Pope Benedict XVI appealed for the victims of piracy today, saying he hopes all those taken on the high seas will receive humane and respectful treatment, and praying that the families of those being held remain strong in the faith, and not lose the hope that they will see their loved ones again soon. The Pope’s appeal was just one of the ways in which the Holy Father marked this Sunday’s World Maritime Day, organized by the Apostleship of the Sea each year to draw attention to the spiritual, moral and material challenges facing seafarers and their families. Speaking at the end of the Sunday Angelus with the faithful gathered for the first time this Summer in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castel Gandolfo, Pope Benedict extended a special greeting to the chaplains and volunteers who devote themselves to the pastoral care of seafarers, fishermen and their families.
Ahead of the Angelus prayer, the Holy Father reflected on this Sunday’s Gospel, in which we hear the parable of the sower – a parable Pope Benedict described as, “autobiographical” – for, he said, “[it] reflects Jesus’ own experience and preaching.” The Pope went on to say, “[Jesus] identifies with the sower who spreads the good seed of the Word of God and sees the various effects it achieves, depending on how it is received. Some barely listen to the Word and do not receive it, whilst others receive it, but lack constancy and lose everything. Some more are overwhelmed by the concerns and seductions of the world, whilst others, like a good field, are receptive and listen; it is here,” he said, “that the Word bears fruit in abundance.”
The Pope also ...»