(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.
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.
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!”