Beneath a nearly cloudless blue Roman sky, the Holy Father made his Sunday address to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the weekly recitation of the Angelus. The event was made more colourful by the presence of the Rome and Viterbo chapters of the Harley Davidson Owners Group (H.O.G.) gathered for the Papal blessing. Their polished custom cycles filled half of P.za Pio XII, directly in front of St. Peter’s Square.
His Holiness Benedict XVI, throughout the address, maintained the theme of the Body and Blood of Christ, which, he noted, had been celebrated this past Thursday.
The feast of Corpus Domini, that is, of the Body and Blood of the Lord, “invites us to contemplate the greatest mystery of our faith.”
The Pope noted with joy that there has been in increase in Eucharistic adoration among the youth: “I am happy to confirm that many young people are discovering the beauty of eucharistic adoration,” he said.
“Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, outside the Mass, prolongs and intensifies one’s participation in the Eucharist,” the Pope affirmed.
This adoration, and the peace it creates within us, is sorely needed in today’s world: “In today’s often noisy life, it is important to recuperate the capacity of interior silence and recollection,” Benedict XVI stated.
The Pope concluded his address with an invocation to the Virgin Mary: “May Mary teach us the true gift of adoration, she who drew close to Christ and lived in perpetual contemplation of Him.”
Following the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father addressed particular groups of pilgrims in their own languages. His first thoughts were for the recent victims of kidnapping in Colombia. He prayed that the perpetrators “might realize the seriousness of their actions, and release those whom they keep as prisoners, as soon as possible.” This prayer was greeted with strong applause from the audience.
The Pope then greeted members of the community of St. Egidio (representatives of which community President Bush had met with yesterday, in Rome). He briefly addressed, in Spanish, professors and students from Andorra, praying for them that their “heart may be each time more purified to receive Christ in the Sacrament of the Altar”.
The Pope concluded with greetings to the Polish and German pilgrims present in St. Peter’s Square in their native tongue.