Pope Hails "Silent Peacemakers"

At a Gathering in Paul VI Hall

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 29, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI paid tribute to "silent peacemakers" when he attended a festive gathering in his honor in the Vatican.



The celebration Tuesday, held in Paul VI Hall, was organized by the Sons of Divine Providence and the Little Sisters Missionaries of Charity, together with representatives of the secular institute and lay movement, which make up the Orione Family, founded by St. Luigi Orione.

Also present, in addition to the 4,000 Orione followers, were members of the Papaboys Association, which sprang up in the World Youth Days, and 2,000 boys of the Missionary Youth Service, of Turin's Arsenal of Peace, together with their founder, Ernesto Olivero, as well as volunteers of the Italian Civilian Protection.

The celebration, whose theme was "So Many Hearts Surrounding the Pope, Messenger of Peace," included the performance of singers, among whom was blind tenor Andrea Bocelli, as well handicapped boys from Poland, Jordan and Italy.

In his address to the participants the Holy Father asked: "How could we not take advantage of your presence to pay tribute to so many 'silent peacemakers,' who through their testimony and sacrifice, dedicate themselves to promote dialogue between men, to overcome every form of conflict and division, to make our land a homeland of peace and fraternity for all men?"

Timely

"'Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God,'" said the Pope. "How timely and necessary is this beatitude!"

Benedict XVI encouraged each and all in their area and according to their possibilities to "offer your collaboration for the safeguarding of the dignity of every man, for the defense of human life, and for the service of authentic peace in every social sphere."

The Pope made a special appeal to young people.

"My beloved predecessor, John Paul II, whose process of beatification begins today, liked to repeat that you, young people, are the hope and future of the Church and of humanity," Benedict XVI said. "May the determination to create a world of authentic and lasting peace grow ever more in the heart of each and every one."