.- At the conclusion of todayâs General Audience, Pope Benedict spiritually joined a ceremony, taking place simultaneously in Italyâs 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 âvery significant act taking placeâ in the region of Abruzzo, and praised âthe unforgettable Pope John Paul II, who so loved these splendid mountains and visited them many times.â
âI greet and thank the promoters of such a praiseworthy initiativeâ, he said, âand 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 Popeâs 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 Popeâs birthday, calling him, âthe unforgettable Pontiff who is in everyone's hearts.â
âMy wishes for all God's blessings on the Poles present today, May God bless you," he said.