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Wednesday, July 6, 2005


VATICAN CITY, JUL 6, 2005 (VIS) - At the end of the general audience, held this morning in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI greeted a delegation from the Italian archdiocese of Spoleto-Norcia. The delegation was led by Archbishop Riccardo Fontana and brought the Benedictine Torch of Peace, "an important symbol," the Pope recalled, "that has now reached its 30th anniversary."

  The Pope recalled how this year the torch had departed from Moscow, Russia, "after having been welcomed by a representative of the Patriarch Alexis II," and had passed through Germany, at the monastery of Ottobeuren and at Marktl am Inn, Benedict XVI's own birthplace. He went on: "As a symbol of peace, the torch today rests near the tombs of the Apostles, and will later continue its journey to Norcia. May this important initiative encourage an ever more generous commitment to bear witness to Christian values in Europe."

  Addressing a group of pilgrims from Poland, the Holy Father expressed the joy he shared with them "for the opening last week of the cause of beatification of the Servant of God, the much-loved Pope John Paul II. To your prayers I entrust the progress of this cause."
AG/GREETINGS/...                                VIS 20050706 (200)

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