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MASS - SOLEMNITY OF THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD
HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
Saint Peter's Basilica - Thursday, 25 December 2008
tree in Saint Peter’s Square speaks of him, it wants to reflect his splendour
and to say:
Yes, he has come, and the trees of the wood acclaim him.
The trees in the cities and in our homes should be something more than
a festive custom:
they point to the One who is the reason for our joy –
the God who comes, the God who for our sake became a child.
OF ST. PETER'S: LIVING HEART OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
CITY, MAR 14, 2007 (VIS) - Following today's general audience, Benedict
XVI went to the
headquarters of the Fabric of St. Peter's to greet the people who work
there. Among their other duties,
they are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the Vatican Basilica.
The Pope also greeted
Archbishop Angelo Comastri, archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica and Bishop
Vittorio Lanzani, delegate of
the Fabric. In his remarks to them and to all the staff of this pontifical
institution he recalled how they
undertake their duties "in a place, the venerable basilica of the Apostle,
that is the heart of the
Catholic Church. A beating heart, thanks to the Holy Spirit which keeps
but also thanks to the activity of those who daily ensure its upkeep.
more than 500 years have passed," he added, "since the first stone of
Vatican Basilica was laid. ... And yet it remains a living place, it is
not a museum,
it is a spiritual organism, and the stones also reflect this vitality."
Benedict XVI thanked the staff of the Fabric for the work they carry out
"with commitment and competence, so that this 'heart' of the Church
... can continue to 'beat' with perennial vitality, drawing to herself
men and women
of the entire world and helping them to enjoy a spiritual experience that
marks their lives."
Pope Benedict concluded: "Thanks to your efforts, ... many people are
able to draw fruit from their
pilgrimage or visit to the Vatican Basilica,
and take away in their hearts a message of faith and hope."
arrives in Saint Peter's Square feels immediately welcomed by a
spiritual embrace symbolized by the two symmetrical colonnades of
Bernini. His glance, however, is spontaneously drawn to the noble
wall of travertine over which looms the cupola and on which are
arranged eight columns of a single order, like eight giants, supporting
in the central position the triangular pediment with the coat of
arms of Pope Paul V, who presided over the conclusion of the work.
Nor does the spiritual power unleashed by the figure of Christ the
Redeemer at the center of the balustrade which crowns the edifice
escape the observer. It gives rise to that marvelous vision of apostles,
martyrs, confessors, and virgins which goes out from the side of
Christ at the apex of the facade and unfolds in a great throng along
the entire length of the two arms of the colonnade as though to
recall and summarize the history and the mission of the Church,
which is that of bearing witness to holiness of life, the Gospel
from: The Address of the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, on the
occasion of the ceremony marking the conclusion of the work carried
out on the facade of St. Peter's Basilica. 1987
Maurice & Eloise Howard
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