Audiences 2005-2013 27028

Wednesday, 27 February 2008 - Saint Augustine of Hippo (5)

27028
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

With today's meeting I wish to conclude the presentation of the figure of St Augustine. After having dwelt on his life, works and some aspects of his thought, I would like today to return to his inner experience which made him one of Christian history's greatest converts. Last year, during my Pilgrimage to Pavia to venerate the mortal remains of this Father of the Church, I particularly dedicated my reflection to this experience of his. By doing so I wished to express to him the homage of the entire Catholic Church, but also to manifest my personal devotion and gratitude in regard to a figure to whom I feel very linked for the role he has had in my life as a theologian, priest and pastor.

Today, it is still possible to trace St Augustine's experiences, thanks above all to the Confessions, written to praise God and which are at the origin of one of the most specific literary forms of the West, the autobiography or personal expression of one's self-knowledge. Well, anyone who encounters this extraordinary and fascinating book, still widely read today, soon realizes that Augustine's conversion was not sudden or fully accomplished at the beginning, but can be defined, rather, as a true and proper journey that remains a model for each one of us. This itinerary certainly culminated with his conversion and then with baptism, but it was not concluded in that Easter Vigil of the year 387, when the African rhetorician was baptized in Milan by Bishop Ambrose. Augustine's journey of conversion, in fact, humbly continued to the very end of his life, so much so that one can truly say that his various steps - and three can be easily distinguished - are one single great conversion.

St Augustine was a passionate seeker of truth: he was from the beginning and then throughout his life. The first step of his conversion journey was accomplished exactly in his progressive nearing to Christianity. Actually, he had received from his mother Monica, to whom he would always remain very closely bound, a Christian education, and even though he lived an errant life during the years of his youth, he always felt a deep attraction to Christ, having drunk in with his mother's milk the love for the Lord's Name, as he himself emphasizes (cf. Confessions, III, 4, 8). But also philosophy, especially that of a Platonic stamp, led him even closer to Christ, revealing to him the existence of the Logos or creative reason. Philosophy books showed him the existence of reason, from which the whole world came, but they could not tell him how to reach this Logos, which seemed so distant. Only by reading St Paul's Epistles within the faith of the Catholic Church was the truth fully revealed to him. This experience was summarized by Augustine in one of the most famous passages of the Confessions: he recounts that, in the torment of his reflections, withdrawing to a garden, he suddenly heard a child's voice chanting a rhyme never heard before: tolle, lege, tolle, lege, "pick up and read, pick up and read" (VIII, 12, 29). He then remembered the conversion of Anthony, the Father of Monasticism, and carefully returned to the Pauline codex that he had recently read, opened it, and his glance fell on the passage of the Epistle to the Romans where the Apostle exhorts to abandon the works of the flesh and to be clothed with Christ (cf.
Rm 13,13-14). He understood that those words in that moment were addressed personally to him; they came from God through the Apostle and indicated to him what he had to do at that time. Thus, he felt the darkness of doubt clearing and he finally found himself free to give himself entirely to Christ: he described it as "your converting me to yourself" (Confessions, VIII, 12, 30). This was the first and decisive conversion.

The African rhetorician reached this fundamental step in his long journey thanks to his passion for man and for the truth, a passion that led him to seek God, the great and inaccessible One. Faith in Christ made him understand that God, apparently so distant, in reality was not that at all. He in fact made himself near to us, becoming one of us. In this sense, faith in Christ brought Augustine's long search on the journey to truth to completion. Only a God who made himself "tangible", one of us, was finally a God to whom he could pray, for whom and with whom he could live. This is the way to take with courage and at the same time with humility, open to a permanent purification which each of us always needs. But with the Easter Vigil of 387, as we have said, Augustine's journey was not finished. He returned to Africa and founded a small monastery where he retreated with a few friends to dedicate himself to the contemplative life and study. This was his life's dream. Now he was called to live totally for the truth, with the truth, in friendship with Christ who is truth: a beautiful dream that lasted three years, until he was, against his will, ordained a priest at Hippo and destined to serve the faithful, continuing, yes, to live with Christ and for Christ, but at the service of all. This was very difficult for him, but he understood from the beginning that only by living for others, and not simply for his private contemplation, could he really live with Christ and for Christ.
Thus, renouncing a life solely of meditation, Augustine learned, often with difficulty, to make the fruit of his intelligence available to others. He learned to communicate his faith to simple people and thus learned to live for them in what became his hometown, tirelessly carrying out a generous and onerous activity which he describes in one of his most beautiful sermons: "To preach continuously, discuss, reiterate, edify, be at the disposal of everyone - it is an enormous responsibility, a great weight, an immense effort" (Sermon, 339, 4). But he took this weight upon himself, understanding that it was exactly in this way that he could be closer to Christ. To understand that one reaches others with simplicity and humility was his true second conversion.

