Prayer Still Important at St. Peter's, Says Pope


Community Entrusted With Papal Intentions

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 8, 2007 ( Benedict XVI wants St. Peter's Basilica to be characterized by a community of prayer to remember the Pope and his intentions.
The Pope made this comment today while receiving in audience members of the chapter of St. Peter's Basilica, the group entrusted with the care of the ancient church.
The Holy Father explained: "I trust in you and in your ministry so that St. Peter's Basilica can be an authentic place of prayer, of adoration and praise to the Lord."
"In this holy place, where thousands of pilgrims and tourists come everyday from all over the world, more than elsewhere it is necessary that next to the tomb of St. Peter there be a stable community of prayer that guarantees continuity with tradition and at the same time intercedes for the intentions of the pope in the Church and world today."
The basilica's chapter was founded by Pope Leo IX in 1053 to increase the solemnity of divine worship in the church with the help of the Benedictine monks from the Monastery of St. Stephen Major.
Today, Archbishop Angelo Comastri, the archpriest of the basilica, leads the 34 canons who make up the chapter.
The Pope said that in recent decades the activities of the chapter in the life of the basilica "was increasingly oriented toward rediscovering its true original functions, consistent in its ministry of prayer."
"If prayer is important for all Christians, for you, dear brothers, it is a so-called professional task," the Holy Father explained.
He added, "Prayer is a service to the Lord, who deserves to be praised and adored, and at the same time it is a witness to others. And where God is praised and adored with faithfulness, blessing is not lacking."
The Pope entrusted to the chapter a special mission: "to recall, with your prayerful presence near Peter's tomb, that nothing comes before God; that the Church is always oriented toward Him, to his glory; that the primacy of Peter is at the service of the unity of the Church and this is at the service of the salvific design of the Most Holy Trinity."

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