Pope Evokes Turin Saints Ahead of Weekend Trip


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28 Apr 10 - RV) As the Year for Priests draws towards its conclusion and ahead of his upcoming pilgrimage to venerate the Shroud of Turin, Pope Benedict XVI held up the example of two priests native of the Northern Italian city, who through their dedication and witness to Charity have been written on the rolls of the Saints.

"Saint Leonard Murialdo, the founder of the Congregation of Saint Joseph, devoted his life to the education and pastoral care of disadvantaged young people. He saw his priestly vocation as a gracious gift of God's love, to be received with gratitude, joy and love. Imbued with a powerful sense of the Lord's mercy, he encouraged his confreres to unite contemplation and apostolic zeal, and to confirm their preaching by the example of their lives".

The second Saint, who lived through the turbulent years of the Napoleonic wars, was Saint Joseph Cottolengo, whom Pope Benedict described as an "outstanding apostle of charity".

"Early in his priesthood, after a dramatic encounter with human suffering, he founded the "Little Home of Divine Providence", involving scores of people - priests, religious and laity alike - in a great charitable outreach which continues today".

Indeed, this Sunday May 2nd, Pope Benedict XVI will personally visit this home on the outskirts of this industrial city. It will be his last appointment of the day, after having prayed before the Shroud,. And celebrated mass with the faithful of the diocese.

In his greeting to pilgrims and visitors this Wednesday, Pope Benedict made particular mention of visiting delegations, in Rome for a series of meetings:

"I offer a most cordial welcome to the ecumenical delegations from the Lutheran Church of Norway and from the Church of England. My warm greeting also goes to the group of Jewish leaders visiting the Vatican with the Pave the Way Foundation".