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Monday, July 31, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUL 31, 2006 (VIS) - As previously advised, VIS will be closed during the entire month of August. Service will resume on Friday, September 1.
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 31, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father's general prayer intention for the month of August is: "That orphans may not lack the care necessary for their human and Christian formation."

  His mission intention is: "That the Christian faithful may be aware of their own missionary vocation in every environment and circumstance."
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 30, 2006 (VIS) - At midday today, Benedict XVI greeted pilgrims gathered in the internal courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo and prayed the Angelus with them.

  The Pope recalled that, apart from a brief apostolic trip to Germany in September, he will stay at Castelgandolfo until the end of the summer. He then went on to express his thanks to the pilgrims who "with the warmth of their presence help to underline, even in the family atmosphere of my summer residence, the universal ecclesial horizon of this our [regular] appointment with the Marian prayer.

  "At these moments," the Holy Father added, "I cannot fail to think of the ever more serious and tragic situation of the Middle East: hundreds of dead, many injured, a vast mass of homeless and displaced people, cities and infrastructures destroyed, while hatred and thirst for revenge seem to be growing in the hearts of many.

  "These facts clearly demonstrate that it is not possible to re-establish justice, create a new order and build real peace when there is recourse to ... violence. More than ever, we see how much the Church's voice is at once prophetic and realistic when, in the face of war and conflicts of all kinds, she indicates the path of truth, justice, love and freedom. This is the path that humanity today must also follow in order to achieve the desired good of real peace."

  "In the name of God," the Pope cried out, "I address all those responsible for this spiral of violence, that all sides immediately lay down their arms! To political leaders and international institutions I ask that no efforts be spared in order to obtain the necessary cessation of hostilities and thus to begin to build, through dialogue, a lasting and stable coexistence of all the people of the Middle East. I ask men and women of good will to continue and to intensify the sending of humanitarian aid to those needy and much tried peoples. But above all, may faithful prayers to the good and merciful God continue to be raised from all hearts, that He may concede His peace to that region and to the world entire.

  "I entrust this heartfelt appeal," Benedict XVI concluded, "to the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Prince of Peace and Queen of Peace, who is so venerated in the countries of the Middle East, where we soon hope to see the reign of that reconciliation for which the Lord Jesus offered His precious Blood."
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VATICAN CITY, JUL 29, 2006 (VIS) - Yesterday evening, following his journey from Valle d'Aosta, the Pope reached his summer residence in Castelgandolfo, south of Rome. Immediately on arrival, he appeared at the balcony of the Apostolic Palace to greet people gathered in the square below.

  "I am pleased to be back in your beautiful town," the Holy Father said, "in this palace with its restored facade and its extraordinary beauty. I will spend some weeks here with you and I hope to spend them well, in peace and with the Lord's blessing, as a sign of which I now give you my blessing. May Almighty God, Father Son and Holy Spirit, bless you. ... We will meet on Sunday, God willing."
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