Dubai (Agenzia Fides) - "Today we consecrate this new temple dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua to God, that you built with your Pastor. You are the image of God’s temple. You, in fact, constitute the stones of the spiritual temple of the Church, stones that support each other and form the great building of the Church, whose first architect is the Lord. In this building, everyone has his place, it is unique and precious": This is what Cardinal Fernando Filoni said today in his homily for the consecration of the new Church dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua in Ras Al Khaimah, situated on the outskirts of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The blessing of the new Catholic place of worship - the eighth in the UAE - is the central event of the Prefect’s visit in the Federation (11-15 June) and is a very important moment for the local Church, in the Year of Faith.
As reported to Fides, the Cardinal thanked the religious and civil authorities present, bringing the greetings of Pope Francis, ensuring "his fatherly affection and prayer."
To the Catholics present, who in the Emirates are all foreigners, mostly from Asian countries, the Prefect said: "You come from different Countries. The variety of your cultures testifies the richness and variety of your origins, but the harmony of your voices expresses the unity of your faith. The mystery of the Church lives in you." The Cardinal then entrusted a mandate to the faithful: "I ask each of you to be a living stone. Built on the Risen Christ, the cornerstone, we can transform the world." And, recalling the importance of the Christian witness in a context such as that of the Arabian Peninsula, he remarked: "Here you are called to be leaven in the dough. And in a complex context, I find hope and confidence: confidence for the work that supports your future and your families, hope for your spiritual life. May the testimony of faith, daily prayer, mercy be your faithful companions "
"The witness of faith - he continued - also facilitates dialogue between religions; mercy opens the heart to solidarity and becomes the reflection of God's love." "Be icon of God's love for the men and women of our time," he continued, and "ask St. Anthony of Padua to accompany you in your daily efforts." "To Holy Mary, Our Lady of Arabia, proclaimed Patron of the two Apostolic Vicariates of the Gulf on January 16, 2011 - concluded Cardinal Filoni - I entrust your suffering and intentions." (PA) (Agenzia Fides 14/06/2013)