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Tuesday, April 20, 2004


POPE JOHN PAUL II will preside at a Eucharistic celebration in St. Peter's Square on Sunday, April 25 at 10 a.m. during which he will proclaim six new Blesseds: Augusto Czartoryski, priest of the Salesians of St. John Bosco (1858-1893); Laura Montoya, virgin, foundress of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Mary Immaculate and of St. Catherine of Siena (1874-1949); Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala, virgin, co-foundress of the Handmaids of St. Margaret Mary and of the Poor (1878-1963); Nemesia Valle, virgin, of the Congregation of Charity of St. Joan Antida Thouret (1847-1916);  Eusebia Palomino Yenes, virgin, of the Institute of Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (1899-1935); Alexandrina Maria da Costa, lay woman, of the Union of Salesian Cooperators ( (1904-1955).

CARDINAL ANGELO SODANO, SECRETARY OF STATE, sent a Message to Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, archbishop of Milan and president of the Giuseppe Toniolo Institute of Higher Studies, on the occasion of the 80th Day of the Catholic University, which will be celebrated on Sunday, April 25 on the theme "Youth and Universities, Protagonists for A Better World." This Institute was authorized 80 years ago by Pope Pius XI to promote this special day. The cardinal wrote, in part: "Today we feel the need to invest once again in study, research and in deepening one's knowledge of culture, to promote the spiritual and ethical quality of mankind. In this an indispensable contribution is offered by the religious dimension of man, capable of conferring unity on speculative investigation, starting with reflections on the meaning of life and of history."

THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE HANDING OVER of the Cross to young people by Pope John Paul, will be marked on Thursday, April 22 in the San Lorenzo International Youth Center in Rome at 5 p.m. with speeches, a round table discussion, the projection of the video "The Pilgrim Cross" and a concluding talk by Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. Fr. Francis Kohn, head of the youth section of this council which organizes World Youth Days, will also address the assembly.
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VATICAN CITY, APR 20, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was a letter from the Holy Father to Msgr. Luigi Giussani, founder of Communion and Liberation, which will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary in October.

  In the letter, dated February 22, the Pope notes that Communion and Liberation is present in 70 countries and proposes a faith "experience that profoundly changes people's lives because it promotes a personal encounter with Christ. ... This half century has been marked by a much-suffered counteroffensive to the ruling ideologies, by a crisis of utopian projects, and more recently, by a widespread tendency toward relativism, skepticism and nihilism which risk extinguishing the desires and hopes of new generations."

  John Paul II expresses the desire that this anniversary will help members of the movement to renew "the enthusiasm of its origins.  It is important to be faithful to the charism from the beginning  in order to be able to respond effectively to the concerns and challenges of the times."

  "The original pedagogical intuition of your movement is precisely to propose Christianity once again, seen as a source of new values which are capable of guiding one's entire life in an attractive way and in tune with modern culture. It is necessary and urgent to help others to know Christ in order that He become the greatest reason for living and working as modern men."

  The Pope concludes the message by asking Our Lord to allow these fifty years to offer to everyone in the movement an opportunity "to begin again refreshed and to approach the new apostolic duties of the third millennium with renewed enthusiasm. May this jubilee year be a providential occasion to deepen our knowledge of Jesus, His person and His message of salvation."


VATICAN CITY, APR 20, 2004 (VIS) - Participants in the annual plenary assembly of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, whose president is Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, were welcomed this morning by Pope John Paul.

  In his address, the Pope noted that the members have gathered once again "to study more deeply a very important topic: the relation between the Bible and morals. This is a theme that regards not only believers, but in a certain sense every person of good will. In fact, through the Bible, God speaks and reveals Himself and indicates the solid basis and certain orientation for human behavior."

  He went on to say that "knowing God, the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, recognizing His infinite goodness, knowing with a grateful and sincere soul that 'all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights', discovering in the gifts that God has given us the duties that He has entrusted to us, acting in full awareness of our responsibilities in His regards - these are some of the fundamental behaviors of Biblical morality."

  "The duty of your common commitment," said the Pope in closing, "is to facilitate for the Christian people access to this treasure."

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