But there is a last step to Augustine's journey, a third conversion, that brought him every day of his life to ask God for pardon. Initially, he thought that once he was baptized, in the life of communion with Christ, in the sacraments, in the Eucharistic celebration, he would attain the life proposed in the Sermon on the Mount: the perfection bestowed by Baptism and reconfirmed in the Eucharist. During the last part of his life he understood that what he had concluded at the beginning about the Sermon on the Mount - that is, now that we are Christians, we live this ideal permanently - was mistaken. Only Christ himself truly and completely accomplishes the Sermon on the Mount. We always need to be washed by Christ, who washes our feet, and be renewed by him. We need permanent conversion. Until the end we need this humility that recognizes that we are sinners journeying along, until the Lord gives us his hand definitively and introduces us into eternal life. It was in this final attitude of humility, lived day after day, that Augustine died.

This attitude of profound humility before the only Lord Jesus led him also to experience an intellectual humility. Augustine, in fact, who is one of the great figures in the history of thought, in the last years of his life wanted to submit all his numerous works to a clear, critical examination. This was the origin of the Retractationum ("Revision"), which placed his truly great theological thought within the humble and holy faith that he simply refers to by the name Catholic, that is, of the Church. He wrote in this truly original book: "I understood that only One is truly perfect, and that the words of the Sermon on the Mount are completely realized in only One - in Jesus Christ himself. The whole Church, instead - all of us, including the Apostles -, must pray everyday: Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us" (De Sermone Domini in Monte, I, 19, 1-3).

Augustine converted to Christ who is truth and love, followed him throughout his life and became a model for every human being, for all of us in search of God. This is why I wanted to ideally conclude my Pilgrimage to Pavia by consigning to the Church and to the world, before the tomb of this great lover of God, my first Encyclical entitled Deus Caritas Est. I owe much, in fact, especially in the first part, to Augustine's thought. Even today, as in his time, humanity needs to know and above all to live this fundamental reality: God is love, and the encounter with him is the only response to the restlessness of the human heart; a heart inhabited by hope, still perhaps obscure and unconscious in many of our contemporaries but which already today opens us Christians to the future, so much so that St Paul wrote that "in this hope we were saved" (Rm 8,24). I wished to devote my second Encyclical to hope, Spe Salvi, and it is also largely indebted to Augustine and his encounter with God.

In a beautiful passage, St Augustine defines prayer as the expression of desire and affirms that God responds by moving our hearts toward him. On our part we must purify our desires and our hopes to welcome the sweetness of God (cf. In I Ioannis 4, 6). Indeed, only this opening of ourselves to others saves us. Let us pray, therefore, that we can follow the example of this great convert every day of our lives, and in every moment of our life encounter the Lord Jesus, the only One who saves us, purifies us and gives us true joy, true life.

Vatican Basilica


Dear Brothers and Sisters, I am pleased to welcome all the English-speaking visitors present here today. May your stay in Rome strengthen your faith, and grant you courage to continue your Lenten journey in prayer, fasting, reconciliation and compassion. Upon all of you I invoke Godís abundant blessings of joy and peace!
* * *

Paul VI Audience Hall



I welcome all the English-speaking visitors present today, including the many student groups and the pilgrims from England, Sweden, Malta, Japan, Canada and the United States. Upon all of you I invoke God's abundant Blessings of joy and peace.

Lastly, I greet the youth, the sick and the newly-weds. Dear brothers and sisters, following the Lenten itinerary, the Church invites us to follow in Christ's footsteps, which direct us toward Jerusalem where he will complete his redemptive mission. Let yourselves be enlightened by his Word, so that in study, sickness or family life you may experience his presence and tread the path of authentic conversion in this holy time of penance.


