Pope Benedict XVI visited the Major Roman Seminary at St. John Lateran on Friday evening for prayer and dinner to celebrate with the seminarians the feast of their patroness. Addressing the gathering, the Pope emphasized the need to apply the "dynamism" of the missionary to the practice of their faith and to live it with joy.
The Holy Father was joined by all of the seminarians from the Diocese of Rome for his visit, which was held on the eve of the feast of Our Lady of Trust, the seminary's patroness.
As reported in L'Osservatore Romano, in his reflections during the Lectio Divina with the seminarians, Benedict XVI emphasized that Christ, in giving himself for us, also gave us "the novelty of the gift."
This, said the Holy Father, is how "God made himself known" and "showed himself in the face of Christ."
Pope Benedict explained that God is "true omnipotence." In Him and in His suffering out of love for us, we observe that the missionary aspect is not something exterior to the faith, but is “the dynamism of faith itself." Those who come to know Jesus are also privy to the joy that comes from sharing Him with others, he told the seminarians.
"If one has found joy," the Holy Father added, "he has found everything and sees everything in the light of divine love."
The Holy Father elaborated that this joy must have its base in a sound spiritual life that is nurtured by prayer at all times.
"We must learn to pray for the great reality, for the divine reality, because He gives himself to us, he gives his Spirit and that's how we can respond to the demands of life and help others in their suffering."
L'Osservatore Romano reported that the papal visit marked the first time that seminarians from all of the diocese's five seminaries had gathered to celebrate the vigil of the feast of the Major Seminary's patroness together. There were about 200 seminarians in attendance along with rector Msgr. Giovanni Tani, Cardinal Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome Agostino Vallini and other representatives from the diocese, the seminaries and the Papal Household.