JOHN PAUL II
Sunday, 22 July 2001
1. Having just returned from the mountains of
the Val d'Aosta, I am happy to be here today at Castel Gandolfo for the
Sunday Angelus appointment. I warmly greet you, citizens of
Castel Gandolfo. Thank you for the warm welcome you always give me. I want
to greet the Bishop of Albano with his Auxiliary Bishop, the Mayor, the
Parish Priest, and those who have in any way wished to show me their
affection and support. I am happy to be among you again and I plan to stay
in Castello until the next apostolic journey that, God willing, will take me
to Armenia and Kazakhstan toward the end of September. Together with summer
vacationers and pilgrims, you contribute to making my stay here a pleasant
one. Thank you for your warm and sincere affection.
How can we not perceive in this episode the reminder of the primacy of the spiritual life, of the need to be nourished with the Word of God which gives light and savour to our daily routine. It is an invitation which is particularly opportune for the summer period. Holidays and vacation time, in fact, can help to balance activism with contemplation, haste with natural rhythms, great noise with the healing peace of silence.
3. A further source of reflection comes from the liturgy. On 22
July we celebrate the memorial of St Mary Magdalene, disciple of the Lord
and first witness of the Resurrection. The story of St Mary of Magdala shows how
decisive it is for each one of us to meet Christ personally. It is Christ who
understands the human heart. It is he who can satisfy its hopes and longings and
give answers to the concerns and the difficulties that humanity today faces in
its daily endeavours.
We ask the intercession of Mary, Mother of Jesus and of the whole human race. We turn to her with the prayer of the Angelus.
After the Angelus, the Holy Father greeted the pilgrims in their native tongues: French, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.
In Italian he greeted the persons following the course at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum for those who are dedicated to formation work in seminaries. He said in English:
I extend a special greeting to the Girl Guides from Malta who are passing through Rome today. Upon all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors I invoke abundant divine gifts of peace and joy. God bless you and your families.
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