2009-10-07 15:42:32

Pope: Church Reform Begins with Reform of Heart

(07 Oct 09 - RV) In his Wednesday audience Pope Benedict continued his catechesis on the leading figures of the Church this week focusing on the of 16TH century Saint and reformer St John Leonardi. RealAudioMP3

Pope Benedict XVI told a crowded St Peter’s Square Wednesday that "every reform certainly deals with structures, but first it must affect the hearts of believers”, adding that “only men and women who are led by the Spirit of God, ready to make radical and courageous choices in light of the Gospel, renew the Church and contribute in a decisive way to building a better world. "

His words inspired by his reflections on St John Leonardi, 16th century Saint, founder of the Congregation of Clerks Regular of the Mother of God, patron saint of pharmacists, and cofounder of the Urbanianum College of Propaganda Fide

He said “Saint John was born near Lucca, and after training as a pharmacist, became a priest committed to offering “the medicine of God” to the men and women of his time. At a period of great reform and renewal in the life of the Church, he made the crucified Christ the centre of his preaching and the criterion of all his activity”.

 Pope Benedict went on to note that John understood that all true reform is born of fidelity to Christ and love for the Church and that every reform must be made within the Church and never against it.

“It was love for Christ which inspired his efforts to catechize the young, to promote missionary activity and to renew Christian life and practice. Saint John was convinced that Christ is the true measure of man, and so he worked with great realism and zeal to promote holiness and the reform of society”.

 In greetings to pilgrims after the audience Pope Benedict had a special word for pilgrims from Australia, Iraq and the US: “including the Sisters and friends of the Congregation of Jesus and the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, celebrating the four hundredth anniversary of their foundation by Mary Ward. My particular greetings go to the groups of faithful from Iraq, from the Archdiocese of Samoa-Apia, and to the Diaconate ordination candidates from the Pontifical North American College accompanied by their families and friends. Upon all of you I invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace!”

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