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Monday, April 4, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 3 APR 2011 (VIS) - At noon today the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.

"The Lenten path we are following is a time of particular grace, in which we may experience the Lord's grace toward us. This Sunday's liturgy... invites us to be glad and to rejoice", the Holy Father said.

He explained that the reason for this joy is related in the Gospel, in which Jesus cures a man blind since birth and asks him, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?". The blind man recognises the sign given by Jesus and passes from receiving the light in his eyes to the light of the faith: "Lord, I believe". This shows how a simple and sincere person may gradually undertake a path to faith: he first encounters Jesus as a "man" among others, then considers Him a "prophet", then finally opens his eyes and proclaims Him "Lord".

"We too, because of Adam's sin, are born 'blind', but at the baptismal font we are illuminated by Christ's grace", continued the Holy Father. "Sin brought harm to humanity, condemning it to obscurity and death, but the newness of life and the true end to which we are called are resplendent in Christ. In Him, reinvigorated by the Holy Spirit, we receive the strength to overcome evil and to do good. In fact, Christian life is a continual conformation to Christ, the image of the new man, in order to reach full communion with God. The Lord Jesus is 'the light of the world', as 'the light of the knowledge of the glory of God' shines in Him, and continues to reveal the meaning of human existence in the complex fabric of history".

Following the Angelus, Benedict XVI recalled that 2 April was the sixth anniversary of the death of John Paul II. "Due to his forthcoming beatification, I have not celebrated the traditional Mass of suffrage for him, but I have remembered him with affection in prayer, as I think you have all done. While, along the Lenten path, we prepare for Easter, we also approach with joy the day on which we will be able to venerate as Blessed this great Pontiff and witness of Christ, and to trust ever more in his intercession".
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