.- On Saturday in St. Peterâs Basilica, Pope Benedict XVI ordained six priests as bishops and spoke about how they should follow the examples of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, whose feast was on the same day.
At the beginning of his homily, the Holy Father addressed a special greeting to Msgr. Mokrzycki who had been secretary to John Paul II for a number of years, serving alongside the now-Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz. "Following my own election as Successor of Peter," said Pope Benedict, "he also served as my secretary, showing great humility, competence and dedication."
Referring to Saturdayâs feast, Benedict XVI indicated how "the names of the three Archangels all end with the word 'El,' meaning 'God.' God is written into their names and into their nature." The angels "are messengers of God. ... And precisely because they are close to God, they can also be very close to man."
"If the early Church called bishops 'angels' of their Church, what this meant was that bishops must be men of God, that they must live with their faces turned towards God," the Pope said.
He then went on to identify the two functions of the Archangel Michael as defined by Holy Scripture, saying "he defends the cause of the oneness of God against the presumption of the dragon, of the 'old serpent'," and he is "the protector of the People of God.
Dear friends," the Pope told the newly- ordained bishops," be true 'guardian angels' of the Churches entrusted to you. Help the People of God - whom you must precede on their pilgrimage - to find joy in the faith, to learn the discernment of spirits, ... and ever more to become, by virtue of hope in the faith, people who love in communion with God- Love."
Gabriel is "the messenger of the incarnation of God. ... Through him God asks Mary ... to give her human flesh to the eternal Word of God."
Even today God "needs people who, so to say, put their flesh at His disposal," said the Pope, reminding the new bishops that their task "is to knock in Christ's name at the hearts of men and women. ... [Thus] you will assume Gabriel's own function: that of bringing the call of Christ to humankind."
Raphael "is presented to us ... in the Book of Tobit as the angel entrusted with the task of healing. ... To announce the Gospel ... means to heal because man has, above all, need of the truth and of love."
The Book of Tobit, said the Pope, mentions "two emblematic episodes of healing" by the Archangel. "He heals the unstable communion between man and woman. He cures their love ... and gives them the chance to accept one another forever. ... In the New Testament the order of marriage ... is healed by the fact that Christ accepts it within His redeeming love. He makes marriage a Sacrament."
"Secondly, the Book of Tobit speaks of the curing of blind eyes. ... How great is the danger - in the face of everything we know about the material world, and are capable of doing to it - that we become blind to the light of God! To cure this blindness through the message of faith and the witness of love is the service of Raphael, entrusted day after day to priests and, especially, to bishops. And thus we are spontaneously led to think of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the Sacrament of Penitence, which, in the most profound sense of the word, is a Sacrament of healing."
Benedict XVI conferred episcopal ordination upon Msgrs. Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki, coadjutor archbishop-elect of Lviv of the Latins, Ukraine; Francesco Giovanni Brugnaro, archbishop-elect of Camerino-San Severino-Marche, Italy; Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church and of the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archeology; Tommaso Caputo, apostolic nuncio-elect to Malta and Libya; Sergio Pagano, prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives, and Vincenzo Di Mauro, secretary of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.