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Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord, 2007

Papa Benedict XVI's Words at the Regina Caeli in St Peter's Square
VII Sunday of Easter, 20 May 2007- in Croatian, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish

"Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I first of all wish to renew my thanks to the Lord for the apostolic journey to Brazil that I undertook this past 9 to 14 May, and at the same time I thank those who accompanied me with their prayer.

As you know, the reason for my pastoral visit was to inaugurate the Fifth General Conference of the Latin American and Caribbean Bishops' Conferences. But prior to such a great ecclesial event I was able to meet the Brazilian Christian community. In fact, many faithful came for the occasion from the city of São Paolo, especially for the canonization of the first native-born Blessed of Brazil: Friar Anthony of St Anne Galvão. I would like to pause at length on this visit next Wednesday during the General Audience. In the meantime, I invite you to continue to pray for the Conference that is taking place at Aparecida and for the journey of the People of God who live in Latin America.

A further motive for reflection and prayer that the annual occasion of the World Communications Day offers today is the theme: "Children and the Media: A Challenge for Education". The educational challenges of today's world are often compared to the influence of the mass media, which compete with school, Church and even the family. In this context, an adequate formation in the correct use of the media is essential: parents, teachers and the ecclesial community are called to collaborate to educate children and youth to be selective and to develop a critical attitude, cultivating a taste for what is aesthetically and morally valid. But the media must also bring their contribution to this educational commitment, promoting the dignity of the human person, marriage and family, and the achievements and aims of civilization. Programmes that instil violence and anti-social behaviour or vulgarize human sexuality are unacceptable, all the more so if they are proposed to minors. I therefore renew the appeal to those responsible in the media industry and to social communications workers to safeguard the common good, respect the truth and protect the dignity of the person and the family.

Dear brothers and sisters, the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, which the liturgy recalled last Thursday, is celebrated in some countries today. The Risen Jesus returns to the Father; he thus opens for us the passage to eternal life and makes the gift of the Holy Spirit possible. Like the Apostles then, we too, after the Ascension, gather in prayer to invoke the outpouring of the Spirit in spiritual union with the Virgin Mary (cf Acts 1: 12-14). May her intercession obtain a renewed Pentecost for the whole Church."

After the Regina Caeli:

[In Italian] "Gli scontri tra fazioni palestinesi nella Striscia di Gaza e i lanci di razzi contro gli abitanti delle vicine città israeliane, ai quali si è reagito con l'intervento armato, stanno provocando un sanguinoso deterioramento della situazione, che lascia sgomenti.

Una volta ancora, in nome di Dio, supplico che si ponga termine a questa tragica violenza, mentre alle provate popolazioni palestinese e israeliana desidero esprimere la mia solidale vicinanza ed assicurare il mio orante ricordo.

Faccio appello al senso di responsabilità di tutte le Autorità palestinesi affinché, nel dialogo e con fermezza, riprendano il faticoso cammino dell'intesa, neutralizzando i violenti. Invito il Governo israeliano alla moderazione ed esorto la Comunità internazionale a moltiplicare l'impegno a favore del rilancio del negoziato. Il Signore susciti e sostenga gli operatori di pace!"


[In French] "Je souhaite la bienvenue aux pèlerins de langue française présents ce matin et je les invite à accueillir l’appel du Seigneur Jésus à être chaque jour des artisans d’unité dans le monde et dans l’Église. Bon pèlerinage à Rome et bon dimanche à tous."

[In English] "I am pleased to welcome the English-speaking pilgrims gathered here today. In the Gospel, Jesus prays that all may be one, just as he and the Father are one. He desires the world to know that he is the one sent by the Father. By working for reconciliation and peace, may Christians everywhere bear clearer witness to the Father’s love for the world, so that all mankind may come to believe in his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ. God bless you!"

[In German] "Von Herzen begrüße ich die deutschsprachigen Pilger und Besucher. Besonders heiße ich die Verantwortlichen und die Mitarbeiter von "Missio Deutschland" willkommen. Ebenso grüße ich die Pilgergruppe der historischen Bürgerwache aus Ehingen an der Donau. Christus hat seine Jünger ausgesandt, die Liebe Gottes in der Welt zu verbreiten. Die Früchte dieses Missionsauftrags durfte ich auch auf meiner Pastoralreise nach Brasilien in der vergangenen Woche vielfach erleben. - Euch alle begleite Gottes Segen in den Tagen der Vorbereitung auf das hohe Pfingstfest!"

[In Spanish] "Saludo con afecto a los peregrinos de lengua española. En particular a los fieles de la Parroquia Virgen del Carmen, de Onda. En este domingo de la Ascensión del Señor a los cielos, renovamos nuestra fe en Jesús que nos ha abierto el camino que conduce a la patria celeste. Al mismo tiempo, como los primeros discípulos reunidos con María en el Cenáculo, esperamos la llegada del Espíritu Santo que nos dará fuerza para ser testigos de Cristo resucitado en el mundo ¡Que Dios os bendiga!"

[In Portuguese] "Saúdo também os peregrinos vindos de Portugal, das paróquias de Laveiras-Caxias e Vale da Figueira, e a comunidade brasileira em Roma, aproveitando para lhes agradecer todo o apoio espiritual e material oferecido ao meu serviço de Sucessor de Pedro. Sobre todos invoco os dons do Espírito Santo para serem verdadeiros discípulos e missionários de Jesus Cristo fazendo jorrar a sua Vida no meio das respectivas famílias e comunidades, que de coração abençoo."

[In Polish] "Pozdrawiam serdecznie rodaków Sługi Bożego Jana Pawła II. Przedwczoraj była rocznica jego urodzin. Dziękuję wam za modlitwy o jego beatyfikację i za moje pielgrzymowanie do Brazylii. Ta podróż była ważnym wydarzeniem dla Kościoła. Niech Chrystus, który wstąpił do nieba umocni waszą wiarę. Z nadzieją oczekujemy Jego przyjścia w chwale. Życzę wszystkim dobrej niedzieli."

[In Italian] "Saluto i pellegrini di lingua italiana, in particolare i fedeli provenienti da Nogara, Filattiera, Perugia, Montoro Superiore e Barletta. Saluto con affetto gli oltre mille ragazzi dell'Arcidiocesi di Genova che hanno ricevuto o stanno per ricevere la santa Cresima, guidati dall'Arcivescovo Angelo Bagnasco, e c'è anche il Cardinale Bertone, come pure quelli di Rivalta da poco cresimati, i ragazzi di Magenta e gli alunni della Scuola "Suor Teresa Veronesi" di Sant'Agata Bolognese. Un pensiero di incoraggiamento rivolgo, infine, alle famiglie con bambini affetti da ernia diaframmatica. A tutti voi auguro una buona domenica. Buona settimana!"

 

 

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