Pope expresses affection to Cologne, and reminds spiritual heritage

Pope expresses affection to Cologne, and reminds spiritual heritage

.- Continuing his way through the city and finally arriving at the Domplatz, the square in front of the Cathedral,  he gave his third speech, referring more specifically to the city of Cologne, host of the youth gathering.

After a brief moment of meditation in front of the famous Magi relics, in improvised words, and in a vivid tone, he expressed his attachment to the city and the emotion of being welcomed by such a joyful crowd.

“A city that I love for the many memories which it evokes for me,” the Pope said with a lot of emotion, reminding the many friends he has in the city, such as Cardinal Joseph Frings, the late Archbishop of Cologne, who invited him the participate at the Vatican II council, as his theologian, as well as present Archbishop Cardinal Joachim Meisner. 

He extended his greetings to all the people involved in the preparation of the event, the Diocese and local communities. He referred to the event as an “invasion”, while apologizing to the city’s inhabitants for the presence of thousands of youth in their city.

Referring to the long spiritual and historical heritage of Cologne with the presence of the relics of the Magi, brought from Milan in 1164 by the Archbishop of Cologne,  the Cathedral before which he speaks stands as one of the most important pilgrimage site along with Jerusalem, Rome and Santiago de Compostella. He mentioned the numerous illustrious people that are part of the city’s heritage,  namely Saint Boniface, Apostle of Germany, Archbishop of Cologne in 745, and more recently Edith Stein, a Carmelite nun, declared saint with the name Saint Benedicta of the Cross, that died in the concentration camp at Auschwitz.

Again greeting representatives of other Christian denominations and other religions, he expressed his wishes for unity and reconciliation. He stressed the openness of the message delivered in Cologne through the Magi,  as a universal message. One that has been made real and consistent through charitable initiatives mentioning German groups such as Misereor, Adveniat, Missio and Renovabis, all originating in Cologne.

“Today it is your task to live and breathe the Church’s universality. Let yourselves be inflamed by the fire of the Spirit, so that a new Pentecost will renew your hearts,” he concluded, before heading with the now famous “Papamobile” to the residence of the Archbishop were he will stay in Cologne.

To read the complete speech go to:

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