Pope Encourages Children's Commitment to Peace

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 25, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II emphasized the role that children and adolescents can play in promoting the culture of peace when he met with 5,000 youngsters.

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The children were members of Rome’s Catholic Action who took part in a “Caravan of Peace” today that started at Piazza Navona and ended in St. Peter’s Square, where they joined pilgrims at midday to pray the Angelus with the Pope.

The youngest children were concluding the public celebrations of the “Month of Peace,” which began Jan. 1, World Day of Peace.

After praying the Angelus, the Pope addressed “a word of gratitude and encouragement” to the children for their commitment.

Accompanying the Holy Father on this occasion were two children, a boy and a girl, who were invited to his study for his traditional Sunday greeting to pilgrims from his window.

At the end of the celebration, the girl read a message in which she expressed her affection for the Holy Father. Then the two children released two white pigeons, symbols of peace, from the window of the papal study. One pigeon stayed on the window ledge, as John Paul II looked on with amusement.

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ZENIT Staff

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