Day 3 of Our Holy Father's Visit to the UK

Holy Mass at Westminster Cathedral

Today Saturday 18th September, our Holy Father celebrated Holy Mass in Westminster Cathedral.  So many young people were there to greet him outside after the Mass with great enthusiasm and tremendous joy.  Again it shows that the young want Christ, they want to hear the truth of the Gospel in full and they want the challenge that that brings.

Below is an excerpt from our Holy Father's sermon at Westminster...

The Eucharistic sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ embraces in turn the mystery of our Lord's continuing passion in the members of his mystical body, the Church in every age. Here the great crucifix which towers above us serves as a reminder that Christ, our eternal high priest, daily unites our own sacrifices, our own sufferings, our own needs, hopes and aspirations, to the infinite merits of His sacrifice.

Through Him, with Him, and in Him, we lift up our own bodies as a sacrifice holy and acceptable to God (cf Rom 12:1). In this sense we are caught up in his eternal oblation, completing, as St Paul says, in our flesh what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of His body, the Church (cf Col 1:24). In the life of the Church, in her trials and tribulations, Christ continues, in the stark phrase of Pascal, to be in agony until the end of the world (Pensées, 553, ed Brunschvicg).

Our Holy Father's Meeting with child abuse victims

Pope Benedict XVI also met with five victims of child abuse.  He expressed his deep sorrow and shame to them.  The Vatican said the Pope met the five victims in London and was "moved by what they had to say and expressed his deep sorrow over what they and their families had suffered".  Earlier at the Holy Mass in Westminster he said "Above all, I express my deep sorrow to the innocent victims of these unspeakable crimes, along with my hope that the power of Christ's grace, his sacrifice of reconciliation, will bring deep healing and peace to their lives,"

Our Holy Father's Meeting with the elderly

Later Our Holy Father visited St. Peter's residence in London which is run by the Little Sisters of the Poor who care for the elderly.   This was such a beautiful personal visit of Pope Benedict XVI in solidarity with his elderly brothers and sisters.   
He said: "I come among you not only as a father, but also as a brother who knows well the joys and struggles that come with age. Our long years of life afford us the opportunity to appreciate both the beauty of God's greatest gift to us, the gift of life, as well as the fragility of the human spirit."

Pope Benedict added: "As the normal span of our lives increases, our physical capacities are often diminished; and yet these times may well be among the most spiritually fruitful years of our lives."

Thousands of people lined the streets to see the Holy Father as he travelled in his Pope Mobile to Hyde Park.  It was amazing to see so many people of all ages out cheering him and taking photographs and waving to him in great joy.  80,000 people gather in Hyde Park now for the Prayer Vigil....

The beautiful candlelight Vigil of Prayer with the Holy Father and 80,000 people
in Hyde Park in preparation for the
Beatification of John Henry Cardinal Newman
in Birmingham tomorrow..

Some of Our Holy Father's words at Hyde Park  

 "Not far from here, at Tyburn, great numbers of our brothers and sisters died for the faith. In our own time, the price to be paid for fidelity to the gospel is no longer being hanged, drawn and quartered, but it often involves being dismissed out of hand, ridiculed and parodied."

Our Holy Father warned, however, that "the church cannot withdraw from the task of proclaiming Christ and his gospel as saving truth, the source of our ultimate happiness as individuals and as the foundation of a just and humane society".


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