Monday, July 6, 2020

Reflections on the Fifteenth Sunday of
Ordinary Time by Pope Benedict XVI

Entry 0288: Reflections on the Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time 

by Pope Benedict XVI  

On seven occasions during his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI delivered reflections on the Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, on 10 July 2005, 16 July 2006, 15 July 2007, 12 July 2009, 11 July 2010, 10 July 2011, and 15 July 2012. Here are the texts of the seven reflections prior to the recitation of the Angelus and one homily delivered on these occasions. (On 13 July 2008, the Holy Father was traveling to Sydney on the occasion of the 23rd World Youth Day.)



St Peter’s Square, Sunday, 10 July 2005

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Tomorrow is the feast of St Benedict, Patron of Europe, a saint and abbot particularly dear to me as you can guess from my choice of his name.

Born in Norcia around 480, Benedict completed his first studies in Rome but, disappointed with city life, withdrew to Subiaco, where for about three years he lived in a grotto - the famous “Sacro Speco” - and dedicated himself entirely to God. Making use of the ruins of a cyclopean villa of the Emperor Nero at Subiaco, he built several monasteries together with his first followers. Thus, he brought into being a fraternal community founded on the primacy of love for Christ, in which prayer and work were alternated harmoniously in praise of God.

Some years later, he perfected the form of this project at Monte Cassino and wrote it down in the “Rule”, his only work that has come done to us. Seeking among the ashes of the Roman Empire first of all the Kingdom of God, Benedict perhaps unknowingly scattered the seed of a new civilization that would develop, integrating Christian values with the classical heritage on the one hand, and on the other, the Germanic and Slav cultures.

Today, I would like to emphasize one typical aspect of his spirituality. Benedict, unlike other great monastic missionaries of his time, did not found a monastic institution whose principal aim was the evangelization of the barbarian peoples; he pointed out to his followers the search for God as the fundamental and indeed, one and only aim of life: “Quaerere Deum” [to seek God].

He knew, however, that when the believer enters into a profound relationship with God, he cannot be content with a mediocre life under the banner of a minimalistic ethic and a superficial religiosity. In this light one can understand better the expression that Benedict borrowed from St Cyprian and summed up in his Rule (IV, 21), the monks’ programme of life: “Nihil amori Christi praeponere”, “Prefer nothing to the love of Christ”. Holiness consists of this, a sound proposal for every Christian that has become a real and urgent pastoral need in our time, when we feel the need to anchor life and history to sound spiritual references.

Mary Most Holy is a sublime and perfect model of holiness who lived in constant and profound communion with Christ. Let us invoke her intercession, together with St Benedict’s, so that in our time too the Lord will multiply men and women who, through witnessing to an enlightened faith in their lives, may be the salt of the earth and the light of the world in this new millennium.



Les Combes (Aosta Valley) Sunday, 16 July 2006

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I again have the joy this year of spending a period of rest here in the Aosta Valley, in the house that so often welcomed beloved John Paul II and in which I feel perfectly at home, truly on holiday, in a place where the Creator gives us this fresh air, beauty and restfulness and the joy of being alive.

I have immersed myself immediately in this magnificent Alpine scenery that helps reinvigorate body and spirit, and today I am happy to have this family meeting, for as the Bishop has said, it is not a crowd but a gathering, indeed, it is a family of the faithful. A cordial greeting to each one of you, residents and vacationers!

I would first like to greet and thank Aosta’s Bishop Giuseppe Anfossi, Pastor of the Church that resides in this valley, whom I thank for his words and his hospitality. And I also very cordially greet the Metropolitan present here, Cardinal Poletto, Archbishop of Turin - welcome, your Eminence!

I greet the priests, Religious and lay people of the diocesan community. I assure each one of my remembrance in prayer, and I am grateful for your prayers of which the Bishop of Aosta has assured me and which I carry in my work; and a special remembrance in prayer is always for the sick and the suffering.

My grateful thoughts then go to the Salesians, who have put their most beautiful house at the Pope’s disposal.

