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Wednesday, October 6, 2004


VATICAN CITY, OCT 6, 2004 (VIS) - In today's general audience, which took place in St. Peter's Square, the Pope spoke about the second part of Psalm 44, "The Kingdom and the bride."

  Addressing a crowd of 13,000, the Holy Father said that "we can dedicate this nuptial song to all couples who live their marriage with intensity and interior zeal, … which is a sign of a great mystery, … the love of the Father for humanity and of Christ for His Church."

  The psalmist, he said, exalts the beauty of the bride "as a reflection of God's splendor." In addition, he continued, "genuine joy, deeper than simple happiness, is an expression of love which participates in the good of the person loved with serenity of heart."

  John Paul II indicated that the psalm makes reference to fertility. "It speaks about 'children' and 'generations.' … It is a relevant theme in our days, in the West so often incapable of entrusting its own existence to the future by generating and caring for new creatures that they might continue the civilization of peoples and fulfill the history of salvation."

  Many fathers of the Church, he concluded, have applied the figure of the royal bride to Our Lady, Mother of God, who received "the joyous announcement of the redemption of the world."

  When greeting Polish pilgrims present, the Pope recalled that tomorrow is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. "I entrust the Holy Church and my ministry to her protection.  I also entrust her with my hopes for peace in the world, as well as in families and in the human conscience."

  Before the audience, the Pope blessed a statue of the Chilean saint, Teresa of Jesus of the Andes, canonized in 1993, that was placed in an external niche of the Vatican basilica.
AG/PSALM 44/…                                VIS 20041006 (320)

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