Paul VI Audience Hall



Wednesday, 5 March 2008 - Saint Leo the Great

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Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Continuing our journey through the Fathers of the Church, true stars that shine in the distance, at our meeting today we encounter a Pope who in 1754 Benedict XIV proclaimed a Doctor of the Church: St Leo the Great. As the nickname soon attributed to him by tradition suggests, he was truly one of the greatest Pontiffs to have honoured the Roman See and made a very important contribution to strengthening its authority and prestige. He was the first Bishop of Rome to have been called Leo, a name used subsequently by another 12 Supreme Pontiffs, and was also the first Pope whose preaching to the people who gathered round him during celebrations has come down to us. We spontaneously think of him also in the context of today's Wednesday General Audiences, events that in past decades have become a customary meeting of the Bishop of Rome with the faithful and the many visitors from every part of the world.

Leo was a Tuscan native. In about the year 430 A.D., he became a deacon of the Church of Rome, in which he acquired over time a very important position. In the year 440 his prominent role induced Galla Placidia, who then ruled the Empire of the West, to send him to Gaul to heal a difficult situation. But in the summer of that year, Pope Sixtus III, whose name is associated with the magnificent mosaics in St Mary Major's, died, and it was Leo who was elected to succeed him. Leo heard the news precisely while he was carrying out his peace mission in Gaul. Having returned to Rome, the new Pope was consecrated on 29 September 440. This is how his Pontificate began. It lasted more than 21 years and was undoubtedly one of the most important in the Church's history. Pope Leo died on 10 November 461 and was buried near the tomb of St Peter. Today, his relics are preserved in one of the altars in the Vatican Basilica.

The times in which Pope Leo lived were very difficult: constant barbarian invasions, the gradual weakening of imperial authority in the West and the long, drawn-out social crisis forced the Bishop of Rome - as was to happen even more obviously a century and a half later during the Pontificate of Gregory the Great - to play an important role in civil and political events. This, naturally, could only add to the importance and prestige of the Roman See. The fame of one particular episode in Leo's life has endured. It dates back to 452 when the Pope, together with a Roman delegation, met Attila, chief of the Huns, in Mantua and dissuaded him from continuing the war of invasion by which he had already devastated the northeastern regions of Italy. Thus, he saved the rest of the Peninsula. This important event soon became memorable and lives on as an emblematic sign of the Pontiff's action for peace. Unfortunately, the outcome of another Papal initiative three years later was not as successful, yet it was a sign of courage that still amazes us: in the spring of 455 Leo did not manage to prevent Genseric's Vandals, who had reached the gates of Rome, from invading the undefended city that they plundered for two weeks. This gesture of the Pope - who, defenceless and surrounded by his clergy, went forth to meet the invader to implore him to desist - nevertheless prevented Rome from being burned and assured that the Basilicas of St Peter, St Paul and St John, in which part of the terrified population sought refuge, were spared.

We are familiar with Pope Leo's action thanks to his most beautiful sermons - almost 100 in a splendid and clear Latin have been preserved - and thanks to his approximately 150 letters. In these texts the Pontiff appears in all his greatness, devoted to the service of truth in charity through an assiduous exercise of the Word which shows him to us as both Theologian and Pastor. Leo the Great, constantly thoughtful of his faithful and of the people of Rome but also of communion between the different Churches and of their needs, was a tireless champion and upholder of the Roman Primacy, presenting himself as the Apostle Peter's authentic heir: the many Bishops who gathered at the Council of Chalcedon, the majority of whom came from the East, were well aware of this.

This Council, held in 451 and in which 350 Bishops took part, was the most important assembly ever to have been celebrated in the history of the Church. Chalcedon represents the sure goal of the Christology of the three previous Ecumenical Councils: Nicea in 325, Constantinople in 381 and Ephesus in 431. By the sixth century these four Councils that sum up the faith of the ancient Church were already being compared to the four Gospels. This is what Gregory the Great affirms in a famous letter (I, 24): "I confess that I receive and revere, as the four books of the Gospel so also the four Councils", because on them, Gregory explains further, "as on a four-square stone, rises the structure of the holy faith". The Council of Chalcedon, which rejected the heresy of Eutyches who denied the true human nature of the Son of God, affirmed the union in his one Person, without confusion and without separation, of his two natures, human and divine.

