By Cindy Wooden
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — True faith and friendship with Christ leads people to see the equality of all men and women and to work for justice and the common good, Pope Benedict XVI said.
At the end of his weekly general audience Oct. 20, Pope Benedict announced the names of the new cardinals he will create in November, but first he gave a talk about St. Elizabeth of Hungary.
Talking about St. Elizabeth — a princess who lived in the early part of the 13th century and frequently scandalized her family and the royal court by personally caring for the poor and sick and by prostrating herself in prayer — the pope was continuing a series of talks about important female saints of the Middle Ages.
In the life of St. Elizabeth “we see how faith and friendship with Christ create a sense of justice, of the equality of everyone, of the rights of others and creates the love and charity from which is born the hope and the certainty that we are loved by Christ,” Pope Benedict said.
Knowing we are loved by Christ “makes us able to see Christ in others,” he said.
The example of St. Elizabeth “invites us to discover Christ, to love Christ, to have faith and, in that way, to find true justice, love and the joy of knowing that one day we will be immersed in divine love in the joy of eternity with God,” the pope said.
A daughter of the king of Hungary, Elizabeth was married at an early age to a German nobleman for political reasons, the pope said. But the two of them grew to love each other and always supported each other in their faith and dedication to God.
Her husband died at the age of 27 when he went off to fight in the Crusades, leaving the young woman alone with three small children. After various trials, including being evicted from the family castle and doing rather humble work, she founded a hospital and “welcomed the poorest at her table,” the pope said.
She lived “as a consecrated woman in the midst of the world,” following the rule of St. Francis of Assisi, the pope said.
Among the crowd at the pope’s audience were an estimated 2,100 pilgrims, mostly Canadians, who came to Rome for the Oct. 17 canonization of St. Andre Bessette and more than 350 pilgrims, mostly Australians, who came for the canonization of St. Mary MacKillop, Australia’s first saint.
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Editor’s Note: The text of the pope’s audience remarks in English is posted online at: www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/audiences/2010/documents/hf_ben-xvi_aud_20101020_en.html.
The text of the pope’s audience remarks in Spanish is posted online at: www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/audiences/2010/documents/hf_ben-xvi_aud_20101020_sp.html.
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