May 19, 2010 // Uncategorized

Prayer, conversion triumph over life's threats, calamities, pope says

By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A life dedicated to prayer, penitence, and conversion will overcome the threats, dangers and horrors that mark human history, Pope Benedict XVI said.

Our Lady of Fatima invites everyone to trust in God, experience his grace and “fall in love with him — the source of love and peace,” he said during his general audience May 19.

Speaking to about 13,000 people in St. Peter’s Square, the pope detailed some of the highlights of his May 11-14 trip to Portugal. He said the voyage was “unforgettable” and represented “a touching experience for me, rich with many spiritual gifts.”

The trip allowed to pope to pay homage to Our Lady of Fatima when he visited the Marian shrine marking the site where three shepherd children witnessed a series of apparitions beginning May 13, 1917.

“The demanding yet comforting message Our Lady left at Fatima is full of hope,” the pope said.

He said Mary calls everyone to a life of “prayer, penance and conversion, which surpass the threats, dangers, and horrors of history.” She invites humanity to have hope “in God’s merciful love and trust in his saving plan, which triumphs over the threats and calamities of history,” he said.

The pope recalled that during an encounter with Portuguese parish groups and Catholic organizations, he called on the faithful to serve Christ and promote the common good.

In fact, he said, at Fatima many young people experience the importance of serving the needy because the shrine is “a school of faith, of hope, and also a school of charity and service to one’s brothers and sisters.”

The pope said he encouraged all lay faithful to evangelize the places where they live and work and plant the seeds of hope.

Christians have the duty to give witness to the Gospel so that “every situation of difficulty, suffering or fear may be transformed through the Holy Spirit into an occasion for growth and of life,” he said.

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Editor’s Note: The text of the pope’s audience remarks in English will be posted online at:

The text of the pope’s audience remarks in Spanish will be posted online at:

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