Lent a time for solidarity with children, Pope says

Pope John Paul II called on Catholics to transform Lent into a “a generous match of solidarity towards” the children.

In reflections that traditionally precede the Sunday Angelus prayer with the faithful in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope spoke of his Message for Lent 2004, “in which I wished to recall, in a special way, children, who are often the innocent victims of man’s evil deeds.” Noting that children were special for Christ, he said, “May this time of the liturgical year be transformed into a generous match of solidarity towards these little ones, especially those in the most grave danger and difficulties.”

The Pope said that in the Gospel of this first Sunday of Lent, Christ, “sustained by the Holy Spirit, withdrew to the desert where he remained for forty days. The Gospel account tells us of the three well-known temptations which are an echo of the old deception that Satan used to make our ancestors fall.”

“But Christ, the new Adam, overcame them, rejecting decisively His tempter: ‘It has been said; You shall not tempt the Lord your God’.  Jesus’ victory over evil assures us that we will not yield at the moment of trial if we remain united to the Spirit,” he explained.

“Dear brothers and sisters, I ask you to pray for this intention. I also ask you to accompany me spiritually in the retreat that will start, as they do every year, this evening” in the Vatican, the Pope concluded.

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