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The visit of the Holy Father at Loreto

HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI  |  General Audience 10 October  | 

We give thanks to God for the gift to be able to start this “Year of Faith” together with our beloved Pope.
Five years ago Our Lady called us to her in giving us a house very close to the sanctuary and so together with Mother Elvira we were invited to assist the Holy Mass that Benedict 16th celebrated on October 4th last year infront of the basilica where our holy house is conserved.
There were around one hundred of us from priests to sisters, boys and girls of the Community: everyone happy and excited to be able to live, along with Peter a piece of the history of the Church.
Fifty years ago the second Vatican Council started and on exactly the 4th October, Blessed John 23rd went to Loreto, to the house of Mary to offer her that very important moment for the Church.
Our Holy Father wanted to retrace the footsteps of his predecessor putting this “year of faith” into the hands of Our Lady just as the summit of the bishops for the new evangelisation that is taking place in Rome in these days has begun.
It was touching when the Pope came into the square of the basilica because he stopped a few times to take small children into his arms and bless them and he greeted everyone smiling joyfully.
Our Mother Elvira was so happy and excited at the arrival of the Holy Father that she climbed up onto a chair so that she could see him and greet him better: in this gesture you seen her freedom and her simplicity, but also the deep admiration and affection that Mother Elvira nurtures for the Pope and that she has always transmitted to us, her children.
In the homily Benedict 16th reminded us that it is God who frees our life, that he makes it real because only with him in our hearts we are able to give, to serve and to love and he added that in contemplating Mary we must ask ourselves if we also want to be open to the Lord and say “yes” to him just as Our Lady did.
After the mass with much affection we greeted the holy father acclaiming his name, applauding him, and singing, and then, always singing, with alot of joy, we went back to the Fraternity for lunch.
We were all excited and grateful for the gift to have participated in such a special Holy Mass: it was also a privilege because the square of the basilica of loreto isn’t so big and for this reason we were able to stay so close with much affection around our beloved Pope.
After lunch there was another great gift waiting for us: in the afternoon Benedict 16th was leaving again for Rome in a helicopter, very close to our house there, so we all went with the large coloured hands that we made, our guitars and our coloured strips to greet him.
There were many police officers that separated us from them, but the Holy Spirit knocked down all the barriers and allowed Mother Elvira to get exactly to where the Holy Father would have been passing. As soon as she saw him arrive Mother Elvira went to him: they shook hands and looked each other in the eyes for a long time, then Mother Elvira, pointing towards the many coloured hands that were moving around joyfully said, “’s us!”
Us! We were all there to say, with a smile, with our songs, with joy, with many colours well in our usual Cenacolo way: “Holy Father, we’re here with you, we wish you well, thankyou for this year of faith, we believe in you, we believe in Jesus Christ, we belive in the Church, we believe!!”
As he got into his helicopter, the Pope greeted us one more time and while we moved our coloured hands and sang with joy to give him our goodbyes, in everyone of our hearts there was a big big Thankyou Pope Benedict, “it’s nice that you exist!”

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