MESSAGE OF CARDINAL ANGELO SODANO
On the occasion of the celebrations organized for the 60th anniversary of the landing of the Allies on the Normandy beaches in which you will be taking part on 6 June, the Pope asks you to make known to everyone present that through prayer he willingly joins the ceremonies that will be taking place to commemorate this event.
Once again, the Holy Father asks the leaders of nations, the representatives of civil and military associations and all people of good will to do their utmost to ensure that there is "no war ever again". The enormous responsibilities of those who triggered the tragic World War which claimed so many victims and caused such suffering were without doubt very grave. For their part, those who fought for the freedom of peoples had great merit. May the lesson of the past help us to seek ways of peace for the future! The Pope asks God to instil sentiments of forgiveness, brotherhood and solidarity in the hearts of our contemporaries, who are duty bound to remember the conflicts of the 20th century.
In these times when Europe is expanding, it is right to teach the new generations peace and understanding between the peoples, so that each one will view every person as a brother or sister. It is up to all people of good will to promote "respect for human dignity, the freedom of peoples and the requirements of development, thus preparing the cultural and institutional soil for the building of peace" (John Paul II, Message for the World Day of Peace 2004, n. 7; L'Osservatore Romano English edition, 17/24 December 2003, p. 10).
As he invites all men and women to build social life on the moral and spiritual values, the Holy Father entrusts the participants in the celebrations of the anniversary of the D-Day landings to the intercession of Mary, Queen of Peace, and as he invokes an abundance of divine graces upon them, he imparts his heartfelt Apostolic Blessing to them all.
Please accept, Your Eminence, the assurance of my cordial devotion,
Cardinal Angelo Sodano,