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Scots celebrate Pope’s diamond day

— Cardinal Keith O’Brien leads nation’s well wishes on the anniversary of Pope’s ordination

Cardinal Keith O’Brien has written to Pope Benedict XVI congratulating him on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of his ordination on behalf of the Scottish people.

The Holy Father’s anniversary was marked on Wednesday June 29 in the Vatican and His Eminence was among many who offered their congratulations.

“I am writing on behalf of the bishops, priests, deacons, religious men and women and the lay Faithful of Scotland to express our joy that you will very shortly be celebrating the 60th Anniversary of your priestly ordination,” Cardinal O’Brien wrote. “Recalling with a deep sense of gratitude the assurance you gave to the Church and indeed to all the people of Scotland when you were with us on Thursday September 16, 2010 that we would be in your prayers, I wish to take this opportunity to convey the assurance of our prayers for your continued health and for the fruitfulness of your ministry as you mark this important anniversary.”

Scottish well wishes

Cardinal O’Brien said he was joined by Scots from all walks of life in sending good wishes.

“I am confident that many of our brothers and sisters who belong to other Christian denominations here in Scotland, along with other people of goodwill, recalling your visit last year, readily join us in praying that God will continue to bless you as you complete your 60th year as a priest,” he wrote.  “Please be assured, Most Holy Father, that in the dioceses of Scotland we will mark your anniversary on the feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul with gladness and with thanksgiving to God for all the blessings we have received through your ministry.

“I send with this letter my own personal greetings and my prayers that God will continue to give you good health so that you may guide the Church and confirm us in the faith of the Apostles.”

Art exhibition

The Vatican has invited 60 artists from different disciplines to show an example of their work to celebrate the anniversary.

Painters, sculptors, architects, musicians and poets will participate in an exhibition that will open to the public at the Vatican on July 5.

Most of the works have been inspired by Pope Benedict (left) and created for the occasion, while some have been chosen from the artists’ repertories, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, who heads the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture, said.

The artists as a group will have a private moment with the Pope when he comes to view each work or its representation, in the case of architects or filmmakers, and exchange a few words with the creators at the inauguration of the exhibition on July 4, said Mgr Pasquale Iacobone, an official with the council.

Cardinal Ravasi said that the exhibit was part of an effort on the part of the council for culture to re-establish the relationship the world of art once held with the Church.


In other initiatives marking the anniversary, the Congregation for Clergy has sent a letter to dioceses around the world asking bishops to involve their priests and religious in a commitment to pray for 60 hours in Eucharistic adoration.

In this way, said the letter from Archbishop Celso Morga Iruzubieta, the Church community worldwide can show the Pope ‘all of our gratitude, our affection and our communion for the service he offers to God and the Church.’

Priests, clergy and religious can pray for 60 hours continuously or spread the hours of adoration over the month of June, Archbishop Morga said. Faithful can partake as well with prayers for Pope Benedict’s life, health, happiness and refuge, the letter said.

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