The Pope asserted this faith in Jesus Christ, true God and true man, in an important doctrinal text addressed to the Bishop of Constantinople, the so-called Tome to Flavian which, read at Chalcedon, was received by the Bishops present with an eloquent acclamation. Information on it has been preserved in the proceedings of the Council: "Peter has spoken through the mouth of Leo", the Council Fathers announced in unison. From this intervention in particular, but also from others made during the Christological controversy in those years, it is clear that the Pope felt with special urgency his responsibilities as Successor of Peter, whose role in the Church is unique since "to one Apostle alone was entrusted what was communicated to all the Apostles", as Leo said in one of his sermons for the Feast of Sts Peter and Paul (83, 2). And the Pontiff was able to exercise these responsibilities, in the West as in the East, intervening in various circumstances with caution, firmness and lucidity through his writings and legates. In this manner he showed how exercising the Roman Primacy was as necessary then as it is today to effectively serve communion, a characteristic of Christ's one Church.

Aware of the historical period in which he lived and of the change that was taking place - from pagan Rome to Christian Rome - in a period of profound crisis, Leo the Great knew how to make himself close to the people and the faithful with his pastoral action and his preaching. He enlivened charity in a Rome tried by famines, an influx of refugees, injustice and poverty. He opposed pagan superstitions and the actions of Manichaean groups. He associated the liturgy with the daily life of Christians: for example, by combining the practice of fasting with charity and almsgiving above all on the occasion of the Quattro tempora, which in the course of the year marked the change of seasons. In particular, Leo the Great taught his faithful - and his words still apply for us today - that the Christian liturgy is not the memory of past events, but the actualization of invisible realities which act in the lives of each one of us. This is what he stressed in a sermon (cf. 64, 1-2) on Easter, to be celebrated in every season of the year "not so much as something of the past as rather an event of the present". All this fits into a precise project, the Holy Pontiff insisted: just as, in fact, the Creator enlivened with the breath of rational life man formed from the dust of the ground, after the original sin he sent his Son into the world to restore to man his lost dignity and to destroy the dominion of the devil through the new life of grace.

This is the Christological mystery to which St Leo the Great, with his Letter to the Council of Ephesus, made an effective and essential contribution, confirming for all time - through this Council - what St Peter said at Caesarea Philippi. With Peter and as Peter, he professed: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God". And so it is that God and man together "are not foreign to the human race but alien to sin" (cf. Serm. 64). Through the force of this Christological faith he was a great messenger of peace and love. He thus shows us the way: in faith we learn charity. Let us therefore learn with St Leo the Great to believe in Christ, true God and true Man, and to implement this faith every day in action for peace and love of neighbour.

To special groups

I offer a warm welcome to all the English-speaking visitors and pilgrims attending today's Audience, including the groups from England, Denmark, Sweden, Indonesia, Canada and the United States. I extend particular greetings to the visitors from Christendom College and to the many student groups present. May this Lenten Season purify your hearts and renew your faith and your hope in the mystery of Christ our Redeemer. God bless you all!

Lastly, I greet the sick and the newly-weds. Dear sick people, may you always be aware that you make a mysterious contribution to building the Kingdom of God, generously offering your sufferings to the Heavenly Father in union with those of Christ. And you, dear newly-weds, may you be able to edify your family daily by listening to God in faithful reciprocal love and by welcoming the neediest after the example of the Holy Family of Nazareth.




Paul VI Audience Hall



Wednesday, 12 March 2008 - Boethius and Cassiodorus

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Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today, I would like to talk about two ecclesiastical writers, Boethius and Cassiodorus, who lived in some of the most turbulent years in the Christian West and in the Italian peninsula in particular. Odoacer, King of the Rugians, a Germanic race, had rebelled, putting an end to the Western Roman Empire (476 A.D.), but it was not long before he was killed by Theodoric's Ostrogoths who had controlled the Italian Peninsula for some decades. Boethius, born in Rome in about 480 from the noble Anicius lineage, entered public life when he was still young and by age 25 was already a senator. Faithful to his family's tradition, he devoted himself to politics, convinced that it would be possible to temper the fundamental structure of Roman society with the values of the new peoples. And in this new time of cultural encounter he considered it his role to reconcile and bring together these two cultures, the classical Roman and the nascent Ostrogoth culture. Thus, he was also politically active under Theodoric, who at the outset held him in high esteem. In spite of this public activity, Boethius did not neglect his studies and dedicated himself in particular to acquiring a deep knowledge of philosophical and religious subjects. However, he also wrote manuals on arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy, all with the intention of passing on the great Greco-Roman culture to the new generations, to the new times. In this context, in his commitment to fostering the encounter of cultures, he used the categories of Greek philosophy to present the Christian faith, here too seeking a synthesis between the Hellenistic-Roman heritage and the Gospel message. For this very reason Boethius was described as the last representative of ancient Roman culture and the first of the Medieval intellectuals.

