Pope Thanks Faithful for Prayers for His Recovery

Greets Pilgrims at End of General Audience

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 6, 2002 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II thanked the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter´s Square today for their prayers as he continued to recover from a bout of arthrosis in his right knee.

«Thank you for your visit and for the prayers you offered for my speedy recovery,» said the Pontiff. The arthritic condition kept him from presiding over the general audience.

The papal chair remained empty in Paul VI Hall at the gathering. On the Pope´s behalf, collaborators read in different languages the meditation he had prepared for the audience.

After the reading, the faithful went to St. Peter´s Square. The Holy Father appeared at the window of his study for about three minutes to greet the 15,000 congregated faithful, «especially youths, the sick and newlyweds.»

He encouraged all to continue in the Lenten journey, «with our gaze directed to Christ, whom we can find in the intimacy of prayer.»

Referring to the meditation on Psalm 64[65] which was read earlier, the Bishop of Rome explained that it is a poetic passage in which «nature becomes an eloquent sign of the divine action.»

«As the earth revives in spring by the action of the Creator, so man rises from his sin by the action of the Redeemer,» the papal text reads.

«Creation and history are thus under the provident and salvific gaze of the Lord,» the Pope wrote.

«Hence, do not go after what the world promises you. Rather, consider that which the Creator of the world promises,» he concluded, quoting St. Augustine.

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