|HISTORIC MEETING: POPE FRANCIS TRAVELS TO CASTEL GANDOLFO TO MEET WITH BENEDICT XVI (IMAGE SHARE FACEBOOK)|
Vatican City, 23 March 2013 (VIS) – At noon today, the Holy Father Francis travelled by helicopter to Castel Gandolfo to meet and have lunch with Pope emeritus Benedict XVI. Accompanying Benedict XVI to greet Pope Francis on his arrival were Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano, Italy, and Dr. Saverio Petrillo, director of the Pontifical Villas.
This is the first time that the Church is experiencing a meeting between the Pope and an Emeritus Pope. Even though the two have spoken by telephone several times since Pope Francis' election as the 266th Pope ten days ago, this is the first time that they are meeting face to face. Although live coverage of the historic event will not be provided, the Press Office of the Holy See has announced that there will be an official photo of the two together in the library of the Castel Gandolfo Apostolic Palace. (When available, the photo will be published on the VIS blogsite at: http://www.visnews-en.
After meeting privately and sharing lunch, the Holy Father Francis is scheduled to return to the Vatican this afternoon, again by helicopter.
|POPE FRANCIS ASKS JESUITS TO, WITH COMPLETELY COMMITTED LIFE, BE LEAVEN TO WORLD|
Vatican City, 23 March 2013 (VIS) – Three days after beginning his pontificate, Pope Francis sent a letter to the Superior General of the Jesuits, Fr. Adolfo Nicolas Pachon. In it the Holy Father responded to the letter that the Superior General had sent to him on learning of the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the first Jesuit in the history of the Society of Jesus to be elected Pope.
Following is the complete text of the Roman Pontiff Francis' letter, dated 16 March:
“Dear Fr. Nicolas, It is with great joy that I received the kind letter that you sent on behalf of yourself and of the Society of Jesus on the occasion of my election to the See of St. Peter, informing me of your prayers for me and my apostolic ministry along with your complete willingness to continue your unconditional service to the Church and to the Vicar of Christ, according to the precepts of St. Ignatius of Loyola.”
“I thank you cordially for this token of appreciation and closeness, which I reciprocate with pleasure, asking the Lord to enlighten and accompany all Jesuits so that—faithful to the charism received and the footsteps of the saints of our beloved Order, by their pastoral activity but above all through the witness of lives entirely devoted to the service of the Church, the Bride of Christ—they may be evangelical leaven to the world, tirelessly seeking the glory of God and the good of souls.”
“With these sentiments I ask all Jesuits to pray for me and entrust me to the loving protection of Mary, our Mother in Heaven, while, as a pledge of abundant heavenly favours, I impart with special fondness my Apostolic Blessing, which I also extend to all those who work with the Society of Jesus in their activities, benefit from their good works, and partake of their spirituality.”
Vatican City, 23 March 2013 (VIS) – This morning, the Holy Father received His Beatitude Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak, Patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts, in audience.