VATICAN CITY, JULY 1, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of John Paul II’s address on Sunday to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
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Dear Brothers and Sisters!
1. Yesterday we celebrated the feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, whom the Church of Rome venerates as its principal patrons. In this special circumstance I perceived, as Peter’s Successor, the profound solidarity of the whole ecclesial community. I recalled the words of the Book of Acts of the Apostles: “Peter thus was being kept in prison, but prayer by the church was fervently being made to God on his behalf” (Acts 12:5). Yes, I have felt around me the intense prayer of the whole Church, and because of this I wish to express to all today my cordial gratitude.
2. Indeed, every day I feel my ministry is sustained by the incessant prayer of the People of God: of many persons who are unknown to me, but who are so close to my heart, who offer their prayers and sacrifices to the Lord, for the intentions of the Pope. At times of greatest difficulty and suffering, this spiritual force is a valid help and profound consolation.
I always need your prayer, dear faithful of Rome and of the whole world! In fact, without it, how could I respond to the word of the Lord who commands Simon Peter: “Duc in altum!” “Put out into the deep!” (Luke 5:4)?
3. After overcoming multiple trials, even mortal ones, with the help of God, Peter and Paul carried to fulfillment their apostolic mission in this city of ours, where so many vestiges recall their memory.
4. Encouraged by their witness, let us renew the commitment to remain united in prayer, as one heart and one soul. Mary Most Holy, the Mother of the Lord and of every Christian, prays together with us, as in the first community of Jerusalem. To her, model of the praying Church, we confidently address ourselves.
[After praying the Angelus, the Pope added:]
I greet the pilgrims present with affection, especially the youths of the parish of Carate Brianza, accompanied by the parish priest and the catechists. May the visit to the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul help you in the way of faith and Christian witness.
The month of June, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, ends today. May his immense love be a source of peace for every man and for the whole world!
I wish everyone a happy Sunday and a serene summer.
[Translation by ZENIT]