JOHN PAUL II
Sunday, 9 June 2002
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. This morning, in the famous Byzantine Basilica of St Apollinaris in Classe, witness of the time when the Church of the East and West lived in full communion, His Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew I, celebrated a solemn liturgy. I send him my fraternal greetings.
May God bless the meeting and enlighten the national leaders, so that they may be able to express the legitimate aspirations of the peoples and give new drive to the international community's struggle against hunger.
3. Let us entrust both these events to the maternal protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
After praying the Angelus, the Holy Father appealed for help for Angola to overcome its tragic moment of crisis.
My thoughts go today to the beloved people of Angola, who after the sufferings of a long and bloody civil war, find themselves facing a dramatic humanitarian crisis because of the lack of food and of the most basic medical care, and the constant danger of anti-personnel mines scattered over the whole territory.
Let us pray that the Lord will enlighten all those who can contribute to overcoming this tragedy, and that he will move them to act to make the country's resources benefit all its citizens and be a help for the whole of Africa.
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