February 4, 2013. (Romereports.com)
The dimly lit procession into St. Peter's Basilica started off the Mass for members of various institutes for consecrated life. The general superiors led the candle-lit procession to the center of the basilica, followed by Benedict XVI.
The Pope recalled the significance of the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
. According to Jewish tradition, mothers were responsible for bringing a lamb and a dove to the Temple to purify themselves. Poor women, like the Virgin Mary, could take two doves instead.BENEDICT XVI“Saint Luke tells us that Mary and Joseph offered the sacrifice of the poor, to show proof that Jesus was born to a family of modest people, humble but very devout: a family that belonged to the poor in Israel, who made up the true people of God.”
The event featured the participation of a large number of consecrated persons to mark the World Day for Consecrated Life. The Pope invited them to feed their faith to maintain their vocations.
BENEDICT XVI“I invite you to nourish a faith that is capable of illuminating your vocation. In this regard I urge you to remember, in an interior pilgrimage, of the 'first love' with which the Lord Jesus Christ warmed your heart, not out of nostalgia, but to nourish its flame.”
Benedict XVI said that all consecrated persons participate in the Church's mission and gave them advice to not get discouraged when facing adversity
BENEDICT XVI“Do not fall in with the prophets of doom who proclaim the end or the non-sense of consecrated life in the Church in our days. Rather, 'put on the Lord Jesus Christ', 'put on the armour of light' … and remain wakeful and vigilant."
Benedict XVI also mentioned consecrated persons on his Twitter account.
His Tweet showed his affection towards each consecrated man and woman, and urged them to follow God with loyalty, poverty, chastity and obedience.
OFL @odelafu /RCarr