Vatican City, Jan 5, 2004 / 22:00 pm
Recalling his predecessor, Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II said today, during the feast of the Epiphany, that Christianity does not feel estranged from the world even if the world feels estranged from Christianity.
Speaking during the Angelus prayer, Pope John Paul said: “The star, which guides the Magi to Christ, recalls the rich symbolism of the light, very present at Christmas. God is light and the Word become man is the ‘light of the world’, the light that guides the people’s path: Lumen gentium.”
The Pope recalled Pope Paul VI’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land 40 years ago and the words of peace, which he proclaimed there on Jan. 6, 1964, in Bethlehem, in the Basilica of the Nativity.
“‘We gaze upon the world with great affection. If the world feels estranged from Christianity, Christianity does not feel estranged from the world’,” he said, quoting Paul VI. “And he added that the mission of Christianity for humanity is a mission of friendship, of understanding, of encouragement… a mission, namely, of salvation,” the 83-year-old pontiff summarized.