SOLEMNITY OF THE HOLY APOSTLES PETER AND PAUL
Saturday, 29 June 2002
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. Today we celebrate the solemnity of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, "the columns and foundation of the City of God", who "united in their martyrdom sealed with their blood the proclamation of the Gospel" (Liturgy of the Hours). Rome especially exults because she is honoured to have them as her principal patrons.
I address my cordial greeting to all the pilgrims who have come for this happy occasion, and I invite them to participate in the Mass that, God willing, this evening at six o'clock I will preside over in St Peter's Square.
Rome, be faithful to your Christian dignity. The light of the Gospel does not take anything away from the various components of your glorious history. Rather, it leads them all to their highest meaning: to prepare a road for Christ, salvation of mankind. May the holy Apostles Peter and Paul always support you; may the blessed Virgin Mary, Salvation of the Roman People, to whom we now turn with loving confidence, accompany you.
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