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Saturday, June 19, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JUN 19, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was a message from the Holy Father to Bishop Egidio Caporello of Mantova, on the occasion of the special Jubilee for the 12th centenary of the Italian diocese, founded in 804, which began on November 30, 2003 and will conclude on November 21, 2004, Solemnity of Christ the King.

  The Pope writes in the Message dated June 10, Solemnity of Corpus Christi, that "the Church of Mantova has put Christ, hidden behind the veil of the species of the Eucharistic, at the center of the Jubilee celebrations."

   "Daily participation in the Eucharist," he continues, " the nourishment of eternal life, is capable of transforming the life of believers. ... The Eucharist gives us the courage and joy to be saints. The Jubilee is, therefore, an appropriate occasion