Benedict XVI Writes to Children

Wishes Them a Life of Joy and Peace

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ROME, MAY 12, 2010 ( Benedict XVI is thanking the children of Avola, Italy, for their message of support, and wishing them a life full of joy and peace.

Monsignor Peter Wells, an official at the Secretariat of State, wrote the children on the Pope’s behalf. The Holy Father was responding to a letter that came from an initiative begun by Father Fortunato Di Noto and the Virgin of Carmel parish. The priest began the Meter Association, which works against pedophilia and violence against children.

«Dear children and youth: the Holy Father Benedict XVI has received the letter you sent him as a sign of spiritual closeness and sincere affection,» Monsignor Wells affirmed. «The Pope, who is very grateful for the filial gesture, thanks you and hopes that you will grow up with joy and peace, learning to know the Lord Jesus ever more and, while invoking the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary, sends each one of you his blessing.»

Father Di Noto said the letter is a «great honor.»

«The children have been really happy to read it,» he affirmed. «We are making many photocopies of it so that they can hang it up in their rooms.»

The Sicilian priest said the gesture of sending the letter is proof that the «Pope does not abandon children.»

«Let us support him,» Father Di Noto encouraged. «I say this as a parish priest and as president of Meter, so that he can continue to witness, with words and deeds, that the defense of children is not a fashion for the Church but a permanent commitment.»

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