VATICAN CITY, JUNE 27, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The World Day of Papal Charity will be observed this Wednesday, a day when Catholics are invited to make donations, through Peter’s Pence, to the Pope’s charitable and missionary works.
Collections were taken up in many countries during Masses on Sunday for Benedict XVI’s charitable works. Wednesday’s collection coincides with the solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.
Recently, the Holy See has offered possibilities to make direct donations via Internet.
The Vatican’s Web page has set up a special “Peter’s Pence” section in various languages, which offers the possibility to contact the Peter’s Pence Office directly. The telephone number is: (39) 06-6988-48-51.
The same section makes it possible to send donations with a credit card. Personal details may be sent by fax.
The faithful also may send their donations directly to Benedict XVI, whose postal address is: His Holiness,
Pope Benedict XVI, 00120 Vatican City.
In 2003, Peter’s Pence collected $55.8 million (45 million euros), which Pope John Paul II allocated to charitable works in the Third World and to victims of war or natural disasters.
That amount represented an increase of 5.7% over 2002. Within the next few days, exact data will be available on the amount collected in 2004.
In addition to the collection taken up in dioceses worldwide, Peter’s Pence receives funds from religious congregations and institutions, and from Catholic foundations.
The origin of Peter’s Pence dates back to the eighth century, when the Anglo-Saxons converted to Christianity and, as a sign of union with the Bishop of Rome, decided to send a regular contribution to the Holy Father.