Papal Preacher: Mary is the star of evangelization

VATICAN, December 9, 2011--Gathered with members of his household Friday morning in the Redemptoris mater Chapel of the Apostolic Palace, Pope Benedict XVI heard the second in a series of sermons dedicated to the theme of the New Evangelization.

After singing the ancient Advent hymn, Rorate coeli, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa delivered a 5-part discourse centered on the history of the Church’s preaching of the Gospel.

He began with the great re-thinking of the relationship between the pilgrim Church on Earth to the secular authority accomplished by St Augustine of Hippo. They he spoke of the great periods of evangelization – and in some cases re-evangelization – of the peoples of Europe in the wake of the collapse of the Roman Empire in the West. Finally he turned to the magnificent renewal of learning and missionary zeal – concentrating on the creation and development of monasticism, which itself ran through the dark centuries after the fall of the West and made possible the magnificent achievements of the High Middle Ages.

Then, reflecting on the present, Fr. Cantalamessa turned to the relationship between Mission and Contemplation, saying, “It is not enough that there be in the Church those who dedicate themselves to contemplation and those who dedicate themselves to mission: there must rather be a synthesis of the two things in the very life of every missionary.”

Fr. Cantalamessa concluded his reflections on a Marian note, saying, “Mary is the Star of Evangelization, for she brought the Word, not to this or that people, but to the whole world,” and noting that she did so by carrying the Word in her womb – not in her mouth or on her lips. “She was filled,” he said, “even physically, with Christ – and she radiated Him with her very presence.”

Reported by Vatican Radio

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