VATICAN CITY, FEB. 27, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Africa has become the fount for the numerical growth of Catholics in the world, recalled bishops meeting in the Vatican in preparation for the second synod of African bishops.

The Vatican press office issued a communiqué today with the conclusions of the meeting of the Special Council for Africa of the Synod of Bishops' General Secretariat, held in Rome on Feb. 15-16.

According to the communiqué, the council's members highlighted the Church's great dynamism in Africa where, in 2005, the increase in the number of Catholics (3.1%) was greater than the growth of the population (2.5%).

The prelates hope the upcoming synod will encourage lay people "to commit themselves to an integral improvement of the living conditions of all Africans: economically, culturally, from the point of view of health care and, above all, spiritually."

The communiqué continues: "Consideration was also given to the idea of involving representatives from other religions in the pre-synodal preparations, in order to respond, if possible together, to the current challenges facing the continent, which is seeking a more just and peaceful society ... and ever greater reconciliation."

Code: ZE07022724

Date: 2007-02-27

 


Teachings of Christ

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7,8 ESV)

Protection of the Mother of God

Protected by your coming, O Mother of God, * the faithful people celebrate today with splendor, * and, gazing at your most pure image, * we say with compunction: * "Shield us with your precious veil * and deliver us from all evil * imploring your Son, Christ our God, to save our souls.” (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin stands forth in the Church, * and with the choirs of saints she invisibly prays to God for us. * The Angels worship with the hierarchs, * and the apostles exult with the prophets, * because, in our behalf, the Mother of God entreats the pre-eternal God. (Kontakion - Tone 3)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God on October 1st.

Random Proverb

"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want." (Proverbs 11:24 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Christ is Risen! 
O the marvel! the forbearance! the immeasurable meekness! 
The Untouched is felt; the Master is held by a servant, 
And He reveals His wounds to one of His inner circle. 
Seeing these wounds, the whole Creation was shaken at the time. 
Thomas, when he was considered worthy of such gifts, 
Lifted up a prayer to the One Who deemed him worthy, 
Saying, "Bear my rashness with patience, 
Have pity on my unworthiness and lighten the burden 
Of my lack of faith, so that I may sing and cry, 
`Thou art our Lord and God.'" 


Kontakia of Romanos, V. 1, On Doubting Thomas