.- Pope Benedict XVI, speaking to a crowd of 20,000 people on Sunday, emphasized the need for leaders to give their attention to families, which are urgently in need of better protection because of the economic crisis.
The Holy Father made his comments while he was celebrating Mass at the famous Abbey of Montecassino, which was founded by St. Benedict. The majority of the Pope's remarks were focused on yesterday's Feast of the Ascension, but he also mentioned the Benedictine motto, “Ora et Labora” (Pray and Work).
He explained: "In the first place, prayer, which is the greatest heritage St. Benedict left to his monks, ... is the silent path that leads directly to Gods' heart; it is the breath of the soul that restores peace to us amid the storms of life."
Turning to work, Benedict XVI recalled how Christian monasticism is called to “humanize the world of work.”
Pope Benedict, noting the state of the world's economies, offered his solidarity to “people living in situations of worrying insecurity, workers made redundant or who have even lost their jobs.”
“May the blight of unemployment, which affects this land induce leaders of public life, employers and others in a position to do so, to seek, with everyone's help, convincing solutions to the employment crisis, creating new jobs and safeguarding families," the Pope urged.
The Pope's greatest concern was that families be protected. "How can we fail to recall that the family today has an urgent need for better protection, because it is threatened at its very roots?" he asked.
"I am thinking too of young people who struggle to find dignified employment that enables them to build a family of their own. I would like to say to them today: do not lose heart, dear friends, the Church will not abandon you!"