I address a respectful greeting to the Authorities of the State and the Region, the Municipal Administration of Introd, the Forces of Order and all who in various ways are collaborating to ensure that my stay is peaceful, and there are very many of them. May the Lord reward you!

Through a happy coincidence, this Sunday falls on 16 July, the day when the liturgy commemorates Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The slopes of Carmel, a high ridge that runs down the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea at the altitude of Galilee, are dotted with numerous natural caves, beloved by hermits.

The most famous of these men of God was the great Prophet Elijah, who in the ninth century before Christ strenuously defended the purity of faith in the one true God from contamination by idolatrous cults. Inspired by the figure of Elijah, the contemplative order of Carmelites arose. It is a religious family that counts among its members great saints such as Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Thérèse of the Child Jesus and Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (in the world: Edith Stein).

The Carmelites have spread among the Christian people devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, holding her up as a model of prayer, contemplation and dedication to God.

Indeed, Mary was the first, in a way which can never be equalled, to believe and experience that Jesus, the Incarnate Word, is the summit, the peak of man’s encounter with God. By fully accepting the Word, she “was blessedly brought to the holy Mountain” (see Opening Prayer of the Memorial), and lives for ever with the Lord in body and soul.

Today, I would like to entrust to the Queen of Mount Carmel all contemplative life communities scattered throughout the world, especially those of the Carmelite Order, among which I recall the Monastery of Quart, not far from here, that I have had the opportunity to visit in these days. May Mary help every Christian to find God in the silence of prayer.



Lorenzago di Cadore (Belluno) Sunday, 15 July 2007

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I thank the Lord who this year has granted me the opportunity to spend a few days of rest in the mountains, and I am grateful to all who have welcomed me here at Lorenzago, in this enchanting setting with the peaks of Mount Cadore in the background, which my beloved Predecessor Pope John Paul II also visited several times. I offer special thanks to the Bishops of Treviso and Belluno-Feltre, and to all who in various ways have helped to assure me a peaceful stay that serves its purpose. Before this view of meadows, woods and peaks soaring to the sky, the desire to praise God for the marvels of his works spontaneously wells up in one’s heart and our admiration for these beauties of nature is easily transformed into prayer.

Every good Christian knows that vacations are an appropriate time for relaxation and also the nourishment of the spirit through more extended periods of prayer and meditation, in order to grow in one’s personal relationship with Christ and to conform increasingly to his teachings.

Today, for example, the liturgy invites us to reflect on the famous Parable of the Good Samaritan (see Lk 10: 25-37), which introduces us into the heart of the Gospel message: love for God and love for neighbour. But the person speaking to Jesus asks: who is my neighbour? And the Lord answers by reversing the question and showing through the account of the Good Samaritan that each one of us must make himself close to every person he meets: “Go and do likewise” (Lk 10: 37).

Loving, Jesus says, means acting like the Good Samaritan. And we know that he himself is the Good Samaritan par excellence; although he was God, he did not hesitate to humble himself to the point of becoming a man and giving his life for us.

Love is therefore the “heart” of Christian life; indeed, love alone, awakened in us by the Holy Spirit, makes us Christ’s witnesses.

I wanted to present this important spiritual truth anew in my Message for the 23rd World Youth Day which will be released next Friday, 20 July: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses (Acts 1: 8).

This is the theme on which, dear young people, I ask you to reflect in the coming months in order to prepare yourselves for the great event that will take place in Sydney, Australia, in a year’s time, precisely in these July days. The Christian communities of that beloved Nation are working hard to welcome you and I am grateful to them for the efforts they are making to organize it.

Let us entrust to Mary, whom tomorrow we shall invoke as Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the process of preparation for the next meeting of youth from across the world, to which I invite you, dear friends from every continent, to take part in large numbers.

Thank you once again for coming! I wish you all a good Sunday!


13 July 2008

On Sunday, 13 July 2008, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI was traveling to Sydney (Australia), the Apostolic Journey on the occasion of the 23rd World Youth Day (July 12-21, 2008).



