MEETING WITH THE PEOPLE OF SERRA SAN BRUNO
ADDRESS OF HIS
HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
I am glad to be able to meet you before entering the Charterhouse, where I shall spend the second part of my Pastoral Visit to Calabria. I greet you all with affection and thank you for your warm welcome; I also thank in particular Archbishop Vincenzo Bertolone of Catanzaro-Squillace and Mr Bruno Rosi, the Mayor, for his courteous words. It is true, two Visits, close together, by the Successor of Peter are a privilege for your civil community.
However, as the Mayor has rightly pointed out, it is a great privilege above all to have in your territory this spiritual “citadel” which is the Charterhouse. The very presence of the monastic community, with its long history that dates back to St Bruno, is a constant reference to God, it is openness to Heaven and an invitation to remember that we are brothers and sisters in Christ.
Monasteries have a very precious — I would say indispensable — function in the world. If in the Middle Ages they were centres for the reclaiming of swamplands, today they serve to “reclaim” the environment in a different sense: at times, in fact, the atmosphere we breathe in our societies is not healthy, it is polluted by a mindset that is neither Christian nor even human because it is dominated by economic interests, it is solely concerned with earthly things and lacks a spiritual dimension. In such an atmosphere not only God is marginalized, but also our neighbour, and no effort is made for the common good. The monastery, instead, is a model of a society centred on God and on brotherly relations. We stand in great need of this in our time too.
Dear friends of Serra San Bruno, the privilege of having the Charterhouse nearby is also a responsibility for you: cherish the great spiritual tradition of this place and endeavour to put it into practice in daily life. May the Virgin Mary and St Bruno protect you always. I cordially bless all of you and your families.
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