Dear Brothers and Sisters,
At the end of this Eucharistic celebration, we turn with confidence to Mary, Mother of God. Two thousand years ago the Blessed Virgin gave birth to the incarnate Word on Asian soil. Today, Mary continues to cooperate in the birth and growth of divine life in the souls of the baptized. In their daily lives, may the Church's sons and daughters follow the example of Mary, imitating her ability to discern God's will in every circumstance; her total self-offering in love; her boundless fidelity and tireless devotion; her strength, capable of bearing the greatest sorrows; her capacity always to speak words of support and encouragement.
To you, Mother of the Church, we entrust the results of the Special Assembly for Asia of the Synod of Bishops: lead the Church in Asia in the joyful proclamation of faith in Jesus Christ our Saviour, and in generous service to the peoples of this continent.
To you, Model of Holiness, we entrust the clergy, the consecrated men and women, and the laity of the Church in Asia: renew and sustain them in a spirit of zeal and in their commitment to the great task of evangelization and service.
To you, Mirror of Justice, we entrust those responsible for the destiny of this continent: may they seek tirelessly the common good, and work for the true spiritual and material development of the peoples of this continent.
To you, Mother of Mercy, we entrust the poor, the needy and the suffering: teach us to be one in spirit with them, in order to serve them as our brothers and sisters.
To you, Mother of the Redeemer, we entrust the young people of Asia: to them the Church offers the truth of the Gospel as a joyful and liberating message, and asks them to use their freshness and enthusiasm, their spirit of solidarity and hope as peacemakers in a divided world.
Mary, Mother of the New Creation, pray for us, your children, now and always!
God bless you all. From this land which preserves the mortal remains of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, show the whole Church that you never forget her witness of evangelical love especially towards the poorest of the poor. Mother Teresa loves India, she is with the people of India forever.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. Today Italy celebrates Thanksgiving Day, which invites us to thank God for the fruits of the earth. At the end of one agricultural season, and the beginning of another, we implore divine blessings on the countryside and on the rural world, so that the Lord will help all those dedicated to work in the fields. While I express heartfelt appreciation to those who are intensely dedicated to agricultural activity, which is indispensable for the survival of the whole of humanity, I request the authorities and public opinion to consider with determined solidarity the need and expectations of the rural populations.
May this Day, which has been celebrated for almost fifty years in Italy, encourage renewed attention in their regard. May the recurrence of this Day be an occasion to better appreciate creation, which God has entrusted to men to cultivate and safeguard as a precious gift.
2. To the thanksgiving to the Lord for the fruits of the earth, I would like to add thanksgiving for my recent pilgrimage in India and in Georgia, of which I shall be able to speak next Wednesday, during the general audience. This important spiritual experience is a further stage in the road of the new evangelization toward the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000.
I also thank God for the ecumenical celebration that took place yesterday in the Vatican Basilica, in memory of Saint Bridget. During that sacred rite, the prayer of Christ in the Cenacle kept resounding in my mind: "Ut unum sint." Let us continue to walk on the road Christ has pointed out, in the hope of being able to reach the full unity of all believers as soon as possible.
May Mary, Mother of the Church, sustain us in this effort.
3. I cannot but recall some disasters and catastrophes of the past days: the collapse of the apartment house in Foggia, burying numerous families in the rubble; an airplane of the World Food Program that crashed in Kosovo, with well-deserving volunteers on board; there has been another violent earthquake in Turkey, following the one in the month of August; a couple of weeks ago an airplane of Air Egypt crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. I ask you to pray for the numerous victims and express my closeness and solidarity to all those who are suffering because of these enormous tragedies. At the same time, I encourage the effort of rescue, help and solidarity, which was immediately and generously manifested, and which merits heartfelt appreciation.
We do not understand properly the reality of sin and its ramifications upon our souls, and upon our own mortal bodies. We are so weighed down with the prospects of getting through life the easy way and pain free as possible that we do not want to consider any other aspect. We must, as Pat Ludwa so clearly writes today in his column, be very careful not to get caught up in the interpretations of Sacred Scripture, but rather to discern with the grace of the Holy Spirit. In this regard, consider the many who are eagerly awaiting the Rapture, believing they will not have to go through the chastisement but will be lifted up by God and preserved from this purification. Nowhere in Sacred Scripture does God indicate such an event. Sacred Scripture tells us very specifically that there is no other way except suffering, as Christ said in Matthew 16: 24-27, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For he who would save his life will lose it; but he who loses his life for My sake will find it. For what does it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, but suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will render to everyone according to his conduct."
Our society has become so taken up with the material things of life that we easily neglect our souls whil will live forever. Thus, in this month of November, it is prudent to reflect upon the Heroic Act of Charity, which we can make for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and this one Heroic Act consists in all of the good works which we have, or will ever make, in our earthly lives. In this Heroic Act of Charity we are asked to become so abandoned to God that we surrender to Him absolutely everything, the satisfactory value of our works of our life and of all the suffrages which shall be given to us after our death, without receiving anything. In this Heroic Act of Charity we give all into the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary to distribute them, according to her intentions, to the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
Death of Saint Albert the Great, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. For more on this saint, see DAILY LITURGY
Birth of Tommaso Parentucelli in Svizzera, Italy. He would go on to become a priest, bishop and cardinal and on March 19, 1447 be elected the 208th successor of Peter, taking the name Pope Nicholas V. It would be Nicholas who would begin the construction of the present St. Peter's Basilica and the man who would found the Vatican Library as well as restoring order politically in France and England.
Pope Clemens VII issues a decree demanding that Henry VIII end his relationship with Anne Boleyn and return to Catherine of Aragon.
Georgetown - the first Catholic men's university opens in Washington D.C.
This is our opportunity to storm Heaven with our Rosaries during this month. Think of the number of souls you will all be able to deliver from Purgatory into the Glory of Heaven through your Hail Mary's. They won't forget you!!!