Pope Remembers UK Visit With Fondness

Promises Prayers for English-Speaking World

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LONDON, JAN. 1, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is recalling with “great fondness” his visit last September to the United Kingdom.

The Pope recorded a Christmas message to all the people of that region, which was transmitted Dec. 24 over the radio by BBC in London for the “Thought for the Day.”

The Pontiff stated, “Recalling with great fondness my four-day visit to the United Kingdom last September, I am glad to have the opportunity to greet you once again, and indeed to greet listeners everywhere.”

“God is always faithful to his promises, but he often surprises us in the way he fulfills them,” the Holy Father affirmed.

He continued: “The child that was born in Bethlehem did indeed bring liberation, but not only for the people of that time and place — he was to be the Savior of all people throughout the world and throughout history.

“And it was not a political liberation that he brought, achieved through military means: Rather, Christ destroyed death for ever and restored life by means of his shameful death on the cross.”

“Out of love for us he took upon himself our human condition, our fragility, our vulnerability, and he opened up for us the path that leads to the fullness of life, to a share in the life of God himself,” Benedict XVI noted.

He added, “As we ponder this great mystery in our hearts this Christmas, let us give thanks to God for his goodness to us, and let us joyfully proclaim to those around us the good news that God offers us freedom from whatever weighs us down: he gives us hope, he brings us life.”

“Dear Friends from Scotland, England, Wales, and indeed every part of the English-speaking world, I want you to know that I keep all of you very much in my prayers during this holy season,” the Pope stated.

He affirmed: “I pray for your families, for your children, for those who are sick, and for those who are going through any form of hardship at this time.

“I pray especially for the elderly and for those who are approaching the end of their days. I ask Christ, the light of the nations, to dispel whatever darkness there may be in your lives and to grant to every one of you the grace of a peaceful and joyful Christmas.”

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Full text: http://zenit.org/article-31361?l=english

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