Today Pope Benedict received members of the Circle of St. Peter in an annual meeting in which they present him with "Peter's Pence," the proceeds of collections made each year in the parishes and institutes of the Diocese of Rome. The Holy Father thanked them and spoke of the need for hope during the current economic crisis.
"I thank you," the Pope told them, "because in some way, with this initiative of human and evangelical solidarity, you give concrete expression to the concern of Peter's Successor for those in conditions of particular need."
"We know that the authenticity of our faithfulness to the Gospel may also be measured in terms of the real attention and concern we strive to show towards others, especially the weakest and the marginalized," he added. "Thus charitable service, which can take many forms, becomes a privileged method of evangelization, in the light of Jesus' own teaching."
The Pontiff concluded: "From the Cross spring the joy and peace of heart which make us witnesses of hope, of which there is such need in these times of widespread economic crisis."