Pope Sends Greeting to 60,000 Pilgrims to Loreto

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 13, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI sent a message of greeting to the 60,000 faithful who spent Saturday night on pilgrimage from the Italian town of Macerata to the Marian shrine of Loreto.

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Especially remembered on this occasion were Pope John Paul II and Monsignor Luigi Giussani, founder of the ecclesial movement Communion and Liberation.

Monsignor Giussani’s funeral last Feb. 24 was presided over in John Paul II’s name by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

In a telegram sent by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, Benedict XVI expressed his satisfaction over this «important manifestation,» hoping that it would inspire young people to «a fervent adherence to Christ,» a «new impetus in evangelical testimony» and «generous commitment in ecclesial service.»

The motto chosen for the meeting, organized for the past 27 years by Communion and Liberation, was «We Have Come to Worship Him. O Virgin, You Are the Certainty of Our Hope!»

The homily delivered on Saturday by Cardinal Angelo Scola, patriarch of Venice, in the Helvia Recina Stadium of Macerata, concluded with this prayer: «We are children of our time. We are assailed by a temptation: to live as comfortable vagabonds. To overcome it, tonight we are becoming humble pilgrims.»

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