Pope Thanks Contemplative Religious

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 16, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is inviting the faithful to support religious communities of men and women who dedicate themselves exclusively to prayer.

The Pope launched his appeal after praying today’s midday Angelus in St. Peter’s Square. He noted that Nov. 21, the feast of the Presentation of Mary in the Temple, is also the day “pro orantibus,” that is, “for those who pray,” in particular cloistered religious communities.

“Let us thank the Lord for the sisters and brothers who have embraced this mission, dedicating themselves completely to prayer and living off what Providence gives them,” the Pontiff said. “Let us also pray for them and for new vocations and let us commit ourselves to supporting monasteries in their material needs.”

The Pope then addressed himself to men and women contemplatives to tell them that their “presence in the Church and the world is indispensable.”

“We are with you,” he concluded, “and we bless you with great affection!”

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