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Monday, November 15, 1999


VATICAN CITY, NOV 14, 1999 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father inaugurated the recently restored "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel, which is located inside the Vatican's Apostolic Palace. He also consecrated the altar on which he then celebrated Mass.

A mosaic image of the Virgin, "Redemptoris Mater," occupies the center of the wall behind the altar and "places before our eyes the mystery of the love of God, who made Himself man to give us, human beings, the capacity of becoming children of God. On the threshold of the Third Millennium, I would like to emphasize this message of salvation and joy that Christ, born of Mary, brought to humanity."
John Paul II underlined the fact that in the chapel's mosaics "the richness of oriental tradition is revived, reworked by one who also knows the Western tradition. Here, East and West, far from opposing one another, exchange gifts in the attempt to better express the limitless riches of Christ." Several million hand-cut mosaics form the designs on the chapel's four walls and ceiling. The work took three years to complete.

The Pope concluded: "I particularly thank the cardinals who, with this gift, have wished to recall the fiftieth anniversary of my ordination as a priest. It causes me great joy that this anniversary should be associated with the 'Redemptoris Mater,' under whose protection I have lived all these years of my service to the Church and to whose intercession I entrust the time that the Lord still wishes to concede me."


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