.- Before the recitation of Sundayâs Angelus prayer at Castel Gandolfo, Pope Benedict XVI recalled some saints whose memory will be celebrated by the Church in the upcoming weeks. He said that St. Edith Stein, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Pontian, St. Lawrence, are witnesses to "Christian humanism," differing greatly from "atheistic humanism."
"What wonderful models of holiness, the Church proposes to us! These saints are witnesses to that love that loves âto the end,â and ignores the evil received, but fights it with the good," Pope Benedict explained. "From them we can learn, especially we priests, the evangelical heroism that inspires us, without fear, to give our life for the salvation of souls. Love conquers death!"
St. Edith Stein and St. Maximilian Kolbe will celebrate their feast days this week. Both died at Auschwitz in the 1940s.
"The Nazi concentration camp," he continued. "as every death camp, can be considered an extreme symbol of evil, of the hell that comes to earth when man forgets God, and when he is replaced, usurping from him the right to decide what is good and what is evil, to give life and or to take life."
"Unfortunately, this phenomenon is not confined to the death camp. It is rather the culmination of an extensive and widespread reality of often nebulous boundaries."
"On the one hand," the Pope added, "there are philosophies and ideologies, but also on an increasing scale, ways of thinking and acting that extol the freedom of man as the only principle, as an alternative to God, and thus transform man into a god, whose system of behavior is of an arbitrary nature. On the other hand, we note the saints, who, practicing the gospel of love, make reason of their hope, they show the true face of God who is Love, and at the same time, the true face of man, created in the image and likeness of God."
He concluded: "Dear brothers and sisters, let us pray to the Virgin Mary, to help us all, above all we priests, to be holy as these heroic witnesses of the faith and of dedication even to martyrdom. This is the only way to provide a credible and comprehensive answer to the human and spiritual questions, which give rise to the deep crisis of the contemporary world: love in truth."