In an emotional message to the faithful of Toledo, Spain, Cardinal Antonio Canizares, the new prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, expressed his thanks for the support and affection he has received as Archbishop and he reminded them, “When we serve Mother Church and carry out what she asks of us, it can only bring us joy and happiness.”
“I seek nothing else in life but to do the will of God,” the cardinal said. “May He never allow me to stray from it. I have accepted this mission entrusted to me with complete obedience, fidelity, communion and the joy of doing what is asked of me,” he told the faithful.
“These feelings do not eliminate but rather increase my sorrow at leaving you. For me it is a kenosis, an expropriation, a denying of myself, which in reality is where joy truly is found. I ask you all to pray to God for me,” the cardinal said.
In his message Cardinal Canizares mentioned a special detail about his appointment, noting that it was made public on December 9, the feast of St. Leocadia, the patron saint of Toledo and of the archdiocese’s young people.
In St. Leocadia, he said, “the grace of the Lord shined forth, because she encountered Christ and his love and she lives in Him and for Him, such that nothing or nobody can separate her from his love. She wanted to know nothing else than the love of Christ, and she lived off of the charity and love that comes from Him in order to make Him known through a life of charity, to the point of making her entire person a testimony of this Gospel of the Love of God, that is to the supreme point of martyrdom.”
“For this reason the Church sends me now, together with Peter, to make Christ known and to be a witness of his mercy, which has been made manifest so strongly in my life; to help the Holy Father in his fundamental mission of sanctifying the people of God; to collaborate with him, inseparably united to him and in unbreakable communion with him, so that the whole of humanity might offer to God true worship in spirit and in truth, in true adoration, where the glory and the greatness of the future of humanity lie,” the cardinal stated.
Cardinal Canizares said he would begin his ministry at the Vatican on Thursday, December 11.