Skip to content

Papal Talk to Lourdes Group and a Movement for the Blind

"Experiences of Fraternal Sharing Based on the Gospel"

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 30, 2007 (Zenit) - Here is a Vatican translation of the address Benedict XVI gave March 17 to visitors from the Federation for Transport of the Sick to Lourdes and the Apostolic Movement for the Blind.

* * *

ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
TO THE FEDERATION FOR TRANSPORT OF THE SICK TO LOURDES (OFTAL)
AND THE APOSTOLIC MOVEMENT FOR THE BLIND (MAC)

St Peter's Basilica; Saturday, 17 March 2007

Dear Friends of OFTAL and of the Apostolic Movement for the Blind,

I meet you with great joy in the Vatican Basilica, where you have taken part in the Eucharistic celebration at which Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, my Secretary of State, to whom I offer a cordial greeting, has presided.

I greet Archbishop Angelo Comastri, Vicar General for Vatican City and Archpriest of the Vatican Basilica, and your Chaplains. I greet each one of you, and in particular Mons. Franco Degrandi, President of OFTAL, and Dr Francesco Scelzo, Vice-President of MAC, whom I thank for presenting to me your respective Associations, which came into being more or less at the same time.

In fact, the Apostolic Movement for the Blind was founded in 1928 through the insight and apostolic dynamism of Maria Motta, a sightless teacher from Monza endowed with profound faith and great strength of mind.

The Federation for Transport of the Sick to Lourdes (OFTAL), on the other hand, is celebrating its 75th anniversary. In fact, founded in 1913 by Mons. Alessandro Rastelli, a priest of the Diocese of Vercelli, it officially came into being in 1932, promoted by the Archbishop of that particular Church.

Your joint presence here today is providential, because both Associations, although they have many different aspects, have a fundamental one in common which I would like to highlight straightaway.

I refer to the fact that both MAC and OFTAL represent experiences of fraternal sharing based on the Gospel and capable of enabling people in difficulty, in this case the sick and the visually impaired, to participate fully in the life of the Ecclesial Community and to be builders of the civilization of love.

They are two institutions which, as the theme of the recent Ecclesial Convention in Verona said, bear witness to the Risen Christ, the hope of the world, demonstrating that faith and Christian friendship make it possible to overcome every condition of frailty together.

In this regard, the experience of the two Founders, Fr Rastelli and Maria Motta, is emblematic. The former went to Lourdes after an accident which confined him to a hospital for a month. The experience of sickness rendered him particularly sensitive to the message of the Immaculate Virgin, who called him to return to the Grotto of Massabielle, first in the company of a single sick person -- and this is very important! --, and then at the head of the first diocesan pilgrimage with more than 300 people, of whom 30 were sick.

For Maria Motta, sightless from birth, the visual limitation was not a hindrance to her vocation; indeed, the Spirit made her an apostle of those who cannot see and later caused her project to become more successful than she herself expected.

From that spiritual "network" which she had created, a proper association formed by diocesan groups present in every part of Italy developed and was approved by Blessed John XXIII with the name of "Apostolic Movement for the Blind". In this movement, learning the style of reciprocity and sharing, both the non-seeing and the seeing were committed to formation, to devote themselves to serving the Church's Apostolic Mission.

Each of the two associations contributed to building the Church with its own specific charism.

You, friends of OFTAL, offer the experience of the pilgrimage with the sick, a strong sign of faith and solidarity among people who come out of themselves and from the closed environment of their own problems to set out for a common goal, a spiritual place: Lourdes, the Holy Land, Loreto, Fatima and other shrines.

Thus, you help the People of God to keep alive the awareness of their nature as pilgrims in Christ's footsteps, which stands out clearly in Sacred Scripture.

Let us think of the Book of Exodus upon which the liturgy makes us meditate this Lenten Season: let us think of Jesus' public life which the Gospels present as a great pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where his "exodus" is to take place.

You, friends of MAC, are messengers in your turn of a typical experience which is your very own; that of walking together, the non-seeing side by side with the seeing. It is proof of how Christian love makes it possible to overcome handicaps and to live diversity positively, as an opportunity for openness to others, as attention to their problems but first of all to their gifts, and to mutual service.

Dear brothers and sisters, the Church is also in need of your contribution to respond faithfully and without reserve to the Lord's will. And of civil society one can likewise say: humanity needs your gifts, which are a prophecy of the Kingdom of God.

May limitations and scant resources not alarm you: God likes to carry out his works using poor means. He therefore asks you to make a generous faith available to him!

Basically, this is why you have come here: to implore at Peter's tomb the gift of a sounder faith.

Tomorrow you will be ending your pilgrimage at two of Rome's Marian sites: MAC at the Basilica of St Mary Major, and OFTAL at the Shrine of Our Lady of Divine Love. Set out, therefore, from this moment of grace, enlightened by the faith of Peter and Mary!

And with this faith, continue on your way, also accompanied by my prayers and my Blessing, which I impart with affection to those of you who are present here and to all your members and your loved ones.

[Translation distributed by the Holy See]

© Copyright 2007 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Contact

Catholic Online
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000

Email

info@yourcatholicvoice.org

Keywords

Pope, Benedict, Lourdes, Blind, Sick, Address

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity
DAN SHEA

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

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

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Catholic Online MasterClass
Learn from experts

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Catholic Media Missionaries
The New Evangelization

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.