Pope Brings Message of Hope on His 299th Parish Visit

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 18, 2001 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II visited his 299th parish in Rome today, encouraging the faithful to overcome fear and anxiety and to put their trust in God.

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The Pope invited the faithful of the parish of St. Alexis, in the neighborhood of Case Rosse, on the city´s outskirts, to open their hearts “to the certainty that men´s lives and history, despite tragedies, remain solidly in God´s hands.”

“The Lord promises salvation to anyone who places his trust in him: ´not a hair of your head will perish,´” he reminded the 400 parishioners who crowded into the new church. Hundreds more followed the Mass on large video screens outside.

A young boy who greeted the Pope said: “Now you are one of our heroes. You are also among the posters of singers and actors hanging from the walls of our rooms, a star among the stars.”

“We are sure you are not scandalized by all this,” the boy added with a mischievous smile. “You are too strong, Holiness!”

John Paul II responded with a smile.

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