.- Yesterday at noon, Pope Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with thousands of pilgrims who had gathered below in St. Peter's Square. The Holy Fatherâs message for the Angelus was taken from Sundayâs Gospel reading. He told the crowd that true healing is found through salvation and that this kind of healing more than health, it is a new life.
The Pope commented on the cleansing of ten lepers, of whom just one, a Samaritan, returned to thank Jesus for having cured him. "Complete and radical healing is 'salvation'," said the Holy Father. "Everyday language itself, by distinguishing between 'health' and 'salvation,' helps us to understand that salvation is much more than health: it is, in fact, new, full and definitive life. Furthermore, here, as in other circumstances, Jesus uses the expression: 'your faith has made you well.'
"It is faith that saves man," he added, "re-establishing him in his profound relationship with God, with himself and with others; and faith is expressed through gratitude. People who, like the healed Samaritan, know how to give thanks, show that they do not consider everything their due, but as a gift which, even when it reaches them through man or through nature, comes in the final instance from God."
Benedict XVI went on: "The leprosy that truly defaces mankind and society is sin; it is pride and egoism that generate indifference, hatred and violence in the human soul. This leprosy of the spirit which disfigures the face of humanity can only be healed by God, Who is Love. By opening their hearts to God, people who convert are internally healed from evil."
The Holy Father then turned his attention to the celebrations occurring in Fatima, Portugal to mark the apparitions of the Virgin Mary there from May 13 to October 13 in 1917. The Cardinal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone, was on hand in Fatima on Sunday to preside at a celebration in the Pope's name marking that anniversary. "We ask the Virgin Mary," said Benedict XVI, "that all Christians may receive the gift of true conversion, so as to announce and bear witness coherently and faithfully to the perennial evangelical message, which shows humanity the path of authentic peace."