VATICAN CITY, APRIL 16, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Here is the address Benedict XVI gave today in an audience with members of the Philadelphia-based Papal Foundation.
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I am pleased to greet the members of The Papal Foundation on the occasion of your annual pilgrimage to Rome. Our meeting is pervaded by the joy of this Easter season, as the Church celebrates the Lord's glorious victory over death and his gift of new life in the Holy Spirit.
A year ago I had the grace of visiting the Holy Land and praying before the Lord's empty tomb. There, echoing the witness of the Apostle Peter, I proclaimed that Christ, by rising to new life, has taught us "that evil never has the last word, that love is stronger than death, and that our future, and the future of all humanity, lies in the hands of a faithful and provident God" (Address at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, 15 May 2009). In every time and place, the Church is called to proclaim this message of hope and to confirm its truth by her practical witness of holiness and charity. The Papal Foundation has advanced this mission in a particular way by supporting a broad spectrum of charities close to the heart of the Successor of Peter. I thank you for your generous efforts to offer assistance to our brothers and sisters in developing countries, to provide for the education of the Church's future leaders, and to advance the missionary endeavors of so many dioceses and religious congregations throughout the world.
In these days I ask you to pray for the needs of the universal Church and to implore a renewed outpouring of the Spirit's gifts of holiness, unity and missionary zeal upon the whole People of God. With great affection I commend you and your families to the loving intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, and cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of joy and peace in Jesus our Risen Lord.
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