St Peter’s Square, Sunday, 12 July 2009

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In the past few days everyone’s attention has focused on the G8 Summit which was held in L’Aquila, a city harshly tried by the earthquake. Some of the items on the agenda were dramatically urgent. There are inequalities in the world that can no longer be tolerated which demand a coordinated strategy, in addition to necessary immediate interventions, in the search for lasting global solutions. During the Summit the Heads of State and Government of the G8 reaffirmed the need to reach common agreements in order to secure a better future for humanity. The Church has no technical solutions to propose but, as an expert in humanity, offers to all the teaching of Sacred Scripture on the truth about mankind, and proclaims the Gospel of Love and justice. Last Wednesday, commenting at the General Audience on the Encyclical Caritatis in Veritate, published precisely on the eve of the G8, I said: “What is needed, then, is new financial planning in order to redesign development globally, based on the ethical foundation of responsibility before God and to the human being as God’s creature”. This is because, as I wrote in the Encyclical, “In an increasingly globalized society, the common good and the effort to obtain it cannot fail to assume the dimensions of the whole human family” (no. 7).

In his Encyclical Populorum Progressio, the great Pontiff Paul VI had already recognized and drawn attention to the global dimension of the social problem. Following his lead, I also felt the need to dedicate Caritas in Veritate to this question that in our day has become “a radically anthropological question”, in the sense that it concerns the actual way in which the human being is conceived as bio-technology places it increasingly under man’s control (see no. 75). The solutions to the problems of humanity today cannot only be technical, but must take into account all the requirements of the person, who is endowed with a body and a soul, and thus must take into account the Creator, God. “The supremacy of technology”, which culminates in certain practices contrary to life, could in fact produce bleak scenarios for the future of humanity. Acts that do not respect the true dignity of the person, even when they seem to be motivated by a “design of love”, are in fact the result of a “materialistic and mechanistic understanding of human life” that reduces love without truth to “an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way” (see no. 3) and can thus entail negative effects for integral human development.

However complex the current situation of the world is, the Church looks to the future with hope and reminds Christians that the proclamation of Christ is “the first and principal factor of development”. On this very day, in the Opening Prayer of Mass, the Liturgy invites us to pray: Grant us, O Father, that we may hold nothing dearer than your Son, who reveals to the world the mystery of your love and the true dignity of man. May the Virgin Mary obtain for us that we walk on the path of development with all our hearts and our intelligence, “that is to say with the ardour of charity and the wisdom of truth” (see no. 8).



Courtyard of the Papal Residence, Castel Gandolfo, Sunday, 11 July 2010

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

A few days ago, as you see, I left Rome for my summer stay at Castel Gandolfo. I thank God who has offered me this possibility of rest. I extend my cordial greeting to the beloved habitants of this beautiful little town, to which I always return willingly. This Sunday’s Gospel begins with the question that a lawyer asks Jesus: “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Lk 10: 25). Knowing him to be expert in Sacred Scripture, the Lord asks this man to give the reply himself; indeed, he formulates it perfectly, citing the two main commandments: you shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, and with all your mind and with all your strength, and love your neighbour as yourself. Then the lawyer, as if to justify himself, asks: “And who is my neighbour?” (Lk 10: 29). This time, Jesus answers with the famous words of the “Good Samaritan” (see Lk 10: 30-37) in order to show that it is up to us to make ourselves the neighbour of all who are in need of help. In fact, the Samaritan takes charge of the condition of a stranger whom robbers have left half dead on the wayside; while a priest and a Levite had passed him by, perhaps thinking, on account of a precept, that they would be contaminated by the contact with blood. The Parable must therefore induce us to change our mindset in accordance with the logic of Christ, which is the logic of charity: God is love, and worshipping him means serving our brethren with sincere and generous love.

This Gospel account offers the “standard”, that is, “universal love towards the needy whom we encounter “by chance’ (see Lk 10: 31), whoever they may be” (Encyclical Deus Caritas Est, no. 25). Besides this universal rule there is also a specifically ecclesial requirement: that “in the Church herself, as family, no member should suffer because he is in need” (ibid.). The Christian’s programme, learned from Jesus’ teaching, is “a heart which sees” where there is a need for love, and acts accordingly (see ibid., no. 31).

