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Monday, February 7, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 6 FEB 2011 (VIS) - At midday today Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered below in St. Peter's Square.

  "In today's Gospel", he said, "the Lord Jesus tells His disciples: 'You are the salt of the earth. ... You are the light of the world'. Using these deeply significant images, He wishes to convey to them the meaning of their mission and their witness. In Middle Eastern culture, salt evokes various values such as alliance, solidarity, life and hope. Light was the first work of God the Creator, and it is the source of life. The Word of God itself is compared to light".

  For this reason, "the Lord's disciples are called to bring new 'flavour' to the world, to preserve it from corruption with the wisdom of God, which shines fully in the face of the Son because He is 'the true light which enlightens everyone'. United to Him Christians can - amidst the shadows of indifference and selfishness - diffuse the light of God's love, true wisdom which gives meaning to the life and activities of mankind".

  The Pope then went on to recall that 11 February, Feast of the Blessed Virgin of Lourdes, also marks the World Day of the Sick. "This", he said, "is a good opportunity to reflect, to pray and to raise the awareness of the ecclesial community and of civil society towards their sick brothers and sisters. In my Message for this Day, ... I invite everyone to contemplate Jesus, the Son of God, Who suffered and died, but rose again. God radically contests the arrogance of evil. The Lord takes care of man in all situations, He shares his suffering and opens his heart to hope. Thus I exhort all healthcare workers to see the sick person, not only as a frail body, but above all as a person to whom to show solidarity and to offer appropriate solutions".

  In this context, the Holy Father also referred to the Day for Life, which is being celebrated in Italy today. "I trust that everyone will work to make the culture of life grow, so as to ensure that the value of human beings remains central in all circumstances. According to both faith and reason, the dignity of the person cannot be reduced to his or her faculties or abilities, and thus it is not diminished when the person is weak, disabled or in need of help".

  Following the Marian prayer Benedict XVI noted how he is currently "following the delicate situation in the dear nation of Egypt. I ask God that that land, blessed by the presence of the Holy Family, may rediscover tranquillity and peaceful coexistence, in a shared commitment for the common good".
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