CATHERINE OF BOLOGNA: SPIRITUAL WEAPONS AGAINST EVIL
VATICAN CITY, 29 DEC 2010 (VIS REPORT) - The Holy Father dedicated his catechesis during today's general audience, held in the Paul VI Hall in the presence of 8,000 people, to St. Catherine of Bologna (1413-1463).
Born to a noble family in the Italian city of Bologna, at the age of ten she moved to Ferrara where she entered the court of Niccolo III d'Este as a maid of honour. There she received a very careful education which would later serve her during her monastic life when "she used the cultural and artistic knowledge acquired over those years to great advantage", the Pope said.
In 1427, at the age of fourteen, she left the court to dedicate herself to religious life in a community of young women. Two years later the leader of this group founded an Augustinian convent, but Catherine and a number of others preferred Franciscan spirituality and transformed the community into Poor Clares.
The saint "made great spiritual progress in this new phase of her life, though she also had to face great trails", the Pope explained. "She experienced the night of the spirit, tormented even by the temptation of disbelief in the Eucharist. After much suffering, the Lord consoled her. In a vision He gave her the clear awareness of the real Eucharistic presence". In another vision God revealed the forgiveness of her sins, giving Catherine a "powerful experience of divine mercy".
In 1431 the saint had yet another vision, this time of the Final Judgement, which led her "to intensify her prayers and penance for the salvation of sinners. Satan continued to assail her as she increasingly entrusted herself to the Lord and the Virgin Mary. In her writings, Catherine left us essential notes on this mysterious struggle, from which, by the grace of God, she emerged victorious".
These notes are contained in her one written work, the "Treatise on the Seven Spiritual Weapons" in which Catherine teaches that to combat evil it is necessary: "(1) to be careful always to do good; (2) to believe that we can never achieve anything truly good by ourselves; (3) to trust in God and, for His love, never to fear the battle against evil, either in the world or in ourselves; (4) to meditate frequently on the events and words of Jesus' life, especially His passion and death; (5) to remember that we must die; (6) to keep the benefits of heaven firmly in our minds, (7) to be familiar with Holy Scripture, keeping it in our hearts to guide all our thoughts and actions".
"In her convent Catherine, though used to the court of Ferrara, ... performed even the most humble tasks with love and ready obedience", said the Holy Father, recalling also that, out of obedience, the saint "accepted the job of mistress of novices, although she felt she was incapable of carrying out the role". In the same spirit she agreed to move to Bologna as abbess of a new monastery though she would have preferred to end her days in Ferrara.
Catherine died on 9 March 1463 and was canonised by Pope Clement XI in 1712. "With her words and life", Benedict XVI concluded, "she strongly invites us always to allow ourselves to be guided by God, to do His will every day even if it does not always correspond to our own plans, and to trust in His Providence which never abandons us. In this perspective, St. Catherine also invites us to rediscover the value of the virtue of obedience".
VATICAN CITY, 29 DEC 2010 (VIS) - Made public yesterday afternoon was a Letter from the Pope, written in Latin and dated 21 December, in which he appoints Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, as his special envoy to the closing celebrations of the Jubilee Year of the Church in Vietnam, called to mark the 350th anniversary of the creation of the first two apostolic vicariates in the country, and the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the Catholic hierarchy. The celebrations are due to take place at the Marian shrine of LaVang from 4 to 6 January 2011.
The cardinal will be accompanied by Fr. Antoine Duong Quynh, chancellor of the archdiocese of Hue, Vietnam, and rector of the cathedral of Phu Cam in Hue; and by Fr. Francois Xavier Vu Phan Long O.F.M., secretary of the biblical commission of the Episcopal Conference of Vietnam.
VATICAN CITY, 29 DEC 2010 (VIS) - Following today's general audience, the Holy Father received Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, apostolic nuncio to India and to Nepal.
