Sep 8, 2007 - 03:27 pm .- After making his first pilgrimage to Mariazell and celebrating the Virgin Mary’s birth with Mass, Pope Benedict XVI traveled to the Hofburg Palace, where he met with the President of Austria, Heinz Fischer. The Pope told the diplomats assembled that, "Europe will grow more sure of itself if it accepts a responsibility in the world corresponding to its singular intellectual tradition, its extraordinary resources and its great economic power.” The pontiff’s address was given to the rectors of Austria’s universities, the diplomatic corps and other important figures in the world of culture who were gathered in the palace.
Sep 8, 2007 - 12:11 pm .- The crisis of the West is a crisis of truth, said Pope Benedict XVI in his homily at the Mass celebrating feast of the shrine’s patron. He was welcomed to the shrine by more than 50,000 people amid persistent rain and unseasonably cool temperatures. The Pope was greeted by the abbot of Lambrecht, the superior and the rector of the shrine, then entered the church where around 2,000 people were awaiting his arrival. He prayed before the image of the Virgin Mary and, shortly before 10.30 a.m., climbed the podium erected beside the basilica to celebrate Mass for the Feast of the Nativity of Mary, the patronal feast of Mariazell.