Monday, May 24, 2010




VATICAN CITY, 23 MAY 2010 (VIS) - Following this morning's Eucharistic celebration in the Vatican Basilica for the Solemnity of Pentecost, Pope Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study to pray the Regina Coeli with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square below.

  In his remarks the Pope explained that "the mystery of Pentecost", which we identify with the appearance of the Holy Spirit in the Cenacle, "is the true 'Baptism' of the Church, but it does not finish there. In fact, the Church lives constantly in the effusion of the Holy Spirit without which she would exhaust her energies like a sailing ship without wind.

  "Pentecost", he added, "is renewed especially in certain particularly intense moments, both at the local and universal level, in small assemblies and in great gatherings". Among these, the Holy Father mentioned Vatican Council II, and "the famous encounter of ecclesial movements with the Venerable John Paul II here in St. Peter's Square at Pentecost 1994.

  "Yet", he went on, "the Church experiences countless 'Pentecosts' which enliven local communities: the liturgies, especially those experienced at special moments in community life, in which the power of God is perceived particularly clearly, infusing souls with joy and enthusiasm".

  "Thus, there is no Church without Pentecost. And, I would like to add, there is no Pentecost without the Virgin Mary. So it was at the beginning, in the Cenacle. ... So it is always, in all places and times. I myself witnessed as much a few days ago in Fatima, Portugal. What did that immense multitude experience on the esplanade of the shrine, if not a renewed Pentecost?".

  "This", the Holy Father concluded, "is the experience typical of the great Marian shrines (Lourdes, Guadalupe, Pompeii, Loreto) and of the smaller ones. Wherever Christians come together in prayer with Mary, the Lord gives His Spirit".
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