Benedict XVI Welcomes a Torch of Peace

VATICAN CITY, JULY 6, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI welcomed the Benedictine Torch of Peace in St. Peter’s Square and expressed hope that the pilgrimage of this flame will remind Europe of its Christian values.

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In its 30th annual pilgrimage, the torch arrived Tuesday night in Rome from Moscow. The torch symbolizes St. Benedict of Norcia’s message of solidarity and fraternity.

The torch was brought to the Vatican today by Bishop Riccardo Fontana of Spoleto-Norcia, accompanied by pilgrims.

As the Pope himself explained at the end of the general audience, the torch “made a stop in Germany, in the monastery of Ottobeuren, and in Marktl am Inn, where I was born.”

“As a symbolic sign of peace, today it pauses before the tombs of the apostles, and will then proceed to Norcia,” he added. “May this evocative initiative inspire an ever more generous commitment to witness Christian values in Europe.”

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