Instrumentum mensis Aprilis pro lectura Magisterii Summi Pontificis Benedicti XVI, pro evangelizatione in terris missionum

Saturday, 9 May 2009

The month of April centred around the liturgical celebrations for Holy Week and Easter from the 5th to 12th April, presided by the Holy Father Benedict XVI. On April 2nd thousands of young people from the diocese of Rome participated at a Mass presided by the Pontiff to mark the 4th anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II. On the 26th Benedict XVI presided Mass during which five new saints were canonised. On April 28th , the Pope visited earthquake victims in the region of Abruzzo, not far from Rome. Earlier in the month, when the earthquake struck on April 6th the Pope had sent a telegram of condolence to the Archbishop of Aquila and then a message on the occasion of the funeral of some of the victims in the city of L'Aquila.
Special Audiences granted by the Holy Father during April included: 5 April, Circolo di San Pietro; 6 April, young people from Madrid for the consigning of the World Youth Day Cross in view of WYD in Madrid 2011; 18 April, Franciscans taking part in the “ International Chapter of the Mats ”; 23 April members of the organising committee of the World Meeting of Families held in Mexico, and an audience with participants at the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Biblical Commission; 25 April, teachers of Catholic Religious Instruction.
The Pope also received two groups of Bishops from Argentina on their ad limina visit.
Special appeals launched by the Pope included: Angelus 5 April, 4th UN day to increase awareness of the problem of antipersonnel mines and tenth anniversary of the UN Convention to Ban Anti-Personnel Mines, and the collection of signatures for a Convention to Ban Cluster Bombs. The Holy Father urged countries who have not yet done so, to sign “these important tools of international humanitarian law, to which the Holy See has always given full support ”. The Pope remembered many African migrants who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea while attempting to reach Europe, and urged the international community to seek to resolve the situation of those peoples.