"To Look on Christ" - The Motto of the Papal Visit
"To look on Christ" is the motto of the three-day Apostolic Journey of Pope Benedict XVI. to Austria from September 7 to 9, on the occasion of the 850th anniversary of the pilgrimage site of Mariazell. This theme was inspired by the book of the same name published by Cardinal Ratzinger several years ago.
The motto highlights the cornerstone and the major issues of this pontificate. In the world we live in, especially here in Europe, the main questions revolve around the meaning and foundation of Christian faith. It is all about Jesus Christ.
The new book Jesus of Nazareth by the Holy Father moves the core of Christian faith to center stage. It is a source of inspiration, both for the spiritual preparation for the visit of the Holy Father to Austria, and for the faithful and those looking for faith.
On Central European Catholic Day on May 22, 2004, in Mariazell, the bishops of eight countries issued a joint message in which they proposed seven answers to today's challenges for Christians in Europe. The first and foremost mission of the faithful is to show Christ to the people. This is in line with the word of God, when He says: "And ye shall be witnesses unto Me."
On September 8, the faithful and Pope Benedict XVI will go on a pilgrimage to Mariazell, a place of meeting and reconciliation where pilgrims have prayed and thanked God, and where Christians from Austria and Central Europe as a whole have found support and comfort for centuries. They all look at the Statue of Grace of Mariazell, which represents the Mother of God, who shows Jesus Christ to the pilgrims. On September 7, during the prayer at the Marian column at "Am Hof" Square and in the Church of the Nine Choirs of the Angels, the Holy Father will be looking on Christ who is present in the Eucharist. Also, in Holy Cross Convent, Pope Benedict XVI. and the faithful will be looking on Jesus Christ, the crucified and resurrected. In the meeting with the members of volunteer social organizations in the Vienna Konzerthaus, the focus is again on Jesus Christ, who we encounter in our neighbors in need.
Dr. Paul Wuthe
Head of the Austrian Catholic Media Office of the Austrian Bishops' Conference
Press Adviser to the Apostolic Journey of Benedict XVI. to Austria in 2007