Pope Greets Thousands Gathered at St. Peter's Square
Torchlight Procession Commemorates 50 Year Anniversary of Vatican II
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By Junno Arocho
VATICAN CITY, OCT. 12, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Yesterday evening, Pope Benedict XVI addressed thousands gathered last night in St. Peter's Square who participated in Torchlight Procession organized by the Italian Catholic Action group. The procession commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council where a similar procession by the youth of Rome took place.
The Holy Father reminisced on the procession 50 years ago and on the words of "the good Pope, Blessed John [XIII], who spoke with "unforgettable words, words full of poetry, of kindness; words of the heart."
"We were happy – I would say – and full of enthusiasm. The great Ecumenical Council had begun; we were sure that a new springtime for the Church was coming, a new Pentecost, with a new strong presence of the liberating grace of the Gospel," he said.
Comparing on the event that occurred half a century ago, the Pope said that while the Church experiences the same joy today, it is a more "humble joy." Benedict XVI stated that in these 50 years, the faithful have seen that "in the field of the Lord there are always weeds."
"We have seen that human frailty is present in the Church as well, that the ship of the Church is sailing against the current, with storms that threaten the ship and sometimes we thought: 'The Lord sleeps and he has forgotten us,'" he said.
Despite that, the Holy Father continued, the faithful have also experienced the strength of Christ present in the Church. The Pope also said that the fire of Christ is not a destructive fire but a "silent fire", a flame of goodness and truth that "that gives warmth and light."
"Yes, Christ lives," the Supreme Pontiff exclaimed, "and he is with us today as well, and we can also be happy today because his goodness does not extinguish, it is strong even today."
Pope Benedict XVI concluded his address with the same words uttered by Blessed John XIII 50 years ago that day: "Go to your homes, give a kiss to your children and tell them it is from the Pope."
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On Zenit's Web page:
For the full text of the Holy Father's address, go to http://www.zenit.org/article-35715?l=english.