With Blaj Bible, Pope Recalls Romanians´ Plea

Bishops Present New Edition of Historic Work

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 31, 2001 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II received a new edition of the historic Blaj Bible today, taking the opportunity to recall his 1999 trip to Romania and his hopes for Christian unity.

The Pope received a delegation of bishops from Romania, who gave him a copy of the Bible that has been a monument of faith and literature common to Catholics and Orthodox.

The original was prepared by a monk and named after the city where it was printed in 1795 by Bishop Ioan Bob. It had a great spiritual and cultural impact on Romania.

John Paul II emphasized its importance, as he paged through the new edition published by a group of experts, and sponsored by the Greek-Catholic Church of Romania and the country´s highest authorities. The edition was printed by the Vatican Press, as a «gift» of the Romanian people «to the Holy See.»

During his meeting with the bishops, the Pope recalled his visit to Romania in May 1999, the first time a Bishop of Rome stepped on Orthodox soil.

He said: «The cry of the people during the eucharistic celebration in Parcul Izvor returns to my spirit: ´Unitate, unitate!´» — «unity» in Romanian.

«It is the spiritual longing of a people who asks for unity and wants to work for unity,» the Pope continued. «I will never be able to erase from my memory the enthusiastic faces and fraternal gestures of that historic meeting. They are already part of history.»

He concluded: «Just as that trip brought us closer on the path toward unity, I hope that the new edition of the Blaj Bible will be a further step toward the full communion of the disciples of Christ.»

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