JOHN PAUL II
Sunday 15 July 2001
Your Eminence, dear bishops, priests,
1. I join you today for the weekly recitation of the Angelus in this beautiful place in the Val d'Aosta, where I now feel as if I belong, thanks to the hospitality of the Diocese of Aosta, the Salesians and all who cooperate with courtesy and generosity to organize a peaceful stay for me. I express my deep gratitude to you.
In particular, I thank Bishop Giuseppe Anfossi of Aosta, the
Presidents of the City and Regional Council, as well as the Mayor and the parish
priest of Introd. I greet with affection the kind people of the Val d'Aosta, who
each year welcome me with great cordiality, as well as the visitors on vacation
and pilgrims who came to visit me today.
I am thinking, for example, of Psalm 8: "O Lord, Our God", the Psalmist exclaims in Psalm 8, "how great is your name through all the earth" (vv. 2.10). In Ps 19 (18) we read "the heavens tell the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork" (v. 2). In fact, creation is the first chapter of revelation that God entrusted to human minds and hearts.
Psalm 23 (22) says so splendidly, "the Lord is my shepherd ... he makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside still waters, he refreshes my soul. He leads me in the path of righteousness...".
The whole of Psalm 104 (103) is a hymn to the Creator: "bless
the Lord, O my soul / O Lord my God, you are very great! / ...You make the
springs gush forth in the valleys / they flow between the hills; / ...The high
mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the badgers.... O
Lord how manifold are your works!" (vv. 1-220.127.116.11-11.18.24). We need to make
these sentiments our own in the face of the natural beauty that is so
After leading the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father greeted in French and Italian the authorities, religious, inhabitants of the municipality of Introd:
I cordially greet and thank the civil and religious authorities and all the inhabitants of the municipality of Introd, who have welcomed me to their region of Les Combes, where the beauty of the scenery and of the snowy peaks prompts the soul to turn to the Creator of the world. On this day dedicated to the Lord, I invite all the faithful who have taken part in the prayer of the Angelus to take the time to praise God and give him thanks for all his benefits. May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of the Val d'Aosta, instil peace in peoples' hearts and invite them to be united and show solidarity in order to go to the aid of those affected by tragedies! With my Apostolic Blessing.
I extend a cordial greeting to the Benedictine nuns who have come from Switzerland.
I greet the children of the holiday camp of Giussano (Diocese of Milan), several representatives of the Pro-Life Movement of Pavia, a group of Focolarini and members of Communione e Liberazione and the football team from Turin. I greet those who joined this prayer and those who have joined us by radio and TV.
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