VATICAN CITY, NOV 8, 2007 (VIS) - This morning, the pontifical academies held their twelfth public session under the presidency of Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of their coordinating council. During the meeting, the academies' annual prize was bestowed upon Antongiulio Granelli, author of a thesis on: "The Cemetery of Panfilo on the via Salaria vetus in Rome."

For the occasion Benedict XVI sent a Message to Archbishop Ravasi, who is also president of the Pontifical Council for Culture. "The celebration of this public session," writes the Pontiff in his Message, "annually renews an opportunity for meeting and collaboration between the pontifical academies ... in order to harmonize their various initiatives, all of which have a precise objective: promoting, both in the Church and the world, a culture worthy of human life, fecundated by faith, capable of proposing the beauty of Christian life and of providing an adequate response to the ever more numerous challenges of today's cultural and religious context."

The Pope dwells on the theme chosen for the session - "Witnesses of His love (Sacramentum caritatis, 85). The love of God as shown by martyrs and by the works of the Church" - indicating how it expresses "the fundamental link between the celebration of the divine Mysteries and the witness of life, between the experience of encountering the Mystery of God ... and the dynamism of a renewed commitment that causes us to be 'witnesses of His love'."

The Holy Father highlights how "it is more necessary than ever to re-present the example of Christian martyrs, both those of antiquity and those of our own time, whose lives and witness, even to the spilling of their blood, are the supreme expression of love of God."

The Pope concludes by mentioning "the works of charity that have flowered down the centuries through the efforts of generous faithful" who "have striven to create and promote charitable initiatives and institutions to meet the needs of the poorest, thus giving concrete expression to the close and indissoluble link between love of God and love of others."

MESS/PONTIFICAL ACADEMIES/RAVASIVIS 071108 (360)


Teachings of Christ

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44 ESV)

Resurrection

Christ is risen from the dead * trampling down Death by death, * and upon those in the tombs bestowing life! (Troparion)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Although You descended into the tomb, O Immortal One, * You destroyed the power of Hades; * You arose as the victor, O Christ God, * proclaiming to the myrrh-bearing women: “Rejoice!” * And granting peace to Your Apostles, * O, You, Who gives resurrection to the fallen. (Kontakion)

Random Proverb

"Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you." (Proverbs 3:28 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

In two things then was Abraham victorious: that he killed his son although he did not kill him and that he believed that after Isaac died he would be raised up again and would go back down with him. For Abraham was firmly convinced that He Who said to him, 'through Isaac shall your descendants be named,' was not lying.

St. Ephrem the Syrian, Commentary on Genesis