January 1, 2011.
early October, Pope Benedict XVI visited Palermo, the capital of
Sicily, in southern Italy. He met with priests, religious and
seminarians from Palermo. He told them they are “living stones”
that support the Church.
“It is especially all of you who keep alive in the conscience of the baptized, the fundamental demands of the Gospel.”
was greeted by around 20 thousand young people from the island. Two
of them met with him on behalf of all attendees.Maltese
have much to receive and we receive much from the Church and our
priests. Know that we are close to you, Holy Father. Always stay
close to us young people.”
October, French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited Benedict XVI to
smooth things over after the Vatican condemned their decision to
expel gypsies from France.
It was a cordial visit during which
the French President stopped to pray at the tomb of St. Peter.
most emotional gift received by the Pope this year came in October. A
flag was sent from the 33 trapped miners in Chile, with a signature
from each of them.
The miners were trapped 69 days at over
2000 feet underground the city of San Jose. The Pope sent a rosary to
each of them and prayed for them in public during the rescue
In October the Synod of Bishops for the Middle
East began. It included 255 people and 14 days of meeting with the
Pope at the Vatican to discuss the situation and the plight of
Christians in the region.
The bishops from the synod
proposed a “positive secularism” which would separate religion
and politics to smooth tensions and counter the episodes of
the synod the Pope canonized six new saints. They included Mary
Mackillop, Australia's first saint, the Canadian Brother André,
Polish Stanislaw Soltys, Spanish Candida Maria de Jesus, and the
Italians Giulia Salzano and Camilla Battista Varano.