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Sunday, January 16, 2011
VATICAN: POPE PRAYS FOR REFUGEES AND UNITY
RADIO VATICANA REPORT: Pope Benedict XVI marks World Day for Migrants and Refugees
On the eve of the Week of Prayer for Christian unity and on the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Benedict spoke of the experience of the many men and women who are forced to leave their own country. He said migration, which is sometimes voluntary, is sometimes "forced by war or persecution." The Pope said the Church - remembering the Holy Family - has always lived within itself the experience of migration.
But if on the one hand the movement of Christians would be an impoverishment for the countries where their ancestors lived, the Holy Father said, on the other it is an opportunity to increase the missionary zeal of the Word of God.
The theme of the papal message for the Day "One human family," affirms that all people are one community, implying that it is imperative that Christians, although scattered throughout the world and, therefore, of different cultures and traditions, may be one, as the Lord wishes. He said this is the purpose of the "Week of Prayer for Christian Unity", and this year it is inspired by a passage from the Acts of the Apostles: " One in the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer” The Pope also pointed out The Octave is preceded, tomorrow, by the day of Jewish-Christian dialogue: a very significant juncture, which recalls the importance of the common roots that unite Jews and Christians.
After reciting the Angelus, Pope Benedict expressed his joy at the upcoming beatification of Pope John Paul II, which is on May 1st. He said the date is significant: it will be the Second Sunday of Easter, which he dedicated to the Divine Mercy, on the eve of which his earthly life ended. Pope Benedict said those who knew him, those who have respected and loved him, can not but rejoice with the Church for this event.
And finally, the Holy Father said he was praying specially for the flood victims in Australia, Brazil, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.