His most famous work is undoubtedly De Consolatione Philosophiae, which he wrote in prison to help explain his unjust detention. In fact, he had been accused of plotting against King Theodoric for having taken the side of his friend Senator Albinus in a court case. But this was a pretext. Actually, Theodoric, an Arian and a barbarian, suspected that Boethius was sympathizing with the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. Boethius was tried and sentenced to death. He was executed on 23 October 524, when he was only 44 years old. It is precisely because of his tragic end that he can also speak from the heart of his own experience to contemporary man, and especially to the multitudes who suffer the same fate because of the injustice inherent in so much of "human justice". Through this work, De Consolatione Philosophiae, he sought consolation, enlightenment and wisdom in prison. And he said that precisely in this situation he knew how to distinguish between apparent goods, which disappear in prison, and true goods such as genuine friendship, which even in prison do not disappear. The loftiest good is God: Boethius - and he teaches us this - learned not to sink into a fatalism that extinguishes hope. He teaches us that it is not the event but Providence that governs and Providence has a face. It is possible to speak to Providence because Providence is God. Thus, even in prison, he was left with the possibility of prayer, of dialogue with the One who saves us. At the same time, even in this situation he retained his sense of the beauty of culture and remembered the teaching of the great ancient Greek and Roman philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle - he had begun to translate these Greeks into Latin - Cicero, Seneca, and also poets such as Tibullus and Virgil.

Boethius held that philosophy, in the sense of the quest for true wisdom, was the true medicine of the soul (Bk I). On the other hand, man can only experience authentic happiness within his own interiority (Bk II). Boethius thus succeeded in finding meaning by thinking of his own personal tragedy in the light of a sapiential text of the Old Testament (
Sg 7,30-8,1) which he cites: "Against wisdom evil does not prevail. She reaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other, and she orders all things well" (Bk III, 12: PL 63, Col 780). The so-called prosperity of the wicked is therefore proven to be false (Bk IV), and the providential nature of adversa fortuna is highlighted. Life's difficulties not only reveal how transient and short-lived life is, but are even shown to serve for identifying and preserving authentic relations among human beings. Adversa fortuna, in fact, makes it possible to discern false friends from true and makes one realize that nothing is more precious to the human being than a true friendship. The fatalistic acceptance of a condition of suffering is nothing short of perilous, the believer Boethius added, because "it eliminates at its roots the very possibility of prayer and of theological hope, which form the basis of man's relationship with God" (Bk V, 3: PL 63, COL 842).

The final peroration of De Consolatione Philosophiae can be considered a synthesis of the entire teaching that Boethius addressed to himself and all who might find themselves in his same conditions. Thus, in prison he wrote: "So combat vices, dedicate yourselves to a virtuous life oriented by hope, which draws the heart upwards until it reaches Heaven with prayers nourished by humility. Should you refuse to lie, the imposition you have suffered can change into the enormous advantage of always having before your eyes the supreme Judge, who sees and knows how things truly are" (Bk V, 6: PL 63, COL 862). Every prisoner, regardless of the reason why he ended up in prison, senses how burdensome this particular human condition is, especially when it is brutalized, as it was for Boethius, by recourse to torture. Then particularly absurd is the condition of those like Boethius - whom the city of Pavia recognizes and celebrates in the liturgy as a martyr of the faith - who are tortured to death for no other reason than their own ideals and political and religious convictions. Boethius, the symbol of an immense number of people unjustly imprisoned in all ages and on all latitudes, is in fact an objective entrance way that gives access to contemplation of the mysterious Crucified One of Golgotha.

