2012-06-29 Vatican Radio(Vatican Radio) In reflections before the midday Angelus prayer, marking the feast of Saints Peter and Paul this Friday, Pope Benedict XVI highlighted the universal and ecumenical value of the liturgical feast. From the window of his study high above a sun drenched St. Peter’s Square the Pope drew the attention of the thousands of pilgrims and visitors to the statues of the two great Saints, who are also Protectors of Rome. Emer McCarthy reports:
Rome, he said “bears inscriptions in its history of the life and glorious death of the humble fisherman of Galilee and the Apostle to the Gentiles, whom she has rightly chosen as her Protectors. Recalling their luminous witness, we remember the venerable beginnings of the Church that in Rome that believes, prays and proclaims, Christ the Redeemer”.
But he continued “the Saints Peter and Paul not only shine in the sky of Rome, but in the heart of all believers who, enlightened by their teaching and by their example, all over the world walk the path of faith, hope and charity. On this road to salvation the Christian community, supported by the presence of the Spirit of the living God, feels encouraged to continue strong and serene on the path of fidelity to Christ and proclamation of his Gospel to men of all time”.
Taking part in Friday’s celebrations, a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and an Anglican choir from Westminster Abbey, who joined the Sistine Chapel choir in Mass Friday morning during which the Pope bestowed the pallium on 40 new Metropolitan Archbishops from across the universal Church.
In his Angelus reflections Pope Benedict said: "The bestowing of the pallium …is also part of this fruitful spiritual and missionary itinerary”. “It highlights the intimate communion of pastors with the Successor of Peter and the deep bond that binds us to the apostolic tradition. This is a double treasure of holiness, which blends together the unity and catholicity of the Church: a precious treasure to be rediscovered and lived with renewed enthusiasm and continued commitment. "
He concluded: "Dear pilgrims, gathered here from all over the world! In this day of celebration, we pray with the Liturgy of the East:" Praise be to Peter and Paul, these two great lights of the Church, who shine in the firmament of Faith. "May the Blessed Virgin leads all believers in Christ to the goal of full unity! ".