S+L logo

At Mass in Porto, Pope invites faithful to become witnesses of Christ's resurrection

May 14, 2010
The city of Porto was the last stop on Pope Benedict XVI's Apostolic Voyage to Portugal. Porto is located in the north of Portugal and is the  country's second largest metropolitan city  after Lisbon. The Holy Father arrived at the airport via helicopter this morning from Fatima where he was greeted by the Bishop of Porto, Bishop Manuel Clemente and several local dignitaries. A group of almost 100 children welcomed the Pope with the official welcoming hymn.
Pope Benedict XVI arrives in the popemobile at Avenida dos Aliados square to celebrate an outdoor Mass in Porto, northern Portugal. CNS Photo
En route to celebrating Mass in the city centre, the Popemobile crossed the Infante Bridge over the River Douros.  Hundreds of boats were docked along the river,  sounding their sirens in salute to the Pontiff.
Pope Benedict then arrived in the Historic City Centre  which is a Unesco World Heritage site. He was greeted there by the Mayor of Porto, Rui Rio, who presented him with the keys to the city, along with a special anthology containing verse and prose on the Harbor of Porto.
He celebrated Mass at the Avenue dos. Aliados (which translates in English to Allies).  There were 200,000 gathered for the final event of the Pope's visit. The atmosphere was very lively and enthusiastic, a contrast from the more serene and prayerful two days in Fatima.
In the Holy Father's homily he encouraged the people of Portugal to fulfill their duty to Christ and live as missionaries, declaring the Gospel in their society.   He also implored those present and watching to live the Gospel and evangelize in their own Catholic society, not paying sole attention to evangelizing non-Christians and people in far off lands.
From its origins, the Christian people has clearly recognized the importance of communicating the Good News of Jesus to those who did not yet know him.  In recent years the anthropological, cultural, social and religious framework of humanity has changed; today the Church is called to face new challenges and is ready to dialogue with different cultures and religions, in the search for ways of building, along with all people of good will, the peaceful coexistence of peoples.  The field of the mission ad gentes appears much broader today, and no longer to be defined on the basis of geographic considerations alone; in effect, not only non-Christian peoples and those who are far distant await us, but so do social and cultural milieux, and above all human hearts, which are the real goal of the missionary activity of the People of God.
As Catholic News Service Rome Bureau Chief John Thavis pointed out in our live coverage, and as he writes in the following article, his stressing of mission and re-evangelization may be a way of preparing the faithful for the announcement, expected in the next couple of weeks, of the formation of a "Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization."
Below is the full text from Pope Benedict XVI's Homily:
Av. dos Aliados Square, Porto
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It is written in the book of Psalms, … ‘His office let another take’.  One of these men, then […] must become a witness with us to his resurrection” (Acts 1:20-22).  These were the words of Peter, as he read and interpreted the word of God in the midst of his brethren gathered in the Upper Room following Jesus’ ascension to heaven.  The one who was chosen was Matthias, who had been a witness to the public life of Jesus and his victory over death, and had remained faithful to him to the end, despite the fact that many abandoned him.  ...
Continue Reading
Pope Benedict XVI greets a group of scouts during an outdoor Mass in Avenida dos Aliados square in Porto, northern Portugal, May 14. About 150,000 people attended the Mass, the last major event of the pope's four-day pastoral visit to Portugal. CNS photo
At the conclusion of Mass, the Holy Father went to the balcony of the municipal building to greet the pilgrims.  While on the balcony, university students presented two very interesting gifts to the Pope. The first gift was a special t-shirt that electronically monitors heart rate and stores data in box which is kept in the pocket. The second gift was a light-weight guitar made entirely of carbon-fibre (while the Pope is known to play the piano, his abilities in regards to guitar are unknown!). The gifts are demonstrative of the technological advances in Portugal, and were a youthful alternative to the traditional gifts the Pope receives.
He also blessed the first stone of the new Redemptoris Mater Diocesan Missionary Seminary which will be constructed in Porto.

Related posts

Deacon-structing the Mass | Part 2: The Entrance
Last week we learned that it is our right to fully, actively, and consciously participate in the Mass. How can we do that if we don’t know what everything means? Over the next couple of weeks I hope ...read more
Encore SLHour: Perfectly Human and other great conversations
This week, on a special edition of the SLHour, Dr. Joseph Dutkowsky tells us about working with persons with disabilities, and we learn all about the new Family Theater Productions series Catholic Cen ...read more
Why does a Toronto church have a heart in its wall? Read about this and other great stories from this week's news on Noel Ocol's Weekly News Round-Up. ...read more
"We all are in this boat together" : A Reflection on the Current Crisis in the Church
Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., reflects on the current crisis in the Church, the Vatican's response, and how we can learn from this in the future. ...read more
Read all about the famous shrine at Knock, Ireland, which Pope Francis will visit on Sunday, August 26th, during his trip to the World Meeting of Families. ...read more
For Cindy Wooden, a distinguished Vatican journalist, Pope Francis is a dream and a nightmare. Watch this #TFImoment to find out why! ...read more
Health Food for the Soul
"You are what you eat." Father Thomas Rosica, CSB, reflects on the meaning of Jesus' command to eat his flesh and drink his blood. ...read more
President of U.S. Bishops’ Conference Announces Effort That Will Involve Laity, Experts, and the Vatican as U.S. Bishops Resolve to Address “Moral Catastrophe”
Read the full text of a statement from the president of the USCCB regarding the current "moral catastrophe" in the Catholic Church. ...read more
Vatican responds to Pennsylvania Grand Jury abuse report
On Thursday evening, the Director of the Holy See Press Office issued the following statement regarding the report of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury. ...read more