Pope Arrives in Milan for World Meeting of Families

Urges Faithful to Continue Being Witnesses of the Gospel

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By Junno Arocho

Pope Benedict XVI arrived to Milan today, starting a three day visit for the VII World Meeting of Families. Upon landing, The Holy Father was greeted at the airport by several dignitaries and prelates, including Cardinal Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan and Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

The pope was met by thousands of people hoping to catch a glimpse of him at Milan’s Piazza del Duomo, where he thanked everyone for their warm welcome and greeted those that came to participate in the meeting of families. Speaking to the faithful of Milan, the pope said that the international event gives him “ the welcome occasion to visit your city and to renew the close and constant bonds that unite the Ambrosian community to the Church of Rome and Successor of Peter.”

The Holy Father also recounted the history of saintly men and women from Milan, from St. Ambrose to St. Gianna Molla, while inviting those gathered to continue being witnesses of the Gospel. “It is up to you now, heirs of a glorious past and a spiritual heritage of inestimable value, to commit yourselves to transmitting the torch of such a brilliant tradition to future generations. You are well aware how urgent it is to imbue the current cultural context with the Gospel leaven,” he said.

The 85 year old pontiff concluded his address by highlighting the importance of faith and the family in today’s society. “Faith in Jesus Christ, who died and rose for us, who is living among us, must enliven the entire fabric of life, personal and collective, private and public, so as to enable a stable and authentic "well being," beginning with the family, rediscovered as humanity’s principal asset, common denominator and sign of a true and stable culture in favor of man,” he said.

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Full text: http://www.zenit.org/article-34897?l=english