his profound love for Mary, his generosity in the giving of himself totally, his dedication and his service to the poor. In the light of the truth of the Mystical Body, he experienced the pain of others as his own and directed it into a major undertaking for the poor, founding for them the "Hogar de Cristo" (Hearth of Christ). It is good that today there is a group of representatives here from this centre, which offers witness to the family atmosphere that our Saint conferred upon it and that continues to be able to count on the collaboration of many persons of good will.

The life of Fr Hurtado invites all to responsibility, but above all to holiness. May St Alberto Hurtado intercede for all, so that you carry to your homes, to your Ecclesial Communities and social environments the light that gives splendour to his life and joy to his heart.

In Italian the Pope said:

My greeting now goes to you, dear devoted friends of St Gaetano Catanoso. I think in a special way of the faithful of the Archdiocese of Reggio Calabria-Bova, where he ministered, as well as to the Daughters of St Veronica, Missionaries of the Holy Face. Fr Gaetano fully lived the ministerial priesthood from the day of his Ordination in 1902 until his death in 1963, and he was an authentic servant of the People of God entrusted to him, first in a small, harsh mountainous centre, then in a large city parish.

He proclaimed the Reign of God with apostolic ardour and the conviction of witness; he administered the sacraments, and above all the Holy Eucharist, immersing himself each day in the mystery of the oblative love of Christ. He placed himself at the service of the least, of the most distant, to whom he opened his heart and gave hope; he dedicated himself to poor and abandoned children with an intense work of evangelization and human promotion. To help needy persons, he founded a congregation inspired by the figure of "Veronica", with the gift of knowing the Holy Face of the Lord in that of his brothers and sisters in order to love and serve them.

I now greet you who have come to participate in the Canonization of Felix of Nicosia, and particularly the Friars Minor Capuchin and the large group of pilgrims coming from Sicily.

Dear brothers and sisters, the new Saint not only represents the strongest and most radical characteristics of your Land, but with his life totally permeated by the Gospel, he continues the long tradition of sanctity and of Christian culture that from antiquity has blossomed on the Island. In a world strongly tempted by the quest for appearance and selfish well-being, St Felix reminds all that true joy is often found behind little things and is reached by following one's proper daily duty with a spirit of devotion.

I heartfeltly wish that, with his help and intercession, you can make your own the great message of faith and spirituality that the Saint of Nicosia still continues today to send his confreres and all the faithful: always adhere more deeply to God's will in order to find in him true peace, full self-fulfilment and perfect happiness.

All together, dear brothers and sisters, let us offer thanks to God, who never ceases to provide the Church with new shining examples of holiness. Let us invoke the Saints and Blesseds as protectors and let us count on their heavenly help.

At the same time, however, we are inspired by their testimony to imitate them in order to grow in faith, hope and charity. I entrust you all to the intercession of these new saints, so that each one of you may carry in your heart a ray of God's holiness and reflect it in every circumstance of life.

May Most Holy Mary, Queen of the Saints, watch over you most of all, and may my Blessing accompany you, which I extend from the heart to your families and all your loved ones.

 

Copyright 2005 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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