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Monday, November 22, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 21 NOV 2010 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus, the Pope recalled how today in Italy, at the invitation of their bishops, "ecclesial communities are praying for Christians who suffer persecution and discrimination, especially in Iraq. I wish to join this choral appeal to the God of life and peace", he said, "that religious freedom may be guaranteed to everyone all over the world. I remain close to these brothers and sisters for the exalted witness of faith they render unto God.

  "On today's liturgical memory of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple", the Holy Father added, "the Church is particularly close to cloistered monks and nuns. This is 'Pro Orantibus Day' which also renews the invitation to give our concrete support to these communities. Upon them I impart a heartfelt blessing.

  "Today is also the 'Day of Road Traffic Victims'. While giving assurances of recollection in my prayers, I encourage people to continue their commitment towards prevention, which is yielding positive results, recalling always that prudence and respect for norms represent the fundamental way to protect oneself and others".

  Benedict XVI also expressed his closeness "to people affected by torrential rains which over recent days have devastated a large part of Colombia. In the hope that calls for solidarity will not go unheard, I join those who raise prayers to the Lord for the victims and for people experiencing a period of anguish and suffering".
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