On Benedict XVI and St. Augustine
Interview With Father Rovert Prevost
ROME, APRIL 24, 2007 (Zenit) - The prior general of the Augustinians says that Benedict XVI's reflections on the Fathers of the Church is the apex of the re-evalution of those figures begun with the Second Vatican Council.
The Pope is in Pavia today, paying a visit to the tomb of St. Augustine. The bishop of Hippo was the topic of the then Father Joseph Ratzinger's doctoral thesis.
In this interview with us, Father Prevost reflects on the Holy Father's fascination with St. Augustine.
Q: How did this visit of the Pope to Pavia come about?
Father Prevost: In October 2005, with Bishop Giovanni Giudici of Pavia, we invited the Pope to Pavia precisely to celebrate the 750th anniversary of the Grand Union, the last act of the foundation of the Order of St. Augustine.
In November of the same year we received the affirmative response of the Pope through the Vatican secretary of state. The date was left to be determined.
This event was concretized in the pastoral visit to the Dioceses of Vigevano and Pavia, a visit that will conclude in the Basilica of St. Peters in the Golden Sky, the place where the relics of St. Augustine have been kept since about 725, when the king of the Lombards, Liutprand, had them brought to Pavia from Sardinia.
Q: Benedict XVI has a special moment in this visit to pray to the saint who was such an inspiration for his life and thought.
Father Prevost: Exactly. In St. Peter's in the Golden Sky the Pope is meeting together with the clergy and consecrated persons to celebrate vespers.
The Pope is very close to the figure of St. Augustine. In 1953 he wrote his doctoral thesis on the Holy Doctor: "People and House of God in St. Augustine's Doctrine of the Church."
In the course of his visit to the Major Seminary of Rome on Feb. 17, 2007, the Pope said that he was fascinated by the great humanity of St. Augustine, who was not able initially simply to identify himself with the Church, because he was a catechumen, but had to struggle spiritually to find, little by little, the way to God's word, to life with God, right up to the great "yes" to his Church.
This is how he conquered his very personal theology, which is above all developed in his preaching.
The Pope has made many direct references, for example the synthesis of the figure of St. Augustine presented during the Angelus on Aug. 27, 2006, the eve of the feast of St. Augustine.
He spoke of him as "the great pastor" in the meeting with the parishioners and clergy of the Diocese of Rome on Feb. 22, 2007. He recalls him in the last postsynodal apostolic exhortation "Sacramentum Caritatis" on the Eucharist, food of truth, gratuitous gift of the Holy Trinity, the "Christus Totus," that is, the indivisible Christ, the whole together in the image of the head and members of the body.
In the reflections of Benedict XVI we can see the apex of the re-evaluation of the Fathers of the Church, and Augustine in particular, already begun by Vatican II and present in the principal documents of the Church.
Q: What will remain of this visit of the Pope to the Augustinians?
Father Prevost: Above all the honor and privilege of having him as a guest, and also, during his visit to the basilica, he will bless the first stone of the future cultural center, named for Benedict XVI, which will relaunch some initiatives already in existence, for example, "Pavian Augustinian Week," with new initiatives, giving life to a new cultural pole that has St. Augustine as its guide.
There is also a lamp that the Pope lit before the celebration of vespers that will always remain lit next to the mortal remains of the saint. This light is meant to indicate that Augustine is still alive today, in his works and in those who live his spirituality, as we Augustinians do for example. In fact, around the ark there are 50 little flames that burn, which signify the 50 countries where we friars, together with the nuns, are present.
Q: A final question. What other Popes have prayed at the tomb of Augustine?
Father Prevost: John Paul II, at the beginning of his pontificate; then we would have to go too far back in time to find another. But Cardinal Roncalli, the future John XXIII, and Cardinal Montini, the future Paul VI, visited it along with many other illustrious visitors.
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Benedict, Pope, St. Augustine, Prevost, Church
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
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.
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
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Daily Readings for Thursday, March 23, 2017
- Pope Francis defends millennials, but warns them about too much ...
- St. Toribio Alfonso de Mogrovejo: Saint of the Day for Thursday, ...
- 'Living Lent': Thursday of the Third Week of Lent - Day 23
- ISIS deploys child soldiers to keep Christians from returning to Mosul
- Adorable girl captured stealing Pope Francis' hat in hilarious ...
- Daily Reading for Friday, March 24th, 2017 HD Video
- Supreme court nominee faces tough questions on religious freedom during confirmation hearings HD
- Christ's tomb reveals surprise after restoration HD
- Peruvian woman miraculously survives deadly mudslide HD
- Daily Reading for Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 HD
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.