.- At the conclusion of today’s General Audience, Pope Benedict spiritually joined a ceremony, taking place simultaneously in Italy’s Gran Sasso mountain range, to name one of its peaks for the late John Paul II who would have been 85 today. Speaking in Italian, the Holy Father spoke of the “very significant act taking place” in the region of Abruzzo, and praised “the unforgettable Pope John Paul II, who so loved these splendid mountains and visited them many times.”
“I greet and thank the promoters of such a praiseworthy initiative”, he said, “and I hope that all those who will visit this peak will be encouraged to raise their spirit to God, Whose goodness shines forth in the beauty of creation."
The Pope’s catechesis was summarized for the 25,000 pilgrims in English, French, Spanish, German and Portuguese.
He likewise gave greetings to visitors in the languages of Croatian, Czech, Slovak, Ukrainian Russian and Hungarian, and especially saluted Polish people present, noting the late Pope’s birthday, calling him, “the unforgettable Pontiff who is in everyone's hearts.”
“My wishes for all God's blessings on the Poles present today, May God bless you," he said.