VATICAN CITY, DEC. 12, 2008 (Zenit.org).- As the Church nears the halfway point of the Pauline Jubilee Year, Benedict XVI gave a CD with the Letter to the Romans to a symbolic group of university students.
The Pope made the gift Thursday after the traditional Eucharistic celebration for Roman universities in preparation for Christmas, which was presided over by the Holy Father’s vicar for Rome, Cardinal Agostino Vallini. Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, concelebrated.
“The 2,000th anniversary of the birth of the Apostle to the Gentiles is helping the entire Church to rediscover its proper and fundamental missionary vocation and, at the same time, to make full use of the inexhaustible theological and spiritual treasure of the Pauline letters,” the Pontiff told the young people. “I am convinced that for you, from a personal as well as the communal and apostolic point of view of the university, studying the person and message of St. Paul is a very enriching opportunity.”
Benedict XVI proposed that Paul’s Letter to the Romans “is without a doubt one of the most important cultural texts of all time.”
“It is and continues to be principally a living message for the living Church,” he said. And he expressed his hope that the letter nourish the faith of the students, leading them to “believe more and better and also to reflect upon yourselves so that you might come to a ‘mature’ faith and, at the same time live this faith, putting it into practice according to the truth of Christ’s commandment.”
“Only in this way,” the Pope concluded, “can the faith that one professes become ‘credible’ for others as well, who are conquered by the eloquent testimony of our deeds.”
Upon his arrival to the group, the Holy Father was greeted by Luigi Frati, rector of Rome’s Sapienza University. Benedict XVI planned to visit that school last January, but cancelled his trip amid the protests of a small group of students and professors.
The rector again invited the Pontiff to Sapienza, affirming that he has never understood why there was opposition to the visit.