In today's general audience, which was held in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope praised the Christian martyrs who, "chose the way of the cross, not giving in to evil and its virulence, but committing themselves to the Father and uniting themselves to the death of Christ with a testimony of devotion and courage that brought them to 'love not their lives even unto death'."
Today’s audience was a continuation of the Pope’s reflections on the Liturgy of Evening Prayer speaking about the Canticle from the Book of Revelation (11, 17-18; 12, 10-12) on "the judgment of God".
John Paul II affirmed how this hymn expresses the "judgment of God over human events. ... God and the Lamb, in other words Christ, surrounded by the divine court, judge the history of the world according to good and evil, showing it the ultimate goal of salvation and glory."
"The Lord God, omnipotent and eternal, has taken His 'great power, and begun to reign'. His entrance into history has the aim not only of blocking the violent reactions of rebels, but above all of exalting and rewarding the virtuous."
The second part of the Canticle expresses the joy induced by the fact that "Satan, the old adversary, ... has been 'cast down' from heaven and no longer has so much power".
“Moreover”, the Pope went on, "the Risen Christ, whose blood is the basis of salvation, .... has received from the Father a royal power over the entire universe. In Him, 'the salvation, the strength and the reign of our God' are accomplished."