.- In this morning’s general audience in St. Peter's Square, Pope John Paul II, speaking on the second part of Psalm 44, "The Kingdom and the bride," said that marriage is a sign of the mystery of God’s love for humanity.
"We can dedicate this nuptial song to all couples who live their marriage with intensity and interior zeal, ... which is a sign of a great mystery, ... the love of the Father for humanity and of Christ for His Church," said the Pope to the 13,000 people in attendance.
The beauty of the bride is exalted "as a reflection of God's splendor," he said. "Genuine joy, deeper than simple happiness, is an expression of love which participates in the good of the person loved with serenity of heart."
John Paul II also pointed out that the psalm speaks “about 'children' and 'generations.' ... It is a relevant theme in our days, in the West so often incapable of entrusting its own existence to the future by generating and caring for new creatures that they might continue the civilization of peoples and fulfill the history of salvation."
Many fathers of the Church, he concluded, have applied the figure of the royal bride to Our Lady, Mother of God, who received "the joyous announcement of the redemption of the world."
Recalling that tommorow is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, the Holy Father said, "I entrust the Holy Church and my ministry to her protection. I also entrust her with my hopes for peace in the world, as well as in families and in the human conscience."
Before the audience, the Pope blessed a statue of the Chilean saint, Teresa of Jesus of the Andes, canonized in 1993, that was placed in an external niche of the Vatican basilica.