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Monday, March 21, 2011

ANGELUS: PLEA FOR SAFETY OF LIBYAN, NORTH AFRICAN PEOPLES

VATICAN CITY, 20 MAR 2011 (VIS) - At noon today, following his pastoral visit to the Roman parish of St. Corbinian, the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.

  The Pope noted that the second Sunday of Lent is that of the Transfiguration when Christ, after having announced His Passion to His disciples, took Peter, James, and John with Him to a mountaintop, as narrated by the Apostle Matthew: "He was transfigured before them; His face shone like the sun and His clothes became white as light".

  "For our senses, sunlight is the most intense in nature", the Holy Father said, "but for the spirit, the disciples saw, for a few moments, an even more intense radiance, that of Jesus' divine glory that illuminates all the history of salvation. ... The Transfiguration is not a change in Jesus but the revelation of His divinity. ... Peter, James, and John, in contemplating the divinity of the Lord, were preparing to face the scandal of the cross".

  "We too participate in this vision and in this divine gift, making space for prayer and for listening to the Word of God", the Pope concluded. "Moreover, during this time of Lent I urge you, as did Servant of God Paul VI, to answer the divine call to penance with some voluntary act that goes beyond the denials imposed by the weight of daily life".

  After praying the Angelus, Benedict XVI mentioned the "worrying news that has been arriving from Libya in the past days" and which has caused him "disquiet and fear". "I prayed to the Lord about it in particular during this week of spiritual exercises", he added.

  "I am now following the latest events with great apprehension", he asserted. "I pray for those who are caught up in that country's dramatic situation and make an urgent appeal to everyone with political and military responsibilities to concern themselves above all with the safety and wellbeing of the citizens, guaranteeing access to humanitarian aid. I ensure the population of my heartfelt closeness, while I ask God that peace and harmony may be reached as soon as possible in Libya and in the entire North African region".
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