Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo


3/15/2009 (6 years ago)

Asia News (

Benedict XVI asks to be accompanied by the prayers of all, and by the help of St. Joseph, his patron saint.

This is the grace of the Gospel that is capable of transforming the world; this is the grace that can renew Africa, because it generates an irresistible power of peace and of profound, radical reconciliation.

This is the grace of the Gospel that is capable of transforming the world; this is the grace that can renew Africa, because it generates an irresistible power of peace and of profound, radical reconciliation.



Asia News (

3/15/2009 (6 years ago)

Published in Lent / Easter

VATICAN CITY (AsiaNews) - Benedict XVI is asking all of the faithful to pray "invoking Mary, Mother and Queen of Africa," as his accompaniment on his first apostolic voyage to Africa next March 17-23. Speaking before the praying of the Angelus, from his window above St. Peter's Square, he said that he is departing "with the awareness of having nothing else to offer and give to those I will meet except for Christ and the Good News of his Cross, the mystery of supreme love, of divine love that overcomes all human resistance and makes it possible even to forgive and love one's enemies."

The pontiff will visit Yaoundé (Cameroon), to present to all the bishops of the continent "the 'working document' of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, which will be held in October . . . at the Vatican." He will then go to Luanda (Angola), in "a country that, after its long internal war, has regained peace and is now called to rebuild itself in justice."

"With this visit," the pope explained, "I intend to embrace by extension the entire African continent: its thousands of differences, and its profound religious spirit; its ancient cultures and its laborious journey of development and reconciliation; its serious problems, its painful wounds, and its enormous possibilities and hopes. I intend to strengthen the Catholics in their faith, encourage the Christians in their ecumenical efforts, and bring to all the proclamation of peace entrusted to the Church by the risen Lord."

After this, referring to one of the readings for today, the Third Sunday of Lent, taken from the First Letter to the Corinthians - in which Paul asserts that he proclaims Christ crucified, "a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1 Cor. 1:23-24) - he stressed that he has nothing else to "offer and give" other than the "Good News of his Cross."

And he added: "This is the grace of the Gospel that is capable of transforming the world; this is the grace that can renew Africa, because it generates an irresistible power of peace and of profound, radical reconciliation. The Church, then, does not pursue economic, social, and political goals; the Church proclaims Christ, certain that the Gospel can touch the hearts of all and transform them, thus renewing persons and societies from within."

During his visit to Africa, Benedict XVI will celebrate his name day (St. Joseph, March 19). The pope is also entrusting his pilgrimage to him: "Saint Joseph," he said, "warned by an angel in a dream, had to flee with Mary to Egypt, in the northwest [sic] of Africa, in order to protect the newborn Jesus, whom Herod wanted to kill. This fulfilled the Scriptures: Jesus trod in the footsteps of the ancient patriarchs, and, like the people of Israel, he returned to the Promised Land after being in exile in Egypt. I entrust to the heavenly intercession of this great Saint the upcoming pilgrimage and the populations of Africa as a whole, with the challenges that mark them and the hopes that animate them. In particular, I think of the victims of hunger, of disease, of injustice, of fratricidal conflicts, and of every form of violence that unfortunately continues to afflict adults and children, without sparing missionaries, priests, religious, and volunteers."

After the praying of the Angelus, the pope greeted the university students and professors in Rome for the "Pauline Jubilee of the Universities," promoted by the Congregation for Catholic Education and by the Pontifical Council for Culture and organized by the Vicariate of Rome. "I hope," the pontiff said, "that pastoral work may be developed in all the particular Churches, for the formation of young people and for the elaboration of a culture inspired by the Gospel. Dear university [students and teachers], I encourage you and I accompany you with my prayers."

After the many greetings in the various languages, Benedict XVI addressed the Girl Scouts, the members of the Associazione Italiana Guide e Scouts d'Europa Cattolici, who filled St. Peter's Square almost to capacity. "Dear girls," the pope said, "always say your 'here I am!' to God, like the Virgin Mary; say it with your hearts, and you will be rays of light for the world. Thank you for coming!"


