Benedict XVI recalls the hope and joy of Brazil visit

.- In his annual Christmas greeting, Pope Benedict spoke of his trip to Brazil in 2007 as he met with cardinals, archbishops and members of the Roman Curia. Among his highlights, were meeting the young people at “Fazenda da Esperanca” and his gathering with the Brazilian bishops.

The Pope began his address by defining the Curia as a “working community held together by bonds of fraternal love which the Christmas festivities serve to reinforce."  The Roman Curia is comprised of the departments that assist the Pope in governing the Church and is headed by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone.

As he focused on these “bonds of fraternal love”, the Pope recalled his trip to Brazil to meet with participants in the Fifth General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean, and with "the Church in the vast continent of Latin America."

Referring specifically to his encounter with young people in the municipal stadium of Sao Paulo, he said: "There are mass events which have the single effect of self-affirmation, in which people allow themselves to be carried away by the rhythm and the sounds, and end up deriving joy merely from themselves. On that occasion however, ... the profound communion which spontaneously arose between us caused us, by being with one another, to be for one another. It was not an escape from daily life but became a source of strength for accepting life in a new way."

The Holy Father then remembered the canonization of Brazilian saint Frei Galvao: "Each saint who enters into history," he said, "represents a small portion of Christ's return, a renewal of His entrance into time, showing us His image in a new light and making us sure of His presence. Jesus Christ does not belong to the past and He is not confined to a distant future. ... Together with His saints He is ... journeying towards us, towards our today."

Pope Benedict also revisited his time at "Fazenda da Esperanca" in Brazil, a facility where “people who have fallen into the slavery of drugs, rediscover freedom and hope.” He continued, “We must defend creation, not only with a view to its utility, but for itself - as a message from the Creator, as a gift of beauty which is promise and hope," because "mankind has need of transcendence.”

Turning then to his meeting with Brazilian bishops in the cathedral of Sao Paulo, Benedict XVI highlighted how "the experience of 'effective and affectionate collegiality' of fraternal communion in the shared ministry, led us to feel the joy of catholicity. Over and above all geographical and cultural confines we are brothers, together with the Risen Christ Who has called us to His service."

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