“Gaudet Mater Ecclesia!” – The Year of Faith begins

Happy feast day of Blessed Pope John XXIII, world!  And it’s going to be a big one this year. In some 90 minutes, the Holy Father will open the Year of Faith in St. Peter’s Square. With him will be the Synod Fathers participating in the Synod of Bishops, the presidents of the world’s episcopal councils and 14 of the surviving Council Fathers.

Earlier this week, Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella revealed some details of today’s celebration. In opening the Year of Faith today it also commemorates the opening of the Second Vatican Council, 50 years ago today. For News.va he said:

“Extracts from the four conciliar Constitutions will be read out as expressions of the Council’s work and of renewal in the life of the Church. This will be followed by a long procession which which will lead the collective imagination back to 12 October 1962. The procession will be formed of all the bishops participating in the solemn concelebration with the Holy Father. Those taking part will include the Synod Fathers who are currently participating in the meeting on the new evangelisation, presidents of all the world’s episcopal conferences, and fourteen Council Fathers who, despite their age, have managed to come to Rome. All seventy of the Council Fathers who are still alive had been invited to participate, but advanced years or health problems have prevented them from being among us”.

There will undoubtedly be many channels broadcasting the opening Mass live, such as the Vatican player. In the mean time, let’s get a bit of a preview for today, and the coming thirteen months of the Year of Faith, with the events of fifty years ago, presided over by by Good Pope John.