Sunday, February 15, 2009

Holy Father asks for prayers for 'Ship of Peter'

Zenit has this report:
Pope Urges Prayers for "Ship of Peter"

Says It's Not Always Smooth Sailing

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 13, 2009 ( Benedict XVI is urging the faithful to pray that God continues to watch over the "Ship of Peter," as its not always smooth sailing for the tiny state.

The Pope said this Thursday evening at the end of a concert held in Paul VI Hall commemorating the 80th anniversary of the foundation of Vatican City State.

Our Lady's Choral Society and the RTE Concert Orchestra, both from Dublin, Ireland, played the "Messiah" by Georg Friedrich Handel.

"This concert," the Pontiff said, "which celebrates such a significant anniversary for Vatican City State, is one of a series of events organized for this occasion on the theme: 'A Small Territory for a Great Mission.'"

"I would like to thank all the people who have contributed to solemnize such an important moment for the Catholic Church," the Holy Father continued. "Commemorating 80 years of the 'Civitas Vaticana,' we feel the need to pay homage to all the past and present protagonists of these eight decades of history of this small parcel of land."

Benedict XVI recalled Pius XI, "who, in announcing the signing of the Lateran Pacts and, especially, the foundation of Vatican City State, chose to use an expression of St. Francis of Assisi. He said that the new sovereign status was for the Church, as it had been for St. Francis, 'just enough body to hold the soul together.'"

"Let us ask the Lord, Who guides the fortunes of the 'Ship of Peter' among the not-always easy events of history, to continue to watch over this small state," the Pope continued.

"Above all," he urged, "let us ask him to help, with the power of his Spirit, Peter's Successor who stands at the helm of this ship, that he may faithfully and effectively undertake his ministry as the foundation of unity of the Catholic Church, which has its visible center in the Vatican whence it expands to all the corners of the earth."

I had heard Our Lady's Choral Society from Dublin, directed by Proinnsias O'Duinn (pronounced Prun-she-ass O Din only the last vowel in Proinnsias is long) were singing in Rome and I am delighted that it was part of the celebrations of the foundation of the Vatican State. There's a video report at

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