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Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Vatican City, 14 March 2012 (VIS) - At the end of today's general audience, Benedict XVI greeted a delegation led by Archbishop Renato Boccardo of Norcia, Italy, and by the abbots of the Montecassino and Subiaco. They have recently returned from Malta where last Sunday the Benedictine torch "Pro Pace et Europa Una" was lit. The torch will return to the saint's home town of Norcia on 20 March.

The Benedictine torch has been carried around European capital cities since the year 1964 which Paul VI proclaimed St. Benedict as patron saint of Europe. The torch is intended to symbolise the fraternity and peace proclaimed in the Gospel, beyond all political, ideological and religious divides. In the past it has been lit in Berlin, Prague, Bucharest, Strasbourg, Budapest, Madrid, Lisbon, Warsaw, Brussels, Vienna, Moscow and Jerusalem. In 2001 it was taken to New York to bring a message of hope following the attacks of 11 September, while last year it was lit in London during the course of an ecumenical ceremony in Westminster Abbey.

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