Dear friends, I would also like to recall that today the Church commemorates St Benedict of Norcia the great Patron of my Pontificate the father and legislator of Western monasticism. As St Gregory the Great recounts, “He was devout and religious... by name and through grace” (Dialogues, II, 1: Bibliotheca Gregorii Magni IV, Rome 2000, p. 136). “He wrote a rule for his monks... both excellent for discretion and also eloquent for its style”: indeed, “the holy man could not otherwise teach, than he himself had lived”. (ibid., II, XXXVI: op. cit., p. 208). Pope Paul VI proclaimed St Benedict the Patron of Europe on 24 October 1964, recognizing the marvellous work he did for the formation of the European civilization.

Let us entrust to the Virgin Mary our journey of faith and, in particular, this holiday period, so that our hearts may never lose sight of the Word of God and of the brothers and sisters in difficulty.



Courtyard of the Papal Summer Residence, Castel Gandolfo, Sunday, 10 July 2011

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I thank you for coming to the Angelus here at Castel Gandolfo, where I arrived a few days ago. I gladly take the opportunity to extend my cordial greeting to all the inhabitants of this dear little town, with my best wishes for a good summer. In particular I greet our Bishop of Albano.

In this Sunday’s Gospel (Mt 13:1-23), Jesus recounts to the crowd the well-known Parable of the Sower. In a certain way it is an “autobiographical” passage, for it reflects the very experience of Jesus, of his preaching. He identifies himself with the sower who scatters the good seed of the Word of God and notes the different effects it obtains, in accordance with the way in which people hear the proclamation.

Some listen superficially to the Word but do not take it in; others accept it at the time but are unable to persevere and lose it all; there are those who are engrossed by worldly concerns and enticements; and those who listen receptively, like the good soil: here the word bears an abundance of fruit.

However this Gospel also puts the accent on Jesus’ preaching “method”, that is, on his use of parables. “Why do you speak to them in parables?”, his disciples ask (Mt 13:10). And Jesus answers distinguishing between them and the crowd: to his disciples — namely to those who have already decided for him — he can speak openly about the Kingdom of God, to others, instead, he must proclaim it in parables, precisely to encourage their decision, conversion of the heart; indeed, by their very nature parables demand the effort of interpretation, they not only challenge the mind but also freedom. St John Chrysostom explained: “And this he [Jesus] says to draw them unto him, and to provoke them and to signify that if they would covert he would heal them” (see Homily on the Gospel of Matthew, 45, 1-2).

Basically, God’s true “Parable” is Jesus himself, his Person who, in the sign of humanity, hides and at the same time reveals his divinity. In this manner God does not force us to believe in him but attracts us to him with the truth and goodness of his incarnate Son: love, in fact, always respects freedom.

Dear friends, tomorrow we shall be celebrating the Feast of St Benedict, Abbot and Patron of Europe. In the light of this Gospel reading let us look to him as to a master of listening to the Word of God, a profound and persevering listening. We must always learn from the great Patriarch of Western monasticism to give God his proper place, the first place, offering him in morning and evening prayer our daily work.

May the Virgin Mary help us, through her example, to be “good soil” where the seed of the Word may bear fruit in abundance.



Castel Gandolfo, Sunday, 15 July 2012

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I see that you have forgiven my delay. I celebrated Holy Mass in Frascati and we prayed a little too long perhaps... and so I am late.

Today, 15 July, in the liturgical calendar is the Memorial of St Bonaventure of Bagnoregio, a Franciscan, Doctor of the Church and the successor of St Francis of Assisi at the helm of the Order of Friars Minor. It was he who wrote the first official biography of the “Poverello” and, at the end of his life, he was also Bishop of this Diocese of Albano.

Bonaventure wrote in one of his letters: “I confess before God that the reason which made me most love the life of Blessed Francis is that it resembles the birth and development of the Church” (Epistula de tribus quaestionibus, in Opere di San Bonaventura. Introduzione generale, Rome 1990, p. 29). These words refer us directly to this Sunday’s Gospel which presents the first occasion on which Jesus sent the Twelve Apostles out on mission. Jesus “called to him the Twelve”, St Mark recounts, “and began to send them out two by two.... He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics” (Mk 6:7-9). After his conversion Francis of Assisi practised this Gospel to the letter, becoming a very faithful witness of Jesus; and, uniquely bound to the mystery of the Cross, was transformed into “another Christ”, exactly as St Bonaventure describes him.

