Wednesday 1 May 2002 - Pray the Rosary daily for the gift of peace

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

1. Today, on the first of May, we observe Labour Day.We Christians place the celebration under the patronage of St Joseph the Worker. We observe such an important day with initiatives that tend to emphasize the importance and value of the work by which the human person, transforming nature and adapting it to his needs, realizes himself as a human being.

The Lord's invitation to subdue the earth (cf.
Gn 2,28), that we find at the beginning of the history of salvation, holds a definitive and contemporary importance. Creation is a gift that God entrusts to the human being so that by carefully cultivating and safeguarding it, it can supply his needs. From our work comes the "daily bread" that we pray for in the Our Father.

One can say that through his work the human person becomes more human.This is why industriousness is a virtue. For industriousness effectively to permit the person to become more human, it must always be joined with the social disposition of work. Only in this way will we protect the inalienable dignity of the person and the human and social value of the work that is done. To the watchful protection of St Joseph the Worker we entrust those who belong to the great family of work in every place in the world.

2. Today we begin the month dedicated to Our Lady a favourite of popular devotion. In accord with a longstanding tradition of devotion, parishes and families continue to make the month of May a "Marian" month, celebrating it with many devout liturgical, catechetical and pastoral initiatives!

May it really be a month of intense prayer with Mary! This is the wish I wholeheartedly formulate for each of you, Brothers and Sisters, recommending to you once again the daily prayer of the Rosary. It is a simple and repetitive prayer but very profitable for drawing us into the mysteries of Christ and of his and our Mother. It is also a way of praying that the Church knows is pleasing to Our Lady. We are invited to make use of it, especially in the more difficult moments of our earthly pilgrimage.

3. Beginning the month of Mary, I invite all of you to join with me in praying for workers, especially those who experience difficulties in the workplace. We also need to intensify our confident and unceasing prayer for peace in the Holy Land where we hope that the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, who are so dear to me, will come to live in security and serenity. May the intercession of Our Lady and of St Joseph, her Spouse and the Guardian of the Redeemer, obtain it for us.

The Pope mentioned several of the English-speaking groups who were present.

I am pleased to greet the delegation from the Nagasaki Prefecture in Japan. I also greet the Norwegian students from Adger University College. I thank the Wartburg College Choir for their praise of God in song. Upon all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today's Audience, I cordially invoke God's blessings of grace and peace.

Finally the Holy Father addressed the young people, the sick and newly-weds.

Dear young people, today at the beginning of the month of May, dedicated in a special way to the Mother of the Lord, I invite you to place yourselves in the school of Mary to learn how to love God above all things and to be ever ready and willing to do his will. May you sick persons be helped by the contemplation of Our Lady of Sorrows to look with faith at the mystery of suffering and be able to find the hidden salvific value of every cross. I entrust you newly-weds to the protection of Our Lady and St Joseph so that you can live in your family the spirit of prayer and love that were present in the house of Nazareth.

Wednesday 8 May 2002 - Psalm 50£[51] - Where sin abounded, grace was more abundant!

29 Ps 51

1. Every week, in the Liturgy of Lauds for Friday, we pray Psalm 50, the Miserere, the pentitential Psalm, that is so much beloved, sung and meditated upon. It is a hymn raised to the merciful God by the repentant sinner. We have already had the chance in a previous catechesis to give a general overview of this great prayer. First of all, the Psalmist enters the dark region of sin to bring into it the light of human repentance and divine forgiveness (cf. Ps 51,3-11). Then he goes on to exalt the gift of divine grace, that transforms and renews the repentant sinner's spirit and heart: this is a place of light, full of hope and confidence (cf. vv. 12-21).

In our reflection, we will comment on the first part of Psalm 50[51] selecting a few key items for comment. Right from the beginning, we want to present the marvellous proclamation of Sinai that is the perfect portrait of God who is praised in the Miserere: "The Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands of generations, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin" (Ex 34,6-7).

2. The person praying prays to God first of all for the gift of purification that, as the Prophet Isaiah said, makes "white as snow" "like wool" our sins even though they are more like "scarlet" and "red as crimson" (cf. Is 1,18). The Psalmist confesses his sin candidly, without hesitation: "I know my transgressions.... Against you, you only, have I sinned and done that which is evil in your sight" (Ps 51,5-6 [50],5-6).

