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8/21/2008 (8 years ago)

Zenit News Agency (

The Pontiff recalled how Hans Urs von Balthasar wrote that the saints are the most important Gospel commentary and represent for us "a real path of access to Jesus."



Zenit News Agency (

8/21/2008 (8 years ago)

Published in Christian Saints & Heroes

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (Zenit) - Benedict XVI says it is important and advantageous to cultivate devotion to the saints, and recommends vacation as a good time to study their lives.

The Pope said this today at the general audience, during which he reflected on several saints whose feastdays are celebrated in these weeks. He mentioned Sts. John Eudes, Bernard of Clairvaux, Pius X, Rose of Lima, and the celebration of the Queenship of Mary.

"Dear brothers and sisters," he said, "day after day the Church offers us the possibility to walk in the company of the saints."

The Pontiff recalled how Hans Urs von Balthasar wrote that the saints are the most important Gospel commentary and represent for us "a real path of access to Jesus."

And he noted how Jean Guitton described saints as "'the colors of the spectrum in relation with the light,' because with their own hues and accents each one of them reflects the light of God's holiness."

"How important and advantageous, therefore, is the determination to cultivate the knowledge and devotion of the saints, together with the daily meditation of the word of God and filial love for the Virgin," the Bishop of Rome affirmed.


Benedict XVI went on to note that saintliness is a universal call.

"The period of vacation is certainly a useful time to review the biography and writings of some men or women saints in particular, but each day of the year offers us the opportunity to become familiar with our heavenly patrons," he said. "Their human and spiritual experience shows that holiness is not a luxury, it is not the privilege of a few, an impossible goal for a normal man.

"In reality, it is the common destiny of all men called to be children of God, the universal vocation of all those who are baptized. Holiness is offered to all."

The Holy Father said the testimony of the saints shows that "only when one is in contact with the Lord, is one full of peace and joy, and in this way it is possible to spread everywhere serenity, hope and optimism."

Finally, he expressed his hope that the faithful allow themselves "to be attracted by the supernatural fascination of holiness. May Mary, Queen of all saints, Mother and refuge of sinners, obtain this grace for us."


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