Although Pope Benedict didn't exactly turn his pastoral staff into a serpent, he did leave a very important message to the President: Dignitatis Personae - the Vatican's bioethics document and Caritas et Veritate - the Pope's latest encyclical. According to a LifeSiteNews article, "Dignitatis Personae" (On the Dignity of Persons) is a 2008 instruction by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that gives the Catholic teaching on the ethics of embryonic research and reiterates Church opposition to contraception and abortion, mentioning new methods of birth control such as female condoms and the morning-after pill.
In exchange, the President delivered Pope Benedict a relic of John Neumann Bishop of Philadelphia from1852 to 1860. Perhaps President Obama's contact with this sacred relic gives us a powerful avenue of prayer to reach him. John Neumann, known as the Miracle Worker, coupled with Pope Benedict's moral direction to our President, can be American ROMAN Catholics' hope. Click here for novena to John Neumann or for a short prayer:
Father, you called John Neumann to labor for the gospel among the people of the new world. His ministry strengthened many others in the Christian faith: through his prayers may faith grow strong in this land. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.