Monday, May 02, 2005

Pope Greets Faithful from Apartment Window

VATICAN CITY, MAY 1, 2005 (VIS) - Today at noon, for the first time since his election to the papacy on April 19, Pope Benedict XVI appeared at the window of the study of the papal apartment to recite the Regina Coeli and address the tens of thousands of faithful that filled St. Peter's Square. The Pope had been living in the Vatican's St. Martha Residence since his election and moved into the apartment on Saturday.

"I address you for the first time from this window that the beloved figure of my predecessor made familiar to countless people throughout the world. From Sunday to Sunday, John Paul II, faithful to an appointment which had become a pleasant custom, accompanied for over a quarter of a century the history of the Church and the world and we continue to feel him more than ever close to us."

The Holy Father greeted "with special affection the Orthodox Churches and the Eastern Orthodox Churches that today celebrate the Resurrection of Christ. To these dear brothers and sisters of ours, I address the traditional announcement of joy: 'Christos anesti!' Christ is Risen!" He said he hoped that Easter will be for these Churches " a choral prayer of faith and praise to the One Who is our common Lord, and Who calls us to walk decisively on the path towards full communion."

"Today we begin the month of May with a liturgical memory so dear to Christians, that of St. Joseph the Worker." He then added, to the applause of the faithful: "You know that my name is also Joseph!" Noting that this feast was instituted 50 years ago by Pius XII "to underline the importance of work and of the presence of Christ and the Church in the world of work," the Pope said he hoped that everyone, especially young people, would have work "and that working conditions are ever more respectful of the dignity of the human person." He had special words for the groups present in St. Peter's Square, including ACLI, the Christian Associations of Italian Workers which this year celebrates the 60th anniversary of its founding.

Turning his thoughts to Mary, to whom the month of May is dedicated, Benedict XVI remarked how, "through words, and even more by example, John Paul II taught us to contemplate Christ with the eyes of Mary."

Following the Regina Coeli prayer, the Holy Father said that in recent days he has been thinking "of all people who suffer because of war, illness and poverty. In particular, today I am close to the people of Togo, upset by painful internal struggles. For all these nations I implore the gift of harmony and peace."

- V.I.S.


infraternam meam said...

i hope the Holy Father will travel more abroad to see more of the faithful and see first hand their problems.

Anonymous said...

The Piazza was impressively full for Pope Benedict’s first Sunday blessing from the window of the Apostolic Palace. He wisely referred to his popular predecessor at the very beginning of his address. Seeing a Pope standing at that window for the first time since the death of John Paul II was an emotional moment for many. Hearing the Pope speaking in a firm and clear voice was also a poignant contrast with Wojtyla’s last courageous and tortured appearances.

The crowd was well disposed towards Benedict, greeting him with polite applause. It was restrained, compared to the outpouring of noisy, enthusiastic affection which used to greet John Paul II, but Joseph Ratzinger has the ability to make the people love him too.

After the blessing I was walking down the crowded Borgo Pio. The street is lined with restaurants and souvenir shops. Benedict’s face is everywhere on postcards and posters, although the powerful, handsome image of Karol Wojtyla still dominates. Groups of pretty, young American girls were examining pictures of the new pope. “He’s so cute” they squealed. “He has great hair.” “He has a nice smile… he looks so sweeet!” Evidently the stern and rigid former Cardinal Ratzinger has the potential to capture the hearts of young people as Pope Benedict XVI.

If Benedict keeps smiling, and handles affectionate contact with the crowds with the aplomb of John Paul II, he will begin to fill the emotional void left by the loss of Wojtyla. He is more reserved, and he may not feel comfortable with the tactile style of his predecessor, but there is a longing for him to be the adorable, grandfatherly figure we have grown used having at the head of the Church.

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