.- Pope Benedict exclaimed a prayer for world peace yesterday after viewing a play on the dramatic and passionate life of St. Joan of Arc.
Given the current international context, faced with the dramatic events in the Middle East and before situations of suffering provoked by violence in numerous parts of the world, the message of Le mystère de la Charité de Jeanne d’Arc continues to inspire audiences to engage in meaningful and valuable reflection, the Pope said.
“May God hear the prayer of the saint of Domremy and ours, and give our world the peace to which it aspires!” he declared at the end of the performance.
The play, by famed Catholic playwright Charles Péguy (1873-1914), was performed yesterday evening in the courtyard of the Pope’s summer residence in Castelgandolfo.
The French playwright was a socialist and French nationalist before experiencing a conversion in 1908. Thereafter, he dedicated his life as a Catholic poet and writer. In addition to his play on Joan of Arc, another great work of Peguy’s is his poem, “The Portal of the Mystery of Hope.”
Pope Benedict said, Péguy’s work on Joan of Arc leads viewers to a greater understanding of the young saint-warrior’s deep and ardent faith and even to a profound meditation on the mystery of Christ’s Passion.
“Through a profound reflection on themes that are ever present in the thought of our contemporaries, we were introduced to the heart of the Christian mystery,” he said.
The Pope thanked the actors and the theatre crew for the splendid performance. “May St. Joan of Arc help us to enter always more deeply into the mystery of Christ in order to discover the way of life and happiness,” he concluded.
The initiative was promoted by the Archdiocese of Moscow in collaboration with the Embassy of Monaco at the Holy See.