Friday, October 5, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI: Loreto, Italy

Exactly 50 years ago, John XXIII took a train from Vatican City to the Italian town of Loreto. It was all just days before the Second Vatican Council opened, so the Pope traveled there to pray to Our Lady so that the Council would be successful. Now, Benedict XVI has followed his footsteps. He traveled to that same town to pray so that the Synod of Bishops and the Year of Faith are a success. According to tradition, the Basilica holds the home, where Mary used to live in Nazareth. The Pope took a few minutes to pray before that site, which is where Archangel Gabriel visited her. As he celebrated Mass, the Pope talked about hope. He also explained why people need God to face and overcome daily challenges. BENEDICT XVI “Without God, man ultimately chooses selfishness over solidarity and love, material things over values, having over being. We must return to God, so that man may return to being man.” The Pope also prayed for all the upcoming Church events that will take place throughout the month of October. He also prayed for all the families and youths who are struggling in this time of economic crisis. BENEDICT XVI “I wish to entrust to the Most Holy Mother of God all the difficulties affecting our world as it seeks serenity and peace, the problems of the many families who look anxiously to the future, the aspirations of young people at the start of their lives, the suffering of those awaiting signs or decisions of solidarity and love.” For years the sanctuary of Loreto has been a pilgrimage site for Christians, since according to tradition, it holds the house of Mary. During the Crusades the walls of her house were moved from one site to another to protect them. In 1294 the Angelis family installed the house in Loreto permanently. Since then, millions of Christians have gone to visit and pray before the site. This visit marks the Pope's 30th trip in Italy.