Today, the pontifical academies held their twelfth public session under Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of their coordinating council. For the occasion, Benedict XVI sent a message to the archbishop, stating that the session will give an opportunity for the academies to “harmonize their various initiatives, all of which have a precise objective: promoting, both in the Church and the world, a culture worthy of human life, fecundated by faith, capable of proposing the beauty of Christian life and of providing an adequate response to the ever more numerous challenges of today's cultural and religious context."
The pope also emphasized the theme chosen for the session - "Witnesses of His love (Sacramentum caritatis, 85). The love of God as shown by martyrs and by the works of the Church" - expresses "the fundamental link between the celebration of the divine Mysteries and the witness of life, between the experience of encountering the Mystery of God ... and the dynamism of a renewed commitment that causes us to be 'witnesses of His love'."
“It is more necessary than ever to re-present the example of Christian martyrs, both those of antiquity and those of our own time, whose lives and witness, even to the spilling of their blood, are the supreme expression of love of God."
The Holy Father concluded his message by mentioning "the works of charity that have flowered down the centuries through the efforts of generous faithful" who "have striven to create and promote charitable initiatives and institutions to meet the needs of the poorest, thus giving concrete expression to the close and indissoluble link between love of God and love of others."