Pope meets with Venerable English College

2012-12-03 Vatican Radio

Pope Benedict today met with the community of Rome’s Venerable English College. The meeting was the culmination of a year-long celebration marking the 650th anniversary of the of the founding of an English and Welsh Hospice on the site occupied by the College. Among the distinguished guests at the audience were Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, a former rector of the College, and the Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols. In his remarks to the community, the Holy Father recalled his 2010 visit to the United Kingdom. He noted, too, the “long tradition of zeal for the faith and loyalty to the Apostolic See” that is a mark of the Catholic community in England and Wales. He spoke about the forty-four alumni of the Venerable English College who shed their blood for Christ, and urged the current seminarians to follow their example: “You are called to imitate their love for the Lord and their zeal to make Him known.”

“You have heard much talk about the new evangelisation,” he reminded them, “the proclamation of Christ in those parts of the world where the Gospel has already been preached, but where to a greater or lesser degree the embers of faith have grown cold and now need to be fanned once more into a flame.” Their mission, the Pope said, “is to serve as [Christ’s] instrument in the work of rekindling the faith in your respective homelands.”

In conclusion, Pope Benedict once again spoke of his own Apostolic Voyage to the United Kingdom:

“When I visited the United Kingdom, I saw for myself that there is a great spiritual hunger among the people. Bring them the true nourishment that comes from knowing, loving and serving Christ. Speak the truth of the Gospel to them with love. Offer them the living water of the Christian faith and point them towards the bread of life, so that their hunger and thirst may be satisfied. Above all, however, let the light of Christ shine through you by living lives of holiness, following in the footsteps of the many great saints of England and Wales, the holy men and women who bore witness to God’s love, even at the cost of their lives.” Listen to Christopher Wells’ report: