The Augustinianum Patristic Institute in Rome is dedicated to cultivating the sacred sciences, especially the thought and writings of the Fathers of the Church, paying particular attention to St Augustine. The Institute was founded 50 years ago with St Paul VI attending the inauguration ceremony.
Celebrating 50 years
Half a century on, Pope Francis on Saturday met with 250 students and staff stressing the importance of preserving and transmitting the richness of Catholic tradition which, he said, was essential for the Church. He also paid tribute to the many professors that are no longer here, who have left their mark on the institute. In particular, he mentioned, Maria Grazia Mara, who, he said, "taught so many things and who at 95 still publishes and teaches catechesis to children."
Quoting his predecessor St Paul VI, the Pontiff said that this Pope affirmed that, "the return to the Fathers of the Church is part of the return to Christian origins, without which it would not be possible to carry out biblical renewal, liturgical reform and new theological research desired by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council."
Be faithful to your roots and your task
Citing the Apostolic Constitution Veritatis Gaudium on ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties, Pope Francis encouraged those present to be,"faithful to your roots and your task" and underlined that, "the joy of truth expresses the restlessness of the human heart until it encounters and dwells within God's Light, and shares that Light with all people."
Saint Augustine the Pope recalled, "knew and expressed to the highest degree the restlessness of the human heart until he finds rest in God, who, in Jesus Christ, reveals to us the deepest truth about our life and our final destiny."
In conclusion, Pope Francis urged the students and staff, "to pray for one another, so that the Lord may support you in your daily commitment to research, teaching and study."