Address Prepared by Hospitalized Pope

Human Suffering Bears "a Divine Promise of Salvation and Joy"

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 27, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Here is the address read on behalf of John Paul II before the midday Angelus, by Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute of the Vatican Secretariat of State.



Archbishop Sandri delivered the address today, from the courtyard of St. Peter's Basilica, to thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.

The Pope followed the event from the Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome and, after the blessing imparted on his behalf by Archbishop Sandri, appeared at the window of his hospital room to greet those gathered outside the hospital.

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The Holy Father is not with us, but he is following us from the Gemelli and offers his prayers and sufferings for us and for the world. And we, from his square, united to him with great affection, pray with and for him.

This is the message that His Holiness has asked me to read to you.

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

1. Once again I address you from the Agostino Gemelli Polyclinic. I thank you with affection and feel that you are by my side spiritually. I think of you, those who are gathered in St. Peter's Square, whether individually or in groups, and of all of those in all parts of the world who are concerned about me. I ask you to continue to support me with your prayer.

2. The penitential climate of Lent that we are living, helps us to understand even better the value of suffering which, in one way or another, affects us all. Looking at Christ and following him with patient confidence, we are able to understand how all forms of human suffering bear within them a divine promise of salvation and joy. I would like this message of consolation and hope to reach everyone, especially those who are going through difficult times, those suffering in body and in spirit.

3. I renew my devotion to Mary, Mother of the Church: "Totus tuus!" May she help us at all moments of life to fulfill the will of God. May my paternal blessing reach everyone.

[Translation by ZENIT]