May 29: ST. POPE PAUL VI.
Biography, achievements, prayer to St. Paul VI, and collect prayer.
“The second child of Giorgio and Giuditta Alghisi, Giovanni Battista Montini was born in Concesio, Brescia, on 26 September 1897. He was ordained to the priesthood on 19 May 1920. He studied philosophy, civil law and canon law.
In 1923 he was appointed attaché at the Apostolic Nunciature in Warsaw and a year later returned and began serving in the Secretariat of State in the Vatican. During his service to the Holy See — under the Pontificates of Pius xi and Pius XII — he also taught the history of papal diplomacy at the Lateran University, until 13 December 1937 when Pius XI appointed him Substitute of the Secretariat of State.
During World War II, he engaged in aiding refugees and Jews, also overseeing the Vatican Information Office. In November 1952 he was appointed Pro-Secretary of State for General Affairs and two years later he was appointed Archbishop of Milan. There, he employed new methods of evangelization in order to address the issues of immigration, materialism and Marxist ideology.
On 21 June 1963 he was elected pope and took the name of Paul VI. Amid numerous challenges, he brought three periods of the Second Vatican Council to a successful conclusion, always encouraging the Church to be open in the modern world while respecting her tradition, always seeking communion among the Council Fathers.
Paul VI began the practice of Apostolic Journeys beginning with the Holy Land, where his historic meeting with Athenagoras took place. His first encyclical, Ecclesiam Suam (1964), gave rise to the method of “the dialogue of salvation”. His other writings, include Populorum Progressio on the development of peoples. He also provided masterful teaching on the question of peace, also instituting the World Day of Peace. From the very beginning of his ministry, he had particular concern for the young, sharing with them the joy of faith. After a brief illness, he died on 6 August 1978 in Castel Gandolfo.”
Pope Saint Paul VI wrote: “It is indeed in the midst of their distress that our fellow men need to know joy, to hear its song” (Gaudete in Domino, I). Today Jesus invites us to return to the source of joy, which is the encounter with him, the courageous choice to risk everything to follow him, the satisfaction of leaving something behind in order to embrace his way. The saints have travelled this path.
Paul VI did too, after the example of the Apostle whose name he took. Like him, Paul VI spent his life for Christ’s Gospel, crossing new boundaries and becoming its witness in proclamation and in dialogue, a prophet of a Church turned outwards, looking to those far away and taking care of the poor. Even in the midst of tiredness and misunderstanding, Paul VI bore witness in a passionate way to the beauty and the joy of following Christ totally. Today he still urges us, together with the Council whose wise helmsman he was, to live our common vocation: the universal call to holiness. Not to half measures, but to holiness.
ACHIEVEMENTS AS POPE
As Pope, St. Paul VI exercised his Supreme Magisterium favouring peace, promoting the progress of peoples and the inculturation of the faith, as well as the liturgical reform, approving Rites and prayers at once in line with tradition and with adaptation for a new age. By his authority he promulgated the Calendar, the Missal, the Liturgy of the Hours, the Pontifical and nearly all of the Ritual for the Roman Rite with the purpose of promoting the active participation of the faithful in the Liturgy. At the same time he saw to it that papal celebrations should take on a more simple form. At Castel Gandolfo on 6 August 1978, he gave his spirit back to God and, according to his wishes, he was buried just as he had lived, in a humble manner.
God, the Shepherd and Guide of all the faithful, entrusts his pilgrim Church through the ages, to those whom he himself has established as Vicars of his Son. Among these, Paul VI shines out as one who united in himself the pure faith of Saint Peter and the missionary zeal of Saint Paul. His consciousness of being the Successor of Peter is evident when we recall that on 10 June 1969, during a visit to the World Council of Churches in Geneva, he introduced himself by saying “My name is Peter”. Nevertheless, he also acknowledged by the name he chose the mission for which he had been elected. Like Saint Paul he spent his life for the Gospel of Christ, crossing new boundaries and becoming its witness by proclamation and dialogue, a prophet of a Church facing outwards, looking to those far away and caring for the poor. The Church was always, indeed his constant love, his principal concern, the object of constant reflection, the first and most fundamental thread of his whole pontificate. He wished nothing other than the Church would have a greater knowledge of herself in order to be ever more effective in proclaiming the Gospel.
Prayer to St. Paul VI, Pope
We thank you for the witness of Your Servant,
Saint Paul VI, who served You
and the Church as Universal Pastor in difficult times.
As a pilgrim among pilgrims
he sought to reveal the beauty and joy of the Gospel
to the men and women of his time,
choosing the way of gentleness and forbearance.
As Shepherd of the flock
he sought to proclaim the truth in a time of great confusion
in imitation of his patron the Apostle to the Gentiles.
As Servant he proclaimed the Gospel of Life
and in doing so bore the cross of suffering and isolation
in union with Your Crucified Son
becoming a Prophet in the midst of the growing culture of death.
We thank You for raising Your Servant to be numbered among the Saints.
May his example of faith,
courage and patient endurance
inspire us in our daily living of the Gospel
and in our witness to Jesus Christ.
May we too be Prophets of life,
respecting, protecting and cherishing the gift of life,
most especially in its most vulnerable moments.
May we too be Your missionaries at this time,
seeking to transform the hearts of all men and women
through the joy we find in Christ.
Hear our prayers, most Merciful Father,
and grant us through the intercession of Saint Paul
the graces we now ask of You,
[Mention your need here…].
Through Christ our Lord. Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.
Grant us, O Lord, we pray, that the course of our world may be directed by your peaceful rule and that your Church may rejoice, untroubled in her devotion. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
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