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Wednesday, June 23, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUN 23, 2004 (VIS) - In his multi-language greetings following today's Wednesday audience catechesis, Pope John Paul had special words for several groups of pilgrims, as well as the traditional salute to young people, newlyweds and those who are sick.

  Addressing faithful from the Czech Republic in their language, the Pope noted that "tomorrow we celebrate the feast of St. John The Baptist. Dear ones, the vocation of this great prophet was to prepare the way for Our Lord. We too, each according to his own efforts and vocation, bring Christ into today's world. Be strong in the Lord!"

  He then welcomed a group of pilgrims from Slovakia, remarking that "in this period priestly ordinations are taking place in Slovakia. Let us thank Christ the High Priest for the 110 new priests, and let us pray that they will faithfully announce the Gospel and celebrate the divine mysteries."

  "While many young people are taking exams," the Holy Father said in closing remarks, "for many others it is the start of the summer period, a time of tourism and pilgrimages, of holidays and rest. Dear young people, while I think of your peers still involved in taking exams, I hope that you who are already on vacation will take advantage of summer to fulfill formative human and spiritual experiences. I hope that you, dear sick people, will not lack in the comfort and support of your family. And I encourage you newlyweds to deepen your mission in the Church and in society during these summer months."
AG/GREETINGS/...            VIS 20040623 (270)

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