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Castel Gandolfo
Sunday, 12 September 2004


1. According to an ancient tradition, today we are celebrating the feast of the Holy Name of Mary. Indissolubly linked to the Name of Jesus, for Christians this name is the sweetest, for it reminds everyone of the Mother they have in common. Jesus, dying, entrusted us all to her as children.

May Mary watch over humanity in this time that is marked by overwhelming explosions of violence. May she watch especially over the new generations who are eager to build a future of hope for one and all.

2. I also noticed this deep aspiration to a world of justice and peace in the children, young people and adults of Italian Catholic Action, whom I met last Sunday at Loreto on the occasion of their national pilgrimage.

I am grateful to the Lord for having given me the opportunity to take part in this important ecclesial event, which culminated in the proclamation of three new Blesseds: Alberto Marvelli, Pina Suriano and Pere Tarrés i Claret.

In recalling their witness, I would like here to recall the three duties I entrusted to Catholic Action: "contemplation", to walk on the path of holiness; "communion", to promote the spirituality of unity; and "mission", to be Gospel leaven everywhere.

3. May Our Lady help Catholic Action to persevere enthusiastically in its commitment to apostolic witness, always working in close connection with the hierarchy, taking a responsible part in the pastoral work of the parish and the Diocese.

The Church is counting on the active presence of Catholic Action and its faithful devotion to the great cause of Christ's Kingdom. I too look to Catholic Action with great confidence, and I encourage all its members to be generous witnesses of the Good News of the Gospel in order to restore hope to contemporary society which is in search of peace.

After the Angelus, the Pope said:

I greet the International Ecumenical Working Group for Pastoral Care Among Deaf People, with gratitude for their efforts to bring God's Word to the hearing impaired. I also welcome the new students of the University of Dallas Rome Program. Upon all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors I cordially invoke God's Blessings of joy and peace.


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