On World Refugee Day

"That Humanity Will Make Progress in Fraternity"

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 20, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address John Paul II gave today, before praying the midday Angelus at St. Peter's Square. The address was in Italian.



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1. Last Friday we celebrated the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, last of the great liturgical feasts which, after the paschal period, constitute wonderful syntheses of the Christian mystery: the Most Holy Trinity, the Body and Blood of Christ and, specifically, his Most Holy Heart, "source of life and holiness," "our peace and reconciliation" (Litany of the Sacred Heart).

No one can know Jesus Christ profoundly without penetrating in his Heart, that is, in the depth of his divine-human Person (see Pius XII's encyclical "Haurietis Aquas": AAS 48 [1956], 316ff).

2. The mystery of merciful love, which is expressed in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, helps us to live better today's World Refugee Day, whose theme is "A Place to Call Home: To Rebuild Lives in Security and Dignity." Every person has the need of a safe environment in which to live. Refugees aspire to this but, in several countries of the world, there are, unfortunately, millions who remain in refugee camps, or at least limited in the exercise of their rights.

Let us not forget our refugee brothers! I express my appreciation and encouragement to all those in the Church who work by their side. At the same time, I appeal for a renewed commitment by the international community, so that the causes of this painful phenomenon will be removed.

3. Let us pray with confidence to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, remembered yesterday, that humanity, receiving the message of love of Christ, will make progress in fraternity and in peace and that the earth will become the "common home" of all nations.

[Translation by ZENIT]