VATICAN CITY, JUNE 30, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave Tuesday, the solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, before praying the Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
* * *
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
Today the Church of Rome celebrates her holy roots, celebrating the Apostles Peter and Paul, whose relics are kept in the two basilicas dedicated to them and that embellish the whole city cherished by resident Christians and pilgrims. The solemnity began yesterday evening with the prayer of the first vespers in the Basilica [of St. Paul Outside the Walls]. The liturgy of the day proposes again Peter’s profession of faith in confronting Jesus. “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). It is not a statement that is the fruit of reasoning, but a revelation of the Father to the humble fisherman of Galilee, as Jesus himself confirms saying: “flesh and blood has not revealed this to you” (Homily in Matthaeum 54, 2: PG 58, 535). In fact, the Lord ends saying: “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19).
St. Paul — of whom we recently celebrated the 2,000 years of his birth — with divine Grace spread the Gospel, sowing the Word of truth and of salvation amid the pagan peoples. The two patron saints of Rome, though having received from God different charisms and different missions to fulfill, are both the foundation of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, “permanently open to the missionary and ecumenical dynamic, because sent to the world to proclaim and witness, actualize and expand the mystery of communion that constitutes her” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Communionis notio,” May 28, 1992, No. 4: AAS 85 , 840). Because of this, during this morning’s Holy Mass in the Vatican Basilica, I conferred upon 38 Metropolitan Archbishops the pallium, which symbolizes both communion with the Bishop of Rome as well as the mission to feed with love the one flock of Christ. On this solemn occasion, I also wish to thank from my heart the delegation of the ecumenical patriarchate, testimony of the spiritual bond between the Church of Rome and the Church of Constantinople.
May the example of the Apostles Peter and Paul illumine minds and ignite in the hearts of believers the holy desire to do the will of God, so that the Church journeying on earth may always be faithful to her Lord. Let us turn with confidence to the Virgin Mary, Queen of the Apostles, who from Heaven guides and sustains the path of the People of God.
I offer a warm welcome to the English-speaking visitors gathered for this Angelus prayer. Today’s Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Patrons of the Church of Rome, invites us to give thanks for the faith we have received from the Apostles in the communion of the Church. As a sign of that unity, this morning I conferred the Pallium upon a number of Metropolitan Archbishops from throughout the world. I ask you to pray that, through the intercession of the Apostles, they will be true heralds of the Gospel and models of pastoral charity to the flock entrusted to their care. Upon all of you I invoke the Lord’s richest blessings!
Copyright 2010 — Libreria Editrice Vaticana
[In Italian, he said:]
I greet, finally, the Italian-speaking pilgrims, particularly the Metropolitan Archbishops and all those who accompany them. I wish all a good feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. [Translation by ZENIT]