Rome: African dancing at canonization Mass

 There was African dancing and music in St Peter's Square, yesterday morning when John Paul II celebrated the Eucharist and canonized Blesseds Daniele Comboni, bishop, founder of the Congregation of the Combonian Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus and the Combonian Missionary Sisters Pious Mothers of Nigrizia; Arnold Janssen, priest, founder of the Society of the Divine Word, the Congregation of Missionary Sisters, Servants of the Spirit and the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration and Josef Freinademetz, priest, of the Society of the Divine Word. In his homily, the Pope said, "as these new saints teach us, evangelization, in addition to human promotion, which is sometimes risky as the experience of so many missionaries attests to, always entails an explicit proclamation of Christ. This is the example and the precious heritage that these three saints, today elevated to the altars, leave to their religious families in a special way. The first task of the missionary institutes is the mission 'ad gentes' which should not be put off in preference of any other social or humanitarian commitment, no matter how necessary." "There is a need for evangelizers who have the enthusiasm and apostolic passion of Bishop Daniele Comboni, apostle of Christ among Africans," he continued. "He used the resources of a rich personality and a solid spirituality in order to make Christ known and welcome in Africa, the continent that he deeply loved. How can we not turn our gaze today with affection and concern to those beloved peoples? A land rich with human and spiritual resources, Africa continues to be plagued by so many difficulties and problems. May the international community actively help them to build a future of hope. I entrust this intention of mine to St Daniele Comboni, remarkable evangelizer and protector of the Black Continent." Referring to St. Arnold Janssen, the Pope said that "his priestly activity was full of zeal in spreading the Word of God, even using new means of mass communication, especially the press. He never was discouraged by obstacles. He used to like to repeat: 'Announcing the Good News is the first and main expression of love for one's neighbour'." Speaking about Josef Freinademetz, the Holy Father emphasized that "with the tenacity typical of mountain people, this generous 'witness of love' dedicated himself wholly to the Chinese people of Southern Shandong. Through love and with love, he embraced their conditions of life, in line with the advice that he himself used to give to his missionaries: 'Missionary work is in vain if we do not love and are not loved.' He was an exemplary model of evangelical inculturation." At the end of the ceremony, before reciting the Angelus, John Paul II greeted the many pilgrims in German, English, Italian saying: "Spiritually united to the new saints, let us invoke Mary with the title of Our Lady of the Rosary, turned to the Shrine at Pompei, where, God willing, I will go on a pilgrimage this Tuesday." Today at midday in the Paul VI Hall, the Holy Father received the pilgrims who participated yesterday's canonization service. In greeting the Combonian Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus and the Combonian Missionary Sisters Pious Mothers of Nigrizia he noted that they "continue the apostolic activity of St. Daniele Comboni," and expressed the desire that "the project of founding a Catholic university in Sudan, beloved land of Comboni, may continue and be brought to completion." John Paul II emphasized that St. Arnold Janssen, founder of the Society of the Divine Word and the Congregation of Missionary Sisters, Servants of the Spirit and the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration, "was an ardent animator of the ecclesiastical mission in Central Europe. He gave proof of his courage while opening a missionary house in Steyl, Netherlands, when the Church went through a difficult time due to the so-called 'Kulturkampf'." He concluded by saying: "through the Society of the Divine Word, providence sent St. Josef Freinademetz to China where he remained until his death. 'All your life for your beloved Chinese': this is the pledge that he made to himself the day of his perpetual profession. He stayed faithful to this motto throughout his life with the help of God. He became Chinese with the Chinese, assuming the mentality, uses and customs. ... May he continue to watch over that nation and the entire Asian continent from heaven." Source: VIS