Pope´s Address Before Praying "Regina
Calls for an End to Exploitation of Children as Soldiers
VATICAN CITY, JUNE 3, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of John Paul II's address today, before praying the "Regina Caeli."
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1. At the end of this solemn celebration, I want to entrust to Mary's maternal intercession the whole Church, which in Pentecost has a renewed awareness of her missionary vocation. Moreover, we place in her hands the expectations of peace and justice of the world. In particular, we wish to recommend to Our Lady's intercession the lives of so many youths, who are victims of the ongoing absurd violence in several countries, as testified by the news reaching us in the past days from the Holy Land. In addition to them, we remember especially the children involved in armed conflicts. In about 50 countries, many minors live in the midst of conflicts or post-conflict situations. They are victims of forced recruitment and of abuses of all kinds; they cannot go to school, they are separated from their parents, and subjected to physical and psychological violence.
I appeal to the international community to increase its efforts to protect and rehabilitate all those who live in such tragic conditions. May the children, who are humanity's future and hope, grow up at last far away from the flagellation of war and every form of violence. May Mary, Mother of life, protect children in danger and support those who work to help them.
2. In a few moments, the venerable remains of Blessed John XXIII, which we had with us during the Holy Mass, will be devotedly taken to the Vatican Basilica, where they will remain exposed for the veneration of the faithful. I remember with admiration the brief but intense pontificate of this, my unforgettable predecessor. At this moment, I would like to recall his fervent devotion to Our Lady. He often remembered the good traditions of his childhood, when the most elderly in the family led the recitation of the rosary at home. Since then, he liked to say, Most Holy Mary took him by the hand and accompanied him on the path of the priesthood, the ideal of his whole life.
On May 15, 1963, during the last general audience in St. Peter's Basilica, he exhorted everyone to multiply their manifestations of affection for Mary, to whom, he underlined, the whole Eternal City is, so to speak, consecrated.
Let us gather his spiritual testament! Like him, let us deepen our relation with the Mother of Christ and Tabernacle of the Holy Spirit and, inspired by new fervor, let us invoke her with confidence: Regina caeli ...
[Translation by ZENIT]
Before Praying "Regina Caeli"
Assails "Absurd Spiral of Violence" in Mideast
VATICAN CITY, MAY 13, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the full text of John Paul II's address, given at St. Peter's Square before he prayed the "Regina Caeli" at midday today.
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Dearest Brothers and Sisters!
1. Today, together with you, I wish to give thanks to God and to the Blessed Virgin for the pilgrimage in St. Paul's footsteps, which I had the joy of undertaking over the past days. Athens, Damascus, Malta: I carry those places imprinted in my soul, which the mission of the Apostle to the Gentiles has linked, indissolubly, to the history of Christianity. Next Wednesday, during the general audience, I will discuss at greater length this unforgettable journey, which was very significant from the ecumenical and interreligious point of view.
Unfortunately, it was saddened by the painful news that continued to arrive from the Holy Land. Indeed, we are faced with an absurd spiral of violence. To sow death every day does no more than exasperate spirits and delay the blessed day when all will be able to look at one another in the face and walk together as brothers! All, and in particular leaders of the international community, have the duty to help the parties in conflict to break this immoral chain of provocations and reprisals. It must be remembered, moreover, as so often repeated, that the language and culture of peace must prevail over incitement to hatred and exclusion.
2. Today, a reason for joy and praise comes to us from the priestly ordinations, which I celebrated this morning in St. Peter's Basilica. Thirty-four deacons from several Seminaries of the Diocese of Rome, became priests, to serve the Church through preaching of the Gospel, the celebration of the Sacraments, and the pastoral care of the People of God. I embrace each one of them again in peace, assuring them of my prayerful support in their new ministry. I thank all those who are responsible for their formation and affectionately greet relatives and friends.
3. We now invoke, on these new Priests of the Diocese of Rome, the help of Most Holy Mary, on the day in which we remember her apparitions in Fatima. I myself was able to experience her protection on May 13 twenty years ago. We renew our supplication to her for the Holy Land, that the hearts and intentions of all will be purified, so that the massacres will cease and the energies of one and all will be employed for the effective and lasting construction of peace.
[Translation by ZENIT]
Who is the Most Holy?
Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.