.- In the first public outing of his current vacation in Les Combes, Pope Benedict XVI told 9,000 faithful gathered in Italy’s Romano Canavese village, the birthplace of Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, not to be discouraged by the current economic crisis or to forget those people who are worse off.
Before the recitation of the Angelus prayer, his first public appearance since a minor accident broke his wrist on Thursday night, the Pope thanked the doctors of Aosta.
“I have been treated with skill and courtesy,” he said.
“Dear friends, do not be discouraged!” Pope Benedict continued, “Providence always helps those who do good and are committed to justice. It helps those who think not only of themselves, but also of those who are worse off.”
“The fundamental values of family and respect for human life, attention to social justice, the ability to tackle hard work and sacrifice, strong bonds with the Christian faith through parish life, especially participation in the Holy Mass, have been down through the centuries your true strength,” he said. “These same values will allow the generation of today to build their own future with hope, giving rise to a truly united and fraternal society, where all the different aspects, the institutions and the economy, are imbued with the Gospel.”
“In a special way, I speak to young people, of whom we must think in an educational perspective,” the Holy Father pointed out. “Here, as everywhere, we must ask ourselves what kind of culture are they being proposed, what kind of examples and models are proposed to them, and we must assess whether they are likely to encourage them to follow the ways of the Gospel and of real freedom. Young people are resourceful, but they must be helped to overcome the temptation of easy and deceptive paths so as to find the path of true and full life.”
“Dear brothers and sisters, in this land of yours, full of Christian traditions and human values, many male and female vocations have flourished, in particular for the Salesian Family, like that of Cardinal Bertone, who was born in your own parish, was baptized in this church and grew up in a family where he assimilated a genuine faith,” the Pontiff concluded. “Your diocese owes much to the sons and daughters of Don Bosco, for their fruitful and widespread presence throughout the area since the years when their Holy Founder was still alive. This is further encouragement for your diocesan community to increasingly engage in the context of education and vocation.”
Pope Benedict’s day will continue with lunch at the birthplace of Cardinal Bertone. In the afternoon, he will return to Les Combes. On Friday, he will recite Vespers in the cathedral of Aosta and on Sunday, the Angelus in Les Combes.