Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The First Bon Voyage of Benedict XVI

J.M.J. + O.B.T.

Last summer, Pope Benedict XVI inaguarated his missionary pontificate
with a trip to Bari,
on the beautiful Adriatic Coast of Italy...
There he encountered the "Sun in the East" and prayed for unity.

(The following is from various news sources)

Standing before a sparkling sea drenched in sunlight, Benedict received his most sustained applause from the estimated 200,000 people at the Mass when he pledged to work "with all my energy" toward rebuilding "full and visible unity with all the followers of Christ."

"We cannot communicate with the Lord if we are not communicating among ourselves," the pope said to tens of thousands of followers gathered for the open-air celebration in the seaport of Bari. "I ask all of you to decisively take the path of spiritual ecumenism, which in prayer will open the door to the Holy Spirit, who alone can create unity."

Bari, which faces eastward toward the Balkans, has long been regarded as a historic "bridge" between East and West. It is the final resting place of the bones of St. Nicholas of Myra, an important fourth-century figure revered by Catholics and Orthodox alike as the patron of Russia, Sicily, Greece, children and sailors.

In his greetings at the start of the Mass, Archbishop Francesco Cacucci of Bari referred to the city's Orthodox ties, saying the arrival of St. Nicholas' bones in 1057 "built a bridge between the East and West that neither time nor divisions have ever demolished."

In Bari, the pope's appearance officially concluded the weeklong 24th annual National Italian Eucharistic Congress.

Imitate Mary
Become like Jesus
Live for the Triune God

Seek the Light of Our Lord Jesus Christ!
See you on the High Ground!

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