At the beginning of the month, on October the 4th , the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI made an official visit to the President of Italy at the Quirinal Palace. From the 5th to 26th in the Synod Hall in the Vatican the 12th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops was held on the theme: “Verbum Domini in vita et missione Ecclesiæ”. The Holy Father presided Eucharistic Concelebrations with the Synod Fathers respectively in St Paul's and St Peter's Basilicas; particularly important in this regard were two meditations given by the Pope during the 1st and the 14th General Congregation of the Synod.
On the 12th October, during Mass in St Peter's Square, Benedict proposed four new saints for the veneration of the universal Church: Gaetano Errico, Maria Bernarda Bütler, Alfonsa dell’Immacolata Concezione e Narcisa di Gesù Martillo Morán.
On Sunday 19 October, World Mission Sunday, the Holy Father made a pastoral visit to the Marian Shrine of Pompei, where he entrusted the Synod of Bishops and “all those members of the Church who devote their energies to serving the proclamation of the Gospel to all nations” to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
During his weekly Wednesday, general audiences, in this special Year of St Paul, the Pope continued his teaching on St Paul. Among private audience of particular importance in the month of October we mention the following: October 16 - participants at an international Congress organised by the Pontifical Lateran University to mark the 10th anniversary of the Encyclical Fides et Ratio; October 20- participants at the 110th National Congress of the Italian Society of Surgery; October 30, a delegation of the International Jewish, Committee on Interreligious Consultations; October 31, participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Science and the same day, participants at meetings organised by the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships.
The Holy Father also received Bishops on ad limina visit from central Asia and from Ecuador. We also mention special Papal Messages during the month: to the International Humanae vitae Congress; to the director general of the FAO, on the occasion of World Food Day 2008; to participants at an International Meeting on the theme “Vatican II on the Pontificate of John Paul II”.
Lastly, we mention the appeal made by the Holy Father at the end of the midday Angelus prayer on Sunday 12 October. He called for reconciliation and peace among the people of North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo and for Christians suffering persecution in Iraq and in India. India was mentioned again at the Angelus on Sunday 26 October.