Marcus Aurelius Cassiodorus was a contemporary of Boethius, a Calabrian born in Scyllacium in about 485 A.D. and who died at a very advanced age in Vivarium in 580. Cassiodorus, a man with a privileged social status, likewise devoted himself to political life and cultural commitment as few others in the Roman West of his time. Perhaps the only men who could stand on an equal footing in this twofold interest were Boethius, whom we have mentioned, and Gregory the Great, the future Pope of Rome (590-604). Aware of the need to prevent all the human and humanist patrimony accumulated in the golden age of the Roman Empire from vanishing into oblivion, Cassiodorus collaborated generously, and with the highest degree of political responsibility, with the new peoples who had crossed the boundaries of the Empire and settled in Italy. He too was a model of cultural encounter, of dialogue, of reconciliation. Historical events did not permit him to make his political and cultural dreams come true; he wanted to create a synthesis between the Roman and Christian traditions of Italy and the new culture of the Goths. These same events, however, convinced him of the providentiality of the monastic movement that was putting down roots in Christian lands. He decided to support it and gave it all his material wealth and spiritual energy.

He conceived the idea of entrusting to the monks the task of recovering, preserving and transmitting to those to come the immense cultural patrimony of the ancients so that it would not be lost. For this reason he founded Vivarium, a coenobitic community in which everything was organized in such a way that the monk's intellectual work was esteemed as precious and indispensable. He arranged that even those monks who had no academic training must not be involved solely in physical labour and farming but also in transcribing manuscripts and thus helping to transmit the great culture to future generations. And this was by no means at the expense of monastic and Christian spiritual dedication or of charitable activity for the poor. In his teaching, expounded in various works but especially in the Treatise De Anima and in the Institutiones Divinarum Litterarum (cf. PL 69, COL 1108), prayer nourished by Sacred Scripture and particularly by assiduous recourse to the Psalms (cf. PL 69, COL 1149) always has a central place as the essential sustenance for all. Thus, for example, this most learned Calabrian introduced his Expositio in Psalterium: "Having rejected and abandoned in Ravenna the demands of a political career marked by the disgusting taste of worldly concerns, having enjoyed the Psalter, a book that came from Heaven, as true honey of the soul, I dived into it avidly, thirsting to examine it without a pause, to steep myself in that salutary sweetness, having had enough of the countless disappointments of active life" (PL 70, COL 10).

The search for God, the aspiration to contemplate him, Cassiodorus notes, continues to be the permanent goal of monastic life (cf. PL 69, COL 1107). Nonetheless, he adds that with the help of divine grace (cf. PL 69, COL 1131,1142), greater profit can be attained from the revealed Word with the use of scientific discoveries and the "profane" cultural means that were possessed in the past by the Greeks and Romans (cf. PL 69, COL 1140). Personally, Cassiodorus dedicated himself to philosophical, theological and exegetical studies without any special creativity, but was attentive to the insights he considered valid in others. He read Jerome and Augustine in particular with respect and devotion. Of the latter he said: "In Augustine there is such a great wealth of writings that it seems to me impossible to find anything that has not already been abundantly treated by him" (cf. PL 70, COL 10). Citing Jerome, on the other hand, he urged the monks of Vivarium: "It is not only those who fight to the point of bloodshed or who live in virginity who win the palm of victory but also all who, with God's help, triumph over physical vices and preserve their upright faith. But in order that you may always, with God's help, more easily overcome the world's pressures and enticements while remaining in it as pilgrims constantly journeying forward, seek first to guarantee for yourselves the salutary help suggested by the first Psalm which recommends meditation night and day on the law of the Lord. Indeed, the enemy will not find any gap through which to assault you if all your attention is taken up by Christ" (De Institutione Divinarum Scripturarum, 32: PL 70, COL 1147). This is a recommendation we can also accept as valid. In fact, we live in a time of intercultural encounter, of the danger of violence that destroys cultures, and of the necessary commitment to pass on important values and to teach the new generations the path of reconciliation and peace. We find this path by turning to the God with the human Face, the God who revealed himself to us in Christ.

To special groups

I am pleased to welcome the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors here today, including groups from England, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Scandinavia, and North America. I greet especially the many students and teachers who are present, including those from Saint Augustineís College, Wiltshire, England. Upon all of you, and upon your families and loved ones at home, I invoke Godís blessings of joy and peace.


Paul VI Audience Hall




Audiences 2005-2013 27028