Papal Address Before the Regina Caeli

John Paul II Requests Prayers for Holy Land

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 14, 2002 ( John Paul II gave this address today to the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter´s Square before the praying of the Regina Caeli. He spoke after the Mass in which six people were beatified.

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1. At the conclusion of this solemn liturgical celebration, we turn our glance to Mary Most Holy, whom we invoke during Eastertide with the beautiful antiphon, «Regina Caeli.» Devotion to the Virgin is an integral part of Christian life, as clearly manifested, also, in the new blessed.

Therefore, we turn to her with faith, entrusting to her in particular all those who suffer in the Holy Land, from where I receive appeals from all sides. I assure everyone of my spiritual and human solidarity, while I invite all to pray so that the efforts under way to re-establish respect for persons and property and to foster the advent of a just and lasting peace, will be crowned with success.

[The Pope continued in Spanish]

2. Now, in greeting the Spanish-speaking bishops, civil authorities, priests, religious and faithful, especially those who have come from Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Colombia and Argentina, I am pleased to recall how the new blessed from Latin America are also an eloquent example of devotion to the Most Holy Virgin.

May this example of constant confidence in the Virgin Mary help all, especially those of you who have been able to participate today in this solemn ceremony of beatification, in order that each one, in his specific vocation, be a true disciple of her Son.

[The Holy Father concluded his address in Italian]

3. Cordial greetings to the Italian-speaking pilgrims, celebrating the beatification of Gaetano Errico and Lodovico Pavoni; a greeting I extend to all their spiritual children of other nations, as well as to all those who render homage to Blessed Luigi Variara and Artemide Zatti, whom Providence transplanted from Italy to Latin America, so that they would bear fruit for the Kingdom of heaven.

This Sunday, the Day of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart is being celebrated in Italy. I wish this important institution every good which, by integrating faith and culture, offers a precious service to the whole society. Lastly, I remind you that today is also the Day for Organ Donations and Transplants; it is my wish that the solidarity of many will give hope to the numerous patients awaiting a transplant.

Let us now address our canticle to Mary, Queen of Heaven.

[Translation by ZENIT]

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