.- Before the recitation of the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about his predecessor Paul VI. Recounting the Pontiff who concluded the Second Vatican Council, the Holy Father encouraged his audience to remain faithful to Pope Paul’s teaching and witness of holiness.
Speaking in the square in front of the cathedral of Bressanone, Italy, Pope Benedict thanked those present for joining him to pray the Angelus. He thanked Bishop Wilhelm Egger of Bolzano-Bressanone and the local authorities for assuring him a “peaceful and safe stay in the city.” The Holy Father extended a special blessing to children, the sick and those in difficult situations.
Pope Benedict then invited his audience in Bressanone to remember the Servant of God, Pope Paul VI, the 30th anniversary of whose death is commemorated in three days. The Holy Father recalled that his predecessor, who died on the eve of the Feast of the Transfiguration of Christ, had “guided the people of God to contemplate the face of Christ.” Christ, he continued, is “at the center of the Bible and Tradition, the heart of the church, the world and the whole universe.”
The Holy Father recounted how Pope Paul, elected to the papacy during the Second Vatican Council, “presided over the Council to its closing and governed an eventful post-conciliar phase.” He added, “Thanking God for the gift of this great Pope, let us commit to treasuring his teachings.”
Pope Benedict concluded by reminding his audience of Paul VI’s proclamation, at the conclusion of the third session of the Second Vatican Council, of the Virgin Mary as “Mother of the Church”.
After the Angelus, the Holy Father directed these words towards the English-speaking pilgrims:
“I offer a warm welcome to the English-speaking visitors united with us here in Bressanone for this Angelus prayer. Wednesday, the feast of the Lord’s Transfiguration, marks the thirtieth anniversary of the death of Pope Paul VI. As we recall this great Pontiff who concluded the Second Vatican Council and guided the first phase of the post-conciliar renewal, let us give thanks for his wise teaching, his passionate love of the Church, and his desire to draw all people to the contemplation of Christ’s glory. Dear friends, during these summer holidays, may you grow closer to the Lord in prayer, and may he shed the light of his face upon you and your families!”