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Monday, July 18, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 17 JUL 2011 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus today in the inner courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, the Pope spoke of the "deep concern with which I am following news from the Horn of Africa, especially Somalia, where a serious drought followed, in some areas, by torrential rains, has led to a humanitarian catastrophe. Countless people are fleeing terrible famine in search of food and assistance.

  "I hope", he added, "that international mobilisation will increase and much-needed aid will continue to reach these our sorely tried brothers and sisters, among whom are many children. May those who suffer not lack our solidarity and the concrete support of all people of good will".

  Turning then to address French-speaking pilgrims the Holy Father remarked that "the holidays are certainly a good time for cultural and spiritual enrichment. Through the many sites and monuments you visit", he told them, "you may discover the beauty of the universal heritage which binds us to our roots. Allow yourselves to be drawn by the beautiful ideal which animated the builders of cathedrals and abbeys when they created those vibrant signs of God's presence in our land. May their ideal become your own and may the Holy Spirit, which looks into the depths of the human heart, inspire you to pray in those places, giving thanks and interceding for humankind in the third millennium".

  The Holy Father then greeted Polish pilgrims in Castelgandolfo, recalling how "yesterday we celebrated Our Lady of the Scapular (Our Lady of Mount Carmel). The scapular", he explained, "is a special sign of union with Jesus and Mary. For those who wear it, it is a sign of filial reliance on the protection of the Immaculate Virgin. In our battle against evil, may Mary our Mother swathe us in her mantle".
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