November 19, 2011. (Romereports.com)
After praying before the tomb of late Cardinal Bernardin Gantin at the St. Gall seminary in Ouidah, the pope gave a speech to local priests, seminarians, religious and lay people. He said, promoting peace, justice and reconciliation is a responsibility that in a special way, falls on Catholic priests in Africa.
“As a crystal does not retain the light but rather reflects it and passes it on, in the same manner the priest must make transparent what he celebrates and what he has received.”
When speaking to seminarians, the pope said leading a humble and balanced life will be key. But above all else, their priestly success, will be based on having a strong relationship with God.
“Without the logic of holiness, the ministry is merely a social function. The quality of your future depends on the quality of your personal relationship with God in Jesus Christ, on your sacrifices, on the right integration of the requirements of your current formation.”
The pope then said that promoting peace and justice begins at home. Using a biblical metaphor, the pope described laypeople as the salt of the Earth and the light of the world. He called on all of them to strengthen the family unit through dialogue and prayer.
“Thanks to the power of prayer-personal and family life is transformed, gradually improved and enriched with dialogue, faith is transmitted to the children, the pleasure of being together grows and the home is further united and consolidated without ceasing.”
After his speech, the pope blessed the crowd and led the group in prayer. As a gift, local bishops gave the pope an image of the Virgin Mary.