Benedict XVI Launches Bible-Reading Marathon

Calls It “Fitting Accompaniment” to Scripture Synod

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 5, 2008 ( Benedict XVI kicked off a Bible-reading marathon on Italian television, which he called a “fitting accompaniment” to the world Synod of Bishops on the Word of God.

The Pope read from Genesis on “Bibbia Giorno e Notte” (Bible Day and Night), a program broadcast by RAI where the Bible will be read from beginning to end in various languages by nearly 1,200 readers.

The Pontiff’s secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, will conclude the marathon Saturday, reading the last chapter of Revelation.

Readers will include, among others, participants in the 12th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church,” which the Holy Father inaugurated today. The synod will end Oct. 26.

The site of the reading will be the Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusaleme in Rome. Organizers received 180,000 requests to participate in the event.

Benedict XVI spoke about the event after reciting the Angelus with thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican today. He said, “This event is a fitting accompaniment to the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God.

“The Word of God can thus enter into homes to accompany the lives of families and single persons: a seed that, if properly welcomed, will not fail to bear abundant fruit.”

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