Holy Father highlights JPII document on the Sacrament of Penance

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI

.-  At the end of his general audience, Pope Benedict XVI reminded those present that today is the 25th anniversary of Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Exhortation on the Sacrament of Confession, “Reconciliatio et Paenitentia.”  The Holy Father then drew attention to several saints who were “tireless dispensers of divine mercy.”

After noting that “Reconciliatio et Paenitentia” notes the importance of the Sacrament of Penance in the life of the Church,”  Benedict XVI listed a few saints who are “apostles of the confessional.”

He explained that St. John Marie Vianney, St. Joseph Cafasso, St. Leopold Mandic and St. Pio of Pietrelcina were all  “tireless dispensers of divine mercy.”

The Pope implored young people, may the saints' "witness of faith and charity encourage you, dear young people, to shun sin and to plan your future as a generous service to God and mankind.”

May the witness of these saints also “help you, dear sick people, to experience the mercy of the crucified Christ in your suffering. May it stimulate you, dear newlyweds, to create a family in an abiding climate of faith and mutual understanding”

The Holy Father concluded  by praying that, in light of the current Year for Priests, “the example of these saints, assiduous and faithful ministers of divine forgiveness be for clergy, and for all Christians, an invitation always to trust in the goodness of God, faithfully practicing and celebrating the Sacrament of Penance.”

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