Pope Thanks Mary for His Visit to Pompeii

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 8, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II expressed gratitude to the Virgin Mary for his visit to the shrine of Pompeii and again invited the faithful to pray the rosary for families and world peace.

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“I thank the Virgin for giving me the opportunity yesterday to visit the shrine in Pompeii which has been dedicated to her,” the Pope said today before bidding farewell to 15,000 pilgrims who attended the general audience in St. Peter’s Square.

The Holy Father met with the faithful for over an hour, shaking hands, being photographed and imparting his blessing. This he did despite the apparent fatigue caused by his trip to southern Italy a day before.

“Cherishing a vivid memory of this Marian pilgrimage, I invite you all to increasingly value the prayer of the holy rosary, so loved by the Christian people’s tradition,” he said.

“With it, the Church invokes the intercession of Mary in our time, especially for families and peace in the world,” the Pope concluded in a frail voice.

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