VATICAN CITY, 29 DEC 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:
- As members of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum": Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace; Archbishop Douglas Young S.V.D. of Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea; Msgr. Manfred Ertl, currently consultor of the same dicastery; Laurence de la Brosse, president of the "Association Internationale des Charites"; Fr. Simon T. Faddoul, president of Caritas Lebanon; Michael Thio Yauw Beng, president of the "Societe de Saint Vincent de Paul ‑ Conseil General International"; Roberto H. Tarazona Ponte, "Asistente de la Oficina de Asesoria Pastoral de Caritas" in Peru; Henrietta T. de Villa, currently consultor of the same dicastery, and Carlos Augusto de Oliveira Camargo, currently consultor of the same dicastery.
- As consultors of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum": Fr. Paolo Asolan, professor at the "Redemptor Hominis" Pontifical Institute of Rome's Pontifical Lateran University; Fr. Silverio Nieto Nunez, director of the "Servicio Juridico Civil" of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, and Paolo Luca Beccegato, head of the international unit of Caritas Italy.
- As members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
- As members of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches: His Beatitude Cardinal Antonios Naguib, Patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts, Egypt; Cardinal Francesco Monterisi, archpriest of the papal basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, and Cardinal Kurt Koch.
- As members of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments: Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, archbishop of Warsaw, Poland; Cardinal Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don, archbishop of Colombo, Sri Lanka; Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B.; Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura; Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, and Cardinal Velasio De Paolis C.S., president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.
- As members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints: Cardinal Francesco Monterisi; Cardinal Fortunato Baldelli, penitentiary major of the Apostolic Penitentiary; Cardinal Paolo Sardi, vice chamberlain of Holy Roman Church and patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
- As a member of the Congregation for Bishops: Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke.
- As members of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples: Cardinal Medardo Joseph Mazombwe, archbishop emeritus of Lusaka, Zambia; Cardinal Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don, and Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum".
- As members of the Congregation for the Clergy: Cardinal Donald William Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, U.S.A., and Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz.
- As a member of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life: Cardinal Paolo Sardi.
- As a member of the Congregation for Catholic Education: Cardinal Mauro Piacenza.
- As a member of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura: Cardinal Velasio De Paolis C.S.
- As members of the Pontifical Council for the Laity: Cardinal Paolo Romeo of Palermo, Italy; Cardinal Robert Sarah, and Cardinal Paolo Sardi.
- As members of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity: Cardinal Donald William Wuerl, and Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B.
- As a member of the presidential committee of the Pontifical Council for the Family: Cardinal Raul Eduardo Vela Chiriboga, archbishop emeritus Quito, Ecuador.
- As members of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace: Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, archbishop of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany, and Cardinal Robert Sarah.
- As a member of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum": Cardinal Medardo Joseph Mazombwe.
- As a member of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples: His Beatitude Cardinal Antonios Naguib.
- As members of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts: Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, and Cardinal Velasio De Paolis C.S.
- As members of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue: Cardinal Kurt Koch, and Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church, and of the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology.
- As members of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications: Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis, archbishop of Aparecida, Brazil, and Cardinal Mauro Piacenza.
- As a member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation: Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi.
- As a counsellor of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America: Cardinal Francesco Monterisi.
- As members of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America: Cardinal Raul Eduardo Vela Chiriboga; Cardinal Paolo Romeo, and Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis.
- Msgr. Marcello Bartolucci, under secretary of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, as secretary of the same congregation, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born in Bastia Umbra, Italy in 1944 and ordained a priest in 1968.
- Fr. Boguslaw Turek C.S.M.A., bureau chief of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, as under secretary of the same congregation.
- Msgr. Celso Morga Iruzubieta of the clergy of the diocese of Calahorra y La Calzada - Logrono, Spain, under secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy, as secretary of the same congregation, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born in 1948 and ordained a priest in 1972.
- Msgr. Serge Poitras of the clergy of the diocese of Chicoutimi, Canada, official of the Congregation for Bishops, as adjunct under secretary of the same congregation.