It was in a packed St Peter’s Basilica that Pope Benedict XVI declared that the year 2012 to 2013 was to be a”Year of Faith”. The Holy Father made the announcement during his homily at a mass for the New Evangelisation. The Mass marked the conclusion of a meeting organised by Pontifical Council for the New Evangelisation, which the Pope addressed on Saturday.
Speaking about his decision to invoke this “Year of Faith” Pope Benedict said it was “to give new impetus to the mission of the whole Church to lead men out of the desert in which they often find themselves, to the place of life, of friendship with Christ”.
The Pope explained that the year would be “a moment of grace and commitment to a more complete conversion to God, to strengthen our faith in Him and to proclaim Him with joy to the people of our time.”
In order to illustrate the meaning of this “Year of Faith”, the Holy Father said he would prepare a special Apostolic Letter and he informed the congregation present that the year would begin “on 11 October 2012, the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, and would end on 24 November 2013, Solemnity of Christ the King”,.
During the course of his Homily the Holy Father referred back to the meeting of the Pontifical Council saying, he was delighted that this conference had taken place in the month of October, a month of prayer and just one week before the World Mission Sunday.
The Pope underlined that the new evangelization is very urgent, “especially in traditionally Christian countries, which have become increasingly “indifferent” and “hostile” to the mission of the Church.”