Pope Highlights Holiness in Address to Seminarians

Meeting Is New to World Youth Day Program

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COLOGNE, Germany, AUG. 19, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI highlighted holiness as the goal of life when addressing 3,000 seminarians attending the World Youth Day.

The Pope told his audience gathered in St. Pantaleon’s Church that “the secret of holiness is friendship with Christ and faithful obedience to his will.”

The Holy Father walked to the church, greeted those present, and then prayed vespers with the seminarians.

After a seminarian, a priest, and Cardinal Marc Ouellet, archbishop of Quebec, gave testimonies of their vocation, Benedict XVI delivered a homily in which he revealed the reasons why he called the meeting, unprecedented in the history of World Youth Days.

“I had asked that the program of these days in Cologne should include a special meeting with young seminarians, so that the vocational dimension which is always a part of World Youth Day would be even more clearly and strongly evident,” he said.

Benedict XVI explained that “you too, after your long, necessary program of seminary formation, will be sent forth as ministers of Christ; indeed, each of you will return as an ‘alter Christus,'” another Christ.

The Holy Father illustrated “the secret of your vocation and mission” with these words from the Gospel according to John: “Abide in my love. If you abide in Christ, you will bear much fruit. You have not chosen him, he has chosen you.”

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