As the Pope addressed the 23 new cardinals, he reminded them that their “first and foremost mission,” is to provide constant life for the Church and to pray for peace and unity, especially among the disciples of Christ.
During the Celebration of the Eucharist at St. Peter's Basilica, the Holy Father gave each of the new Princes of the Church the ring that symbolizes their affiliation to the College of Cardinals and the "new dignity, pastoral petition and stronger union with the See of St. Peter the Apostle."
In his homily, the Pope reflected on the mission and responsibility of the new cardinals reminding them that by "taking the ring, Cardinals are constantly called to give their lives for the Church."
He emphasized that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is the "central event" and "the greatest act of love of all history," stressing that "friendship" with him is the only thing that gives meaning and value to their responsibilities.
In the presence of diplomats, delegates from the countries of the new Cardinals, relatives, friends and pilgrims who participated in the Mass, Benedict XVI said that he always counts on the help of the cardinals both as a group and individually.