John Paul II´s Address Before Praying Angelus

«The Continent Will Experience a New Evangelization»

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 29, 2001 ( Here is a translation of John Paul II´s address before praying the midday Angelus at St. Peter´s Square, on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, patrons of Rome.

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Dearest Brothers and Sisters!

1. I returned from Ukraine less than two days ago, and today´s recitation of the Angelus gives me the opportunity to thank the Virgin Mary for the great gift of this apostolic journey.

The visit to Ukraine, historical bridge between East and West, was a long-standing objective of mine, which I awaited and prepared for in prayer. Now, its fulfillment is further confirmation of a providential design: that the Church in Europe will begin to breathe again with its two lungs, so that the whole Continent will experience a new evangelization.

The welcome of Ukrainian faithful was truly warm and moving. I express my cordial gratitude to all.

2. In the ecumenical spirit that marked the pilgrimage to Greece and the one just concluded, I am happy to welcome in Rome today the Delegation of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which will attend the solemn Mass that will take place this evening at 6:30 p.m. in the atrium of St. Peter´s Basilica. Welcome! The house of Peter welcomes you with esteem and affection.

With the same affection I greet the 36 Metropolitan Archbishops appointed in the past year, who will receive the Pallium in the course of the Holy Mass.

My greetings are also extended to the numerous Bishops appointed in the course of the year, who have come to Rome to participate in the study days promoted by the Congregation for Bishops. I sincerely hope that this pause before the remains of the Apostles, will give them light and encouragement for a better exercise of their pastoral service.

3. We now turn to Most Holy Mary with the Angelus prayer. I pray with special affection to the Virgin Mary for all Romans, on the feast of their holy Patrons. May their faith be strong, as Peter´s, and rich in apostolic drive, as Paul´s. Only in this way, dear Christians of Rome, will you be salt and light of this City, which will thus be able to continue to measure up to the height of its spiritual mission in the world, also in this significant phase of its history.

[Translation by ZENIT]

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