More Lent / Easter

Can you answer these four challenging questions about Lent?

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Take our Lent quiz! See how much you know about the tradition of Lent! Take our Lent quiz, then challenge your friends. See how much you know about this special season in the Liturgical year. The quiz has just a few questions, but will certainly provide a quick ... continue reading

The Way of the Cross continues on Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

In his strong identification with the poor and vulnerable, Jesus makes it perfectly clear that when we meet the needs of these least brothers and sisters, we are ultimately serving him. And when we - as individuals, churches, states and nations - do not adequately meet ... continue reading

Take this thought provoking Stations of the Cross survey

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

How familiar are you with the Stations of the Cross? Take the Catholic Online survey now to share your answers to our questions. Your responses will help us serve you better by tailoring content that suits your needs. The survey is short and should take just 1 minute ... continue reading

'God hasn't forsaken me': Church of England to release short films addressing serious topics for Lent and Easter Watch

Image of The Church of England plans to launch a JustPray campaign throughout Lent, with its final video released on Easter Sunday (Shutterstock).


The Church of England is set to launch its latest campaign called the "Psalm 22 project," which will feature stories of former homeless and ex drug addicts who tackled some of life's most difficult trials. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Psalm 22 refers to the ... continue reading

10 important things to consider during Lent Watch

Image of What are our options during Lent? (Shutterstock)


Every year we give something up for Lent. Sometimes picking what to give up is hard and other times we consider doing something extra to really immerse ourselves in what God has for us - but what are our options? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Lent isn't just ... continue reading

5 little-known facts about Lent you need to learn this Ash Wednesday Watch

Image of Lent is more than just fasting (Rhoy Cobilla,


Everyone knows that Mardi Gras kicks off the upcoming 40-day Lent, which honors the time Jesus fasted in the wilderness, but did you know there is more to it? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Recently the Independent released their list of "5 things you might not ... continue reading

Ash Wednesday: 'Seek To Experience God's Presence Within' Watch

Image of

By F. K. Bartels

"You may ask me: 'But, does God exist? And if he exists does he really concern himself with us? Can we reach him?' It is, indeed, true that we cannot place God on the table, we cannot touch him or pick him up like an ordinary object. We must rediscover our capacity to ... continue reading

POPE'S MASS: Ash Wednesday (FULL TEXT: English) Watch

Image of

By Pope Francis, Libreria Editrice Vaticana

The unofficial English translation to Pope Francis' prepared homily for the 2016 Ash Wednesday Mass: The Word of God, the beginning of the Lenten journey, addressed to the Church and to each of us invitations.The first is that of St. Paul: " Be reconciled to God " ( ... continue reading

Pope Francis' special Ash Wednesday message for 'Keep Lent' initiative Watch

Image of


Pope Francis sent out his first audio message for "Keep Lent" over social media. 'Keep Lent' is an initiative of the Prelature of the Pontifical Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii's youth ministry office. According to the Vatican Radio, "The initiative begins on Ash ... continue reading

Fat Tuesday - Mardi Gras Meant to Be More than a Party Watch

Image of Some have tried to argue that this term meant that people should discard their moral faith commitments and for the night and just

By Fr. Randy Sly

One could call this celebration the last gasp of Ordinary time as the Church anticipates the penitential Season of the forty days of Lent. Rich foods are consumed as pilgrims prepare for times of fasting, abstinence, confession and penance. Ironically, carnival ... continue reading

All Lent / Easter News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 58:9-14
9 Then you will cry for help and Yahweh will answer; you will call and he ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Prayer Of David] Listen to me, Yahweh, answer me, for I am poor and ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 5:27-32
27 When he went out after this, he noticed a tax collector, Levi by name, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 13th, 2016 Image

St. Catherine de Ricci
February 13: St. Catherine was born in Florence in 1522. Her ... Read More