Before praying the Angelus yesterday, the Pope greeted numerous children and young people from Italian Catholic Action present in St Peter's Square, who are concluding their "month of peace."
John Paul II recalled how, "in today's Gospel, Jesus says 'blessed are the peacemakers.' Even the young can be peacemakers!”
“They too”, the Pope said, “must be educated in dialogue and learn to 'overcome evil with good,' as I reminded everyone in the recent Message for the World Day of Peace. Injustice must be overcome with justice, lies with truth, vengeance with forgiveness, hatred with love."
“This lifestyle”, he continued cannot be improvised, but calls for education from infancy. An education made up of wise teachings and, above all, of appropriate family models, in school and in all areas of society.”
Parishes, oratories, associations, movements and ecclesial groups must become ever more privileged places for this education of peace and love, places to learn and grow together."
The Holy Father called on "Mary, Queen of Peace, to help the young, who desire peace so much, to become its courageous and tenacious constructors."
After praying the Angelus, the Pope recalled that today is the World Day of Leprosy. "In the poorest areas of the world this illness, though curable, continues to strike millions of people, including many children.”
“I send special greetings”, he said, “to all these brothers and sisters, which I also extend to all those who, in various ways, assist them. I hope that the commitment of the international community will manage to eliminate this social scourge completely."
Prior to concluding, the Pope listened to a message of peace read by a boy and a girl from Catholic Action. The children then released two white doves in a symbol of peace. One of the doves flew back into the Holy Father's study and the Pope himself sought to make it leave, but it came back in. In the end, one of the Holy Father's assistants managed to release the dove.