Pontiff Sends Message to Santo Domingo Book Fair

Holy See Is Guest of Honor at Cultural Event

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 5, 2011 (Zenit.org).- With a spiritual reflection on the eternal Word being expressed in human words, Benedict XVI sent a video message to an annual book fair under way in the Dominican Republic.

The annual cultural event is this year marking the 500th anniversary of the Diocese of Santo Domingo, the first diocese to be erected on the American continent, and the Vatican was invited as the guest of honor.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, is the Pope’s delegate to the May 4-22 event.

The Santo Domingo International Book Fair each year draws editors, famous literary personalities and large crowds for several days of diverse cultural events and a vast book exhibition and sale. The annual event began in 1973 and went international in 1998.

The fair is also honoring two Jesuits: Monsignor Francisco Arnaiz and Father José Luis Sáez.

In his message, the Pope reflected that the event will give people the opportunity to “appreciate a significant exhibition of the literary production of the Catholic Church and her great contribution to the Dominican culture and people.”

The Vatican delegation donated a considerable number of books by Catholic authors, which will subsequently be given to schools and public libraries in Santo Domingo.

The design and construction of the Vatican’s pavilion was entrusted to the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Vatican Publishing House, the Vatican Museums, the Vatican Apostolic Library and the Vatican Secret Archives.

Benedict XVI recalled how Venerable Pope Pius XII spoke of a good book’s task to “educate to a more profound understanding of things.”

He added: “God himself willed that the Word should assume our weak nature, to make himself comprehensible and close to men, and he decided that the one and eternal Word should be expressed, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, in human words that could be written in the form of a book so that, through the sacred Scriptures, the Good News of salvation would reach all.

“May he also help you all to contribute effectively to preserve and diffuse, in the best of the human spirit through books, the everlasting legacy for all men. I pray to the Almighty to give abundant fruits to the Book Fair and to bless the sons and daughters of that country.”

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Full text: http://www.zenit.org/article-32497?l=english

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