.- After his Sunday Regina Caeli prayers, Pope Benedict XVI addressed in English those gathered in St. Peter’s Square, asking them to pray that "spiritual renewal" would result from his upcoming apostolic journey to the United States.
In his remarks recorded by the Vatican Information Service, the Holy Father alluded to the theme of the papal visit, “Christ our Hope.” The U.S. visit will last from April 15 to April 20.
In his greeting to English-speaking pilgrims, the Holy Father said, “This Tuesday I leave Rome for my visit to the United Nations and the United States of America. With the various groups I shall meet, my intention is to share our Lord’s word of life.”
“In Christ is our hope! Christ is the foundation of our hope for peace, for justice, and for the freedom that flows from God’s law fulfilled in his commandment to love one another,” the Holy Father said.
“Dear brothers and sisters, I ask you all to pray for the success of my visit, so that it may be a time of spiritual renewal for all Americans. Upon each of you present, I invoke the protection and guidance of Jesus the Good Shepherd,” he concluded.
Speaking in Italian before the Regina Caeli prayers, the Holy Father entrusted his upcoming “special missionary visit” to the United States to Mary, Mother of the Church and Queen of Peace.
Pope Benedict also asked all Catholics to accompany him in their prayers.