VATICAN CITY, JUNE 24, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of John Paul II´s address on Sunday before he prayed the Angelus with the faithful in St. Peter´s Square. For technical reasons, ZENIT was unable to translate the address the same day.
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Dear Brothers and Sisters!
1. The month of June is singled out, in a particular way, for devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. To celebrate the Heart of Christ means to turn toward the profound center of the Person of the Savior, that center which the Bible identifies precisely as his Heart, seat of the love that has redeemed the world.
If the human heart represents an unfathomable mystery that only God knows, how much more sublime is the heart of Jesus, in which the life of the Word itself beats. In it, as suggested by the beautiful Litanies of the Sacred Heart that echo the Scriptures, are found all the treasures of wisdom and science and all the fullness of divinity.
In order to save man, victim of his own disobedience, God wished to give him a “new heart,” faithful to his will of love (see Jeremiah 31:33; Ezekiel 36:26; Psalm 50:12). This heart is the heart of Christ, the masterpiece of the Holy Spirit, which began to beat in the virginal womb of Mary and was pierced by the lance on the cross, thus becoming for all the inexhaustible source of eternal life. That Heart is now the pledge of hope for every man.
2. How necessary for contemporary humanity is the message that flows from contemplation of the heart of Christ. Where, indeed, if not from that source will it be able to attain the reserves of meekness and forgiveness necessary to heal the bitter conflicts that bloody it?
Today I would like to entrust in a special way to the merciful heart of Jesus all those who live in the Holy Land: Jews, Christians and Muslims. That Heart that, burdened with insult, never nourished sentiments of hatred and vengeance, but asked for forgiveness for his executioners, that Heart shows the only way to emerge from the spiral of violence: the way of pacification of spirits, of reciprocal understanding and reconciliation.
3. Together with the merciful heart of Christ we venerate the Immaculate Heart of Mary Most Holy, Mediatrix of grace and salvation.
We turn to her now with faith to implore for mercy and peace for the Church and the whole world.
[Translation by ZENIT]