Jesus Christ is the inspiring centre of St Bonaventure’s entire life and likewise of his theology. We rediscover this centrality of Christ in the Second Reading of today’s Mass (Eph 1:3-14), the famous hymn of St Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians that begins: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places”. The Apostle thus shows in the four passages, that all begin with the same words: “in him”, with reference to Jesus, how this plan of blessing was brought about. “In him”, the Father chose us before the creation of the world; “in him” we have redemption through his blood; “in him” we became his heirs, predestined to live “for the praise of his glory”; “in him” all those who believe in the Gospel receive the seal of the Holy Spirit. This Pauline hymn contains the vision of history which St Bonaventure helped to spread in the Church: the whole of history is centred on Christ, who also guarantees in every era new things and renewal. In Jesus, God said and gave all things, but since he is an inexhaustible treasure, the Holy Spirit never ceases to reveal and to actualize his mystery. So it is that the work of Christ and of the Church never regresses but always progresses.

Dear friends, let us invoke Mary Most Holy whom we shall be celebrating tomorrow as Our Lady of Mount Carmel, so that she may help us, like St Francis and St Bonaventure, to respond generously to the Lord’s call to proclaim his Gospel of salvation with our words and, first and foremost, with our lives.




St. Peter’s Square, Frascati, Sunday, 15 July 2012

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I am very pleased to be with you to celebrate the Eucharist and to share the joys and hopes, efforts and commitments, ideals and aspirations of this diocesan community. I greet Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who is my Secretary of State and the titular of this Diocese. I greet Bishop Raffaello Martinelli, your Pastor, as well as the Mayor of Frascati. I thank them for the courteous words of welcome with which they have greeted me on behalf of you all. I am glad to greet the Minister, the Presidents of the Region and of the Province, the Mayor of Rome, the other Mayors present and all the distinguished Authorities.

I am also very glad to be concelebrating this Mass today with your Bishop, a very faithful and capable collaborator of mine in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as he said, for more than 20 years. He was involved above all in the catechism and catechetics sector where he worked in deep silence and discretion. He contributed to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and to the Compendium of the Catechism so in this great symphony of faith his voice is also truly present.

In this Sunday’s Gospel Jesus takes the initiative of sending the Twelve Apostles out on mission (see Mk 6:7-13). In fact the term “apostles” means, precisely, “messengers” or “envoys”. Their vocation was to be fully achieved only after Christ’s Resurrection with the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Yet it is very significant that Jesus wants to involve the Twelve in his action from the outset: it is a sort of “apprenticeship” with a view to the great responsibility that awaited them. The fact that Jesus calls certain disciples to collaborate directly in his mission demonstrates one aspect of his love, namely, he does not spurn the help that other people can contribute to his work; he knows their limitations, their weaknesses, but bears no contempt for them. On the contrary Jesus confers on them the dignity of being his envoys. He sends them out two by two and gives them instructions which the Evangelist sums up in a few sentences. The first concerns the spirit of detachment: the Apostles must not be attached to money or to other comforts. Then Jesus warns the disciples that they will not always receive a favourable welcome. Sometimes they will be rejected; they might even be persecuted. However this must not frighten them: they must speak in Jesus’ name and preach the Kingdom of God without being worried about whether or not they will succeed. Succeed — its success must be left to God.

The First Reading presents us with the same perspective, showing us that all too often God’s messengers are not well received. This is the case of the Prophet Amos whom God sent to prophesy in the Sanctuary at Bethel, a sanctuary of the Kingdom of Israel (see Amos 7:12-15). Amos preached very energetically against injustices, denouncing in particular the abuses of kings and notables, abuses of power that offend the Lord and nullify acts of worship. Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, therefore ordered Amos to leave. Amos answered that it was not he who chose this mission but that the Lord had made him a prophet and sent him to this very place in the Kingdom of Israel. Therefore, whether he was accepted or rejected, he would continue to prophesy, preaching whatever God told him and not what men wished to hear. And this has continued to be the Church’s mandate: she does not preach what the powerful wish to hear. Her criterion is truth and justice even if it is unpopular and against human power.

