Papal Address at Castel Gandolfo

Notes the Upcoming Johannesburg Summit on Development

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 25, 2002 ( Here is a translation of the address John Paul II gave today before reciting the Angelus with pilgrims gathered at the papal summer residence.

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1. «Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! … For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen» (Romans 11:33,36).

With this hymn of praise, proposed again in today’s liturgy, St. Paul ends the first part of the Letter to the Romans. The human creature feels very little before the wonder of divine Providence, manifested in creation and history. At the same time, [the human creature] realizes that he is the recipient of a message of love that calls him to responsibility. People, indeed, are appointed by God as administrators of the earth, to cultivate and protect it. From here stems that which we might call their «ecological vocation,» which in our time has become more urgent than ever.

2. Meditating on this page of the Apostle Paul, our thoughts go to the World Summit on Sustainable Development, which opens tomorrow in Johannesburg, South Africa. We all hope that the numerous heads of state and government present, and the other participants, will succeed in finding effective ways for an integral human development, keeping in mind the economic, social and environmental dimension. In a world that is increasingly interdependent, peace, justice and the protection of creation must be the fruit of the common effort of all in pursuing the common good together.

[The Holy Father then greeted pilgrims in French, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. In English, he said]:

3. I cordially greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at this Angelus prayer. May our Lord Jesus Christ bless you and your families with joy and peace.

[At the end, the Pope added:]

4. We now turn to the Holy Virgin. She shares in the joys and sorrows, the anxieties and hopes of humanity, as happened close to 50 years ago in Syracuse, when an image of the Virgin, now kept in the shrine built for this purpose, wept for several days.

It is precisely to prepare for the 50th anniversary of that extraordinary event, from next Aug. 29 to Sept. 1, 2003, that the Archdiocese of Syracuse will observe a special Marian year. We willingly join the beloved community of Syracuse in prayer, convinced that the tears of the heavenly mother are an eloquent sign of Divine Mercy, to which I again wish to entrust the Church and the whole world.

[Translation by ZENIT]

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