TERNI, Italy, FEB. 16, 2006 (Zenit.org).- On the eve of the feast of St. Valentine’s Day, film director and actor Roberto Benigni told a young audience that Jesus is the “inventor of selfless love.”
Being the man who could not sin, explained the director and actor of “Life Is Beautiful,” Jesus “bore the sins of all.”
The man who could not die “died for love of all,” said Benigni. “He invented selfless love.”
“You will tell me that love already existed,” he added. “It’s true! Radio waves and electricity also always existed, but if there had not been someone to discover them, we would not have known them.”
Benigni on Monday was addressing a gathering of young people who filled the Verdi Theater in this city of the patron of lovers, St. Valentine.
The meeting was organized Bishop Vincenzo Paglia, who heads the Diocese of Terni-Narni-Amelia, according to the Italian newspaper Avvenire.
Oscar-winner Benigni told his audience that Jesus “has truly stated that he is Love.”
Love is for others, “as our happiness depends on their happiness, and this is what Jesus has taught us,” explained the actor-director.
Benigni gave young people a piece of advice. “May your steps move at the pace of [Jesus’] steps, fix your gaze in his direction.”
During the show, Benigni recited passages of the Song of Songs and addressed a last thought to Mary, quoting one of the verses of Dante from “The Divine Comedy”: “O Virgin Mother, daughter of thy Son! Created beings all in lowliness surpassing, as in height above them all; term by the eternal counsel pre-ordain’d.”