Likewise in the Gospel Jesus warns the Twelve that in some places they may be rejected. Should this be the case, they are to go elsewhere, having shaken the dust from their feet in public. This sign expresses detachment in two senses: moral detachment — as if to say it is you who have refused the proclamation offered to you — and material detachment. We did not seek and do not want anything for ourselves (see Mk 6:11).

The other very important instruction in the Gospel passage is that the Twelve must not be content with preaching conversion. They must accompany their preaching, in accordance with Jesus’ instructions and example, with care for the sick, with caring for those who are sick in body and in spirit. It speaks of the healing of illnesses and also of driving out demons, that is, of purifying the human mind, cleansing, cleansing the eyes of the soul that are clouded by ideologies and hence cannot see God, cannot see truth and justice. This twofold corporal and spiritual healing is always the mandate of Christ’s disciples. Hence the apostolic mission must always include the two aspects of preaching God’s word and of showing his goodness in gestures of charity, service and dedication.

Dear brothers and sisters, I give thanks to God who has sent me today to proclaim to you once again this Word of salvation! A Word which is at the root of the life and action of the Church and also of this Church which is in Frascati. Your Bishop has told me about the pastoral commitment you have most at heart. It is essentially a commitment to formation, addressed first of all to formation teachers: to form formators. This is just what Jesus did with his disciples; he instructed them, he prepared them and he also trained them through a missionary “apprenticeship”, so that they might be able to assume apostolic responsibility in the Church. In the Christian community this is always the first service offered by those in charge: starting with parents who carry out an educational mission for their children in the family.

Let us think of parish priests, who are responsible for formation in the community, of all priests in their various fields of work. They all live an important dimension which is educational. Likewise the lay faithful, in addition to the role of parents, mentioned above, are involved in the service of formation with young people or adults, as those in charge of Apostolic Action and other ecclesial movements, or are involved in civil and social contexts, always paying great attention to a person’s formation.

The Lord calls everyone, distributing different gifts for different tasks in the Church. He calls people to the priesthood and to the consecrated life and he calls them to marriage and to commitment as lay people, both in the Church herself and in society. It is important that the wealth of gifts be fully accepted, especially on the part of the young; so that they feel the joy of responding to God with the whole of themselves, giving joy on the path of the priesthood or of the consecrated life, or on the path of marriage, two complementary routes that illuminate and enrich each other and together enrich the community. Virginity for the Kingdom of God and marriage are both vocations, calls from God to which to respond throughout one’s life.

God calls: it is necessary to listen, to receive and to respond to him, like Mary: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). Here too, in the diocesan community of Frascati the Lord sows his gifts by the handful, calls people to follow him and to extend his mission in our day. Here too there is a need for a new evangelization, and for this reason I propose that you live intensely the Year of Faith that will begin in October, 50 years after the opening of the Second Vatican Council. The Council documents contain an enormous wealth for the formation of the new Christian generations, for the formation of our consciences. Consequently, read it, read the Catechism of the Catholic Church and thereby rediscover the beauty of being Christian, of being Church, of living the great “we” that Jesus formed around him in order to evangelize the world. Be the “we” of the Church, never closed, but ever open and reaching out to proclaim the Gospel.

Dear brothers and sisters of Frascati. May you be united with each other and at the same time open, be missionaries. Stay firm in the faith, rooted in Christ through the Word and the Eucharist; be people who pray, in order to remain linked for ever to Christ, like branches to the vine. At the same time go out, take his message to all, especially the lowly, the poor and the suffering. In every community love one another; do not be divided but live as brothers and sisters so that the world may believe that Jesus is alive in his Church and that the Kingdom of God is at hand. The Patron Saints of the Diocese of Frascati are two Apostles: Philip and James, two of the Twelve. I entrust to their intercession the progress of your community so that it may be renewed in faith and may give a clear witness with works of charity. Amen. 

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