30 Now there comes into play the personal conscience of the sinner who is ready to perceive his wrongdoing honestly. This experience involves freedom and responsibility, and leads him to admit that he has broken a bond and has preferred to build a life different from that of the divine Word. The result is a radical decision to change. All this is contained in the verb "recognize", that in Hebrew implies not just an intellectual agreement but also a vital choice.

Unfortunately, many do not make this step as Origen warns: "There are some who after sinning are absolutely at peace and give no further thought to their sin; nor are they troubled by the knowledge of the evil they have committed but live as though nothing had happened. Such people would certainly not be able to say: my sin is ever before me. Instead, when, after committing a sin, one feels miserable and troubled by it, nagged by remorse, tormented without respite and undergoing inner revolt in his spirit when he tries to deny it, one rightly exclaims: my sins give my bones no peace.... Thus when we set before the eyes of our heart the sins we have committed, when we look at them one by one, recognize them, blush and repent for what we have done, then, overcome with remorse and terrified, we can rightly say that there is no peace in our bones on account of our sins ..." (Origen, Omelie sui Salmi, Florence, 1991, p. 277-279 [Homilies on the Psalms]). The admission and consciousness of sin are the fruit of a sensitivity acquired through the light of God's Word.

3. In the confession of the Miserere there is a noteworthy emphasis: the sin is described not only in its personal and "psychological" dimension but above all what is described is the theological reality. "Against you, against you alone have I sinned" (
Ps 51,6 [50],6) exclaims the sinner, whom tradition claims to be David, conscious of his adultery with Bathsheba and of the Prophet Nathan's denunciation of this crime and of the murder of Uriah, her husband (cf. Ps 51,2).

Sin is not just a psychological and social matter, but an event that corrodes the relationship with God, violating his law, refusing his plan in history and overturning his set of values, "putting darkness for light and light for darkness", in other words, "calling evil good and good evil" (cf. Is 5,20).

Before finally injuring man, sin is first and foremost a betrayal of God. The words the prodigal son says to his father, whose love is so abundant, capture it well: "Father, I have sinned against Heaven (that is, against God) and before you" (Lc 15,21).

4. At this point the Psalmist introduces an angle that is more directly connected with human reality. It is a sentence that has given rise to many interpretations and has been linked with the doctrine of original sin: "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me" (Ps 51,7 [50],7). The praying person wants to indicate the presence of evil in our whole being, as is evident in his mention of conception and birth, as a way of expressing the entirety of existence, beginning with its source. However, the Psalmist does not formally connect his state with the sin of Adam and Eve; he does not speak explicitly of original sin.

It is still clear, according to the text of our Psalm, that evil is rooted in man's innermost depths, it is inherent in his historical reality, so the request for the mediation of divine grace is crucial. The power of God's love exceeds that of sin, the forceful river of evil is less powerful than the fruitful water of forgiveness: "Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more" (Rm 5,20).

5. In this way the theology of original sin and the whole biblical vision of man as a sinner are indirectly recalled in a way that at the same time gives an intuition into the light of grace and salvation.

As we will have the chance to discover later on, when we return to this Psalm and the later verses, the confession of sin and the consciousness of one's misery do not lead to terror or the nightmare of judgement, but indeed, to the hope of purification, liberation and the new creation.

In fact God saves us, "not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour" (Tt 3,5-6).

To the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors the Holy Father said:

31 I extend a special greeting to the young people of Toronto, gathered at the university in a television link-up with the young people of the University La Sapienza in Rome. Dear friends, I hope to see many Canadians at the World Youth Day. Coming together in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, you will commit yourselves to being the salt of the earth and the light of the world.

Upon all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today's audience, especially those from England, Norway, Sweden, India, South Korea, Canada and the United States of America, I invoke the joy and peace of the Risen Saviour.

At the end of the General Audience, John Paul II asked everyone present to pray for the success of the Special Session of the General Assembly of the UN on children. The three day summit is focusing on the improvement of children's situation worldwide.

Today in New York the General Assembly of the UN is beginning a special session on children. The important meeting calls attention to the scourges that continue to afflict little children, the precious but also vulnerable treasure of the human family. I am thinking of the wars, the poverty, the abuses and injustice of every kind of which they are the victims.

In these days in which representatives of countries from around the world are meeting to reflect on the conditions in which little children have to live, I invite everyone to pray for the success of these deliberations. I also hope that this important meeting may call forth a renewed commitment of the international community in favour of children, so that every type of social action that affects them may be inspired by a genuine promotion of human dignity and full respect of their fundamental rights.

Wednesday 15 May 2002 - The Lord comes to judge the earth

Canticle from the Book of Habakkuk, chapter three

Ha 3,2-4 Ha 3,13 Ha 3,15-19)

1. By way of support to the fundamental prayer of the Psalms, the Liturgy of Lauds offers us a series of biblical canticles of great spiritual intensity. Today we heard an example from the third and last chapter of the Book of Habakkuk. This prophet lived at the end of the 7th century BC when the kingdom of Judah felt squeezed between two expanding superpowers, Egypt on the one hand, and, Babylon, on the other.

Many scholars hold that this final hymn is a quotation. An authentic liturgical song was added as an appendix to Habakkuk's brief work, to be set "to the tune of a lamentation" and accompanied "by stringed instruments", as two notes at the beginning and the end of the Canticle say (cf. Ha 3,1 Ha 3,19b). The Liturgy of Lauds, by taking up the thread of the ancient prayer of Israel, invites us to transform this composition into a Christian hymn, choosing some powerful verses (cf. Ha 3,2-4 Ha 3,13a, Ha 3,15-19a).

2. The hymn, that also shows considerable poetic skill, presents a magnificent image of the Lord (cf. Ha 2,3-4). His figure dominates solemnly the world scene and the universe trembles in the face of his majestic advance. He is coming from the south, from Teman and from Mount Paran (cf. Ha 2,3), from the area of Sinai, the site of the great revelatory epiphany for Israel. In Psalm 67[68] "the Lord came from Sinai into the holy place" of Jerusalem (cf. Ha 2,18). His appearance, in keeping with a constant biblical tradition, is surrounded by brilliant light (cf. Ha 3,4).

It is the radiance of his transcendent mystery that is communicated to humanity. In fact, the light is outside us, we can neither grasp it nor hold on to it; yet it envelops, enlightens and warms us. God is like this, both distant and yet close, someone beyond us yet beside us, in fact willing to be with us and in us. The earth responds with a chorus of praise to the revelation of his majesty: it is a cosmic response, a prayer to which man gives voice.

Christian tradition has lived this interior experience not only in personal spirituality but also in daring artistic creations. Beyond the majestic cathedrals of the Middle Ages, let us mention above all the art of the Christian East, with its wonderful icons and the brilliant architecture of its churches and monasteries.

Of these, the Church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople remains a kind of archetype as regards the creation of the space for Christian prayer, in which the presence and ethereality of the light enable one to perceive both the closeness and the transcendence of the divine reality. It penetrates the whole praying community to the very marrow of their bones and invites them to go beyond themselves and become entirely immersed in the ineffability mystery of God. Just as important are the artistic and spiritual representations that are the hallmark of the monasteries of that Christian tradition. In those truly sacred spaces - and one immediately thinks of Mount Athos - time contains in itself a sign of eternity. The mystery of God is expressed and hidden in those spaces through the continuous prayer of the monks and hermits who have always been compared to the angels.

3. But let us return to the Prophet Habakkuk's canticle. For the sacred author, the Lord's entry into the world has a precise meaning. He wills to enter into human history "in the course of the years" as repeated twice in verse 2, to judge and make its affairs better which we conduct in such a confused and at times perverse way.

Then God shows his indignation (cf. Ha 2,2c) against evil. And the hymn mentions a series of inexorable divine interventions, but without specifying if these are direct or indirect actions. The Exodus of Israel is evoked, when Pharoah's cavalry were drowned in the sea (cf. Ha 2,15). However, in a flash there comes before us a view of what the Lord is about to accomplish in the confrontations with the new oppressors of his people. God's intervention is described in an almost "visible" way through a series of agricultural images: "Though the fig tree do not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock will be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls" (Ha 2,17). All signs of peace and fruitfulness are eliminated, and the world looks like a desert. This is a symbol that other prophets like to use (cf. Jr 4,19-26 Jr 12,7-13 Jr 14,1-10) to illustrate the judgement of the Lord who is not indifferent to evil, oppression and injustice.

In his coming the Lord frees the oppressed, makes hope blossom in the heart of the victims

4. In the face of the divine intervention, the person praying remains terrified (cf. Ha 3,16), he trembles, he feels spiritually empty, he is struck with a tremor because the God of justice is infallible, very different from earthly judges.

But the Lord's entry has yet another purpose, which our hymn joyfully praises. In his indignation he does not forget his compassionate mercy (cf. Ha 2,2). He goes forth from the scene of his glory not only to destroy the arrogance of the wicked, but also to save his people and his anointed (cf. Ha 2,13), namely, Israel and its king. He also wants to set free the oppressed, make hope blossom in the victims' hearts, and open a new era of justice.

33 5. This is why, though our hymn is marked by "a tone of lamentation", it becomes a hymn of joy. The anticipated disasters look forward to the liberation from oppressors (cf. Ha 2,15). So they elicit the joy of the righteous one who exclaims: "yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will exult in the God of my salvation" (Ha 2,18). The same attitude is suggested by Jesus to his disciples at the time of the apocalyptic cataclysms: "When these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is at hand" (Lc 21,28).

In Habakkuk's canticle the final verse that expresses regained serenity is very beautiful. The Lord is defined - as David did in Psalm 17[18] - not only as "the strength" of his faithful, but also as the one who gives them agility, freshness and serenity in dangers. David sang: "I love you, O Lord, my strength ... he made my feet like the feet of hinds, and set me secure on the heights" (Ps 18,2 Ps 18,34 [17], 2.34). Now our singer exclaims "God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet swift as those of hinds, and enables me to go upon the heights" (Ha 3,19). When we have the Lord beside us, we no longer fear nightmares and obstacles, but we go forward with a light step and joy on the ever harsh path of life.

Before introducing the English-speaking groups present, in the name of the pilgrims and visitors, Mons. Millea presented Best Wishes to the Holy Father for his 82nd Birthday on Saturday, 18 May. To the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors the Holy Father said:

I am pleased to greet the participants in the International Conference on Human Trafficking taking place at the Pontifical Gregorian University. I also welcome the members of the NATO War College group. I thank the Choir from Bombay, India, for their praise of God in song.

My greeting goes in a special way to the group from East Timor. As your nation prepares to celebrate its independence next Monday, I pray that the many sacrifices of recent years will now inspire the building of a society of justice and solidarity. May God bless the people of East Timor with true freedom and lasting peace!

Upon all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today's audience, especially those from England, Ireland, Denmark, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States, I cordially invoke the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Holy Father addressed the Delegation of the "Forum of Family Associations" observing that since 1994, 15 May is observed as the UN World Family Day.

I hope that such Institutions [as the UN] recognize fully the value of the family with policies that fosters its important activity. May everyone become ever more conscious that the future of humanity and of the Church passes through the family.

At the very end, the Holy Father thanked everyone for the birthday wishes for his 82nd Birthday on Saturday.

I thank you very much for the good wishes and prayers you have promised on the occasion of my impending Birthday. I trust in your spiritual support to be able to continue with fidelity in the ministry that the Lord that entrusted to me. Heartfelt thanks.

Wednesday 29 May 2002 - Spread beautiful fragrance of Christ's holiness

34 Dear Brothers and Sisters,

1. I am pleased to reflect with you today on the apostolic journey I made to Azerbaijan and Bulgaria. It is still very much alive in my heart. I give thanks first of all to the Lord who granted me the grace to undertake it. My cordial gratitude then goes to all those who made it possible: the Heads of the two States and their respective governments, the civil and military authorities and all who collaborated in its organization and realization. I especially thank the Pastors of the Catholic Church in the two countries, and I cordially extend my thanks to the bishops of the Orthodox Churches and the leaders of the Muslim and Jewish communities.

The great religious traditions are part of the rich historical and cultural heritage of the Azeri people; for that reason it was important to meet in the country's capital, Baku, the representatives of politics, culture, art and the religions. Besides, the Catholic community of Azerbaijan is one of the smallest I have ever visited. That "little flock" is heir to a very ancient spiritual tradition, peacefully shared with its Orthodox brethren in the midst of a predominantly Muslim population.

2. For this reason, spiritually summoning the Assisi meeting, from that land, a real gateway between East and West, I renewed my appeal for peace, insisting that the religions actively oppose every form of violence.

Above all, during the Mass in Baku, I could clearly perceive that even in Azerbaijan, the heart of the one, holy catholic and apostolic Church is beating.

3. My visit to Sofia coincided with the Feast of Sts Cyril and Methodius, the evangelizers of the Slavs, Slavorum Apostoli. From the beginning of its evangelization, a solid bridge has united the See of Peter with the Bulgar people. In the last century this bond was reinforced by the valuable service of the Apostolic Delegate at the time, Angelo Roncalli, Bl. John XXIII.
My visit, the first of a Bishop of Rome, was intended to strengthen the bonds of communion with the Orthodox Church of Bulgaria, led by Patriarch Maxim, whom I had the joy of meeting after my visit to the Patriarchal Cathedral.

4. In Sofia, I also met the representatives of culture, science and art, to commemorate the work of Sts Cyril and Methodius, who knew how to bring together in a wonderful way faith and culture and made a crucial contribution to the spiritual foundations of Europe.

A striking example of this synthesis of spirituality, art and history is the Monastery of St John of Rila, the heart of the Bulgarian nation and pearl of the world's cultural heritage. In going on pilgrimage to that holy place, I wanted to pay a formal tribute to Eastern monasticism that enlightens the whole Church with its age-old witness.

5. The high point of my brief but intense visit in Bulgaria was the Eucharistic celebration in the central square of Plovdiv, at which I declared "Blessed" Kamen Vitchev, Pavel Djidjov and Josaphat Chichkov, Augustinian priests of the Assumption, shot in the prison of Sodia in 1952 by a firing squad, along with Bishop Eugene Bossilkov, beatified four years ago.

These courageous witnesses to the faith, together with the other martyrs of the last century, prepare a new springtime for the Church in Bulgaria. In line with this act, one must place my last meeting, a session with the young people; I presented to them Christ's pressing message: "You are the salt of the earth ... You are the light of the world" (
Mt 5,13-14). Christ calls everyone to the heroism of holiness. I concluded this apostolic pilgrimage under the banner of holiness.

Through the constant intercession of Mary, Queen of Saints and Martyrs, may the Church in Azerbaijan and in Bulgaria, as well as in Europe and throughout the world, spread the beautiful fragrance of Christ's holiness in the variety of her traditions and in the unity of one faith and one love.

To the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors the Holy Father said:

To the English-speaking pilgrims present at this Audience, especially those from England and the United States of America, I offer special greetings. Upon all of you I cordially invoke the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

                                                                                    June 2002

Wednesday 5 June 2002 - Jerusalem, praise your saving God

Psalm 147, Lauds on Friday of the second week of the year

Ps 147

The Lauda Jerusalem that we have just proclaimed is dear to Christian liturgy that often used Psalm 147 to refer to the Word of God which "runs swiftly" on the face of the earth, and also to the Eucharist, the true "bread of finest wheat" that God generously gives to "satisfy" human hunger (cf. Ps 147,14-15).

Origen, who comments on our Psalm in one of his homilies, translated and disseminated by St Jerome in the West, actually interweaves the Word of God with the Eucharist: "We read the Holy Scriptures. I believe that the Gospel is the Body of Christ. I believe that the holy Scriptures are his teaching. And when he says: he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood (Jn 6,53), although these words can also refer to the [Eucharistic] Mystery, yet the Body and Blood of Christ is truly a word of Scripture, the teaching of God. When we are about to receive the [Eucharistic] Mystery, if even a tiny crumb falls, we feel lost. When we are listening to God's Word, when our ears perceive the Word of God and the body and blood of Christ, what great danger would we not fall into were we to think about something else?" (74 Omelie sul Libro dei Salmi [74 Homilies on the Book of Psalms], Milano 1993, pp. 543-544).

Biblical scholars point out that this Psalm should be joined to the previous one, so as to form a single composition, as is the case in the original Hebrew. Indeed, we have here a single, coherent canticle in honour of the creation and redemption brought about by the Lord. It begins with a joyful call to praise: "Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for he is gracious, and a song of praise is seemly" (Ps 147,1 [146]).

36 2. If we focus on the passage we have just heard, we can identify three moments of praise, introduced by an invitation to the Holy City, Jerusalem, to praise and glorify her Lord (cf. Ps 147,12).

In the first part (cf. Ps 147,13-14), God's historical action is referred to. It is described in a series of symbols that represent the Lord's protection and his support of the city of Zion and its children.

First of all, there is a reference to the "bars" that reinforce and make impregnable the gates of Jerusalem. Perhaps the Psalmist is referring to Nehemiah who fortified the holy city, rebuilt after the bitter experience of the Babylonian exile (cf. Ne 3,3 Ne 3,6 Ne 3,13-15 Ne 4,1-9 Ne 6,15-16 Ne 12,27-43).

Among other things, the gate is a sign that indicates the whole city in its compactness and tranquillity. Inside the city, likened to a safe womb, live the children of Zion, namely, the citizens, that enjoy peace and serenity, enveloped in the protective mantle of divine blessing.

The image of the joyful, tranquil city is exalted by the highest and precious gift of the peace that makes its borders safe. However, precisely because, for the Bible, peace-shalôm is not a negative concept that evokes merely the absence of war, but a positive gift of wellbeing and prosperity, the Psalmist speaks of being satisfied with "the finest of wheat", that is, of excellent grain, with ears full of grains. So the Lord reinforced the ramparts of Jerusalem (cf. Ps 87,2 [86]), has made his blessing descend (cf. Ps 128,5 [127]; Ps 134,3 [133]), extending it to the whole country, he has given peace (cf. Ps 122,6-8 [121],6-8) and satisfied his children's hunger (cf. Ps 132,15 [131]).

3. In the second part of the Psalm (cf. Ps 147,15-18), God appears above all as Creator. Indeed twice he connects the work of creation with the words that gave origin to being: "God said, "Let there be light!' and there was light".... "He sends forth his command to the earth ... he sends forth his word" (cf. Gn 1,3 Ps 147,15 Ps 147,18).

Here, under the banner of the divine Word, the two fundamental seasons burst forth and are stabilized. On the one hand, the Lord's order makes winter descend on the earth, picturesquely described as snow white as wool, by hoarfrost like ashes, by hail like bread crumbs, and by ice that freezes everything (cf. Ps 147,16-17). On the other hand, another divine command causes the warm wind to blow, bringing summer and melting the ice: so the rainwater and torrents can run freely, water the earth and make it fruitful.

Therefore, the Word of God is the source of the cold and the heat, of the cycle of the seasons and of the flow of life in nature. Humanity is invited to recognize and thank the Creator for the fundamental gift of the universe that surrounds it, allows it to breathe, feeds and sustains it.

4. We now move on to the third and last part of our hymn of praise (cf. Ps 147,19-20). We return to the Lord of history with whom we began. The divine Word brings Israel an even more important and precious gift, that of the Law, of Revelation. A specific gift: "He has not dealt thus with any other nation; they do not know his ordinances" (Ps 147,20).

Thus the Bible is the treasure of the Chosen People who must draw on it with love and with faithful devotion. This is what Moses says to the Hebrews in Deuteronomy: "And what great nation is there that has statutes and ordinances so righteous as all this law which I set before you this day?" (Dt 4,8).

5. Just as there are two glorious actions of God in creation and in history, so there are also two revelations: one is inscribed in nature itself and open to all; the other given to the Chosen People, who must witness to it and communicate it to all humanity what is contained in Sacred Scripture. Two distinct Revelations, but God is one and his Word is one. All things were made through the Word - as the Prologue of John's Gospel says - and without him nothing was made of all that exists. Yet the Word also became "flesh", namely, he entered history and pitched his tent among us (cf. Jn 1,3 Jn 1,14).

37 To the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors the Holy Father said:

I wish to greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today's Audience, especially those from England, Ireland, Australia, Japan, Canada and the United States. Upon you and your families I cordially invoke the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

At the end, the Holy Father commented in Italian on Friday's (7 June) Solemnity of the Sacred Heart.

On Friday we will celebrate the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus that reminds us of the mystery of divine Love for people of every age. Dear young people, prepare yourselves in the school of the Heart of Jesus to face with confidence the tasks that await you. I thank you, dear sick persons, for the spiritual help you give the Christian People accepting to accomplish the will of God in fruitful union with the saving sacrifice of the Crucified One. I wish you newly-weds great happiness as you walk daily in faithfulness to the love of God of which your spousal love should be the powerful witness.

I cordially greet the directors and workers of the Daimler Chrysler Corporation and I thank them for the new Popemobile that they have given to the Pope. Cordial thanks.

The Pope will use the vehicle, a mother-of-pearl coloured M430 Mercedes-Benz, for the first time during World Youth Day in Toronto.