August 20, 2011. (Romereports.com)
About 5,000 seminarians from all over the world welcomed the pope at the Almudena Cathedral for the first major Mass of World Youth Day in Madrid. One of the future priests, congratulated the pope for his 60th ordination anniversary. He also thanked him for celebrating Mass with them. Seminarian "Holy Father, thank you for leading your life by example. You will always have our love and prayer. "
Madrid's Cardinal Archbishop Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, described the Mass as a "new chapter in human growth, spiritual and pastoral care of the priestly vocation" of each one of the seminarians. Card. Antonio Maria Rouco Varela "These World Youth Day seminarians gathered in Madrid, want to be holy priests. They want to be good and faithful instruments of Jesus Christ, the Eternal High Priest of the young and the world."
The pope told the thousands of seminarians gathered at the Cathedral to give thanks for their vocation. Benedict XVI
"Give thanks to Him for this sign of favor in which he holds each one of you.”
Then the pope asked them to be sincere and obedient with their superiors. He also weighed in on what they should focus on during their time in the seminary. Benedict XVI "They should be years of inner silence, of unceasing prayer, of constant study and gradual insertion into the pastoral activity and structures of the Church.”
The pope also addressed ways to deal with the different challenges and difficulties they may face as seminarians and eventually as priests. Benedict XVI
"No one chooses the place or the people to whom he is sent, and every time this has its own challenges; but in every age God gives the right grace to face and overcome those challenges with love and realism.”
Benedict XVI said they're all called to be saints, even though it's a challenging goal. Benedict XVI
"We have to be saints so as not to create a contradiction between the sign that we are and the reality that we wish to signify.”
The Pope encouraged them to live in celibacy, poverty, austerity and obedience, in a way that's "sincere and without deception.” He also encouraged them to a life of extreme charity with everyone. Benedict XVI
"Supported by his love, do not be intimidated by an environment that seeks to exclude God or by an environment in which having power or pleasure are often the main criteria ruling people's lives.”
At the end of Mass, Benedict XVI officially named San Juan de Avila, a Doctor of the Church. A recognition that the Pope gives to certain saints considered eminent teachers for their timeless teachings on faith. Currently there are only 33.