The Fathers of the Church: Masters of Faith

Vatican City, 2 March 2012 (VIS) - The Prefecture of the Pontifical Household yesterday made known the theme of this year's Lenten sermons which, as is customary, will be preached on four consecutive Fridays in the presence of the Pope, beginning on 9 March. That theme, taken from the Letter to the Hebrews, is: "Remember your leaders and imitate their faith. The Fathers of the Church: Masters of Faith". The Holy Father and the Roman Curia are currently dedicating the first week of Lent to their annual spiritual exercises.

In the note released by the prefecture, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa O.F.M. Cap., preacher of the Pontifical Household, explains that "in preparation for the Year of Faith called by the Holy Father Benedict XVI, the four Lenten sermons will seek to energise and refresh our beliefs through a renewed contact with 'giants of faith' of the past". Each week's sermon will be dedicated to one of four great doctors of the Eastern Church: St. Athanasius, St. Basil, St. Gregory Nazianzen and St. Gregory Nyssen, "to see what each of them has to say to us today about the dogma they championed, respectively: the divinity of Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Trinity and knowledge of God".

Quoting words of Servant of God Paul VI, Fr. Cantalamessa notes that "returning to the Fathers of the Church is part of that return to the roots of Christianity without which it would be impossible to undertake biblical renewal, liturgical reform and the new theological research endorsed by Vatican Council II".

The sermons will be held at 9 a.m. in the "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel of the Vatican Apostolic Palace.