L'Aquila, Italy, Jul 4, 2010 / 08:52 am
The Holy Father dedicated his Sunday homily to reflections on the life of St. Celestine as he visited the Italian city where the relics of the 13th century saint and Pope are kept. In a message filled with lessons on life, the Pope especially highlighted the importance of silence to finding God, the fact that faith is a gift and the lasting power of holiness.
Pope Benedict XVI began his pastoral visit to Sulmona, Italy by flying over the grotto, now a hermitage, where Peter of Morrone spent years in contemplation and prayer as a monk. Peter later became Pope Celestine V and was canonized relatively shortly after his death. St. Celestine's life is being celebrated this year, declared by the Pope a "Jubilee Year" for the 800th anniversary since the saint's birth.
In his words during the Eucharistic Celebration in the open air of the city square, Pope Benedict XVI remembered the St. Celestine as a "seeker of God," a man who turned to interior and exterior silence in his life as a hermit to perceive His voice.
This example is important also for us today, said the Pope, as "we live in a society in which every space, every moment seems like it must be filled by initiatives, by activities, by sounds; often there isn't even time for listening and speaking.