Following Mass for the feast of Christ the King on Sunday morning, Pope Benedict prayed the Angelus with faithful and visitors from around the world. Amongst those gathered in St Peter's Square were friends and family of the six new cardinals created by the Pope on Saturday in an ordinary Consistory. Earlier the six cardinals had concelebrated with the Pope Mass for the feast of Christ the King in St Pter's Basilica.
In his Angelus the Pope urged the faithful to "prolong God’s saving work by converting ourselves to the Gospel, by placing ourselves with conviction in the footsteps of that King who came not to be served but to serve and to bear witness to the truth."
Below please find the full text of Pope Benedict's remarks before the Angelus prayer:
Dear brothers and sisters,
Today the Church celebrates Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. This solemnity comes at the end of the liturgical year and brings together the mystery of Jesus “firstborn from the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth” (Collect Year B), extending our gaze towards the full realisation of the Kingdom of God, when God will be all in all (cf 1 Cor 15.28). Saint Cyril of Jerusalem says: “We announce not only the first coming of Christ, but also a second which is much more beautiful than the first. The first, in fact, was a manifestation of suffering, the second brings the diadem of divine kingship…..in the first, He was subject to the humiliation of the Cross, in the second He is surrounded and glorified by a host of angels” (Catechesis XV,1 Illuminandorum, De secundo Christi adventu: PG 33, 869 A). All the mission of Jesus and the contents of His message consist in announcing the Kingdom of God and implementing it among men through signs and wonders. “But – as the Second Vatican Council reminds us – above all, the Kingdom is made manifest through the person of Christ (Lumen gentium, 5), who established it through His death on the Cross and His Resurrection, whereby He showed Himself to be the Lord and Messiah, the High Priest for eternity. This Kingdom of God was entrusted to the Church, which is the “seed” and the “beginning”, and has the task of announcing it and spreading it amongst all peoples through the strength of the Holy Spirit. At the end of time, the Lord will deliver the Kingdom to God the Father and will present to Him all those who have lived according to the commandment of love.
Dear friends, we are all called to prolong God’s saving work by converting ourselves to the Gospel, by placing ourselves with conviction in the footsteps of that King who came not to be served but to serve and to bear witness to the truth (cf Mk 10.45, Jn 18.37). In this perspective I invite everyone to pray for the six new Cardinals whom I created yesterday, so that the Holy Spirit strengthens them in faith and charity and fill them with His gifts so that they may live their new responsibility as a further dedication to Christ and to His kingdom. These new members of the College of Cardinals well represent the universal dimension of the Church: they are pastors of the Church in Lebanon, in India, in Nigeria, in Colombia, in the Philippines, and one of them has been for many years in the service of the Holy See.
Let us invoke the protection of Mary Most Holy upon each one of them and upon the faithful entrusted to their care. May the Virgin help each one of us to live this present time as we await the return of the Lord, as we decisively pray to God: “Your Kingdom come”, and as we carry out those works of light which bring us ever closer to Heaven, knowing that, in the tormented affairs of history, God continues to build His Kingdom of love.