Bethlehem's "Light of Peace" Brought to Vatican

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 17, 2003 ( In a festive atmosphere, John Paul II received the “lamp of peace,” brought from Bethlehem to the Vatican by representatives of the scout movement.

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The lamp’s flame was lit in the Basilica of the Nativity in the town of Jesus’ birth. It is being taken around Europe to light a candle or a lamp in parishes and institutions, as a sign of peace.

It was taken to Paul VI Hall today, for the general audience, by representatives of Catholic scouts.

The lamp has been touring Europe since 1986, the year the initiative was launched in Austria. Since then, scouts associations of diverse countries have committed themselves to take it around the world as a sign of Christian love and fraternity.

Scout organizers told ZENIT that the light also implies a gesture of charity. In agreement with local scout movements, the lamp is accompanied by a collection of funds for poor children, the handicapped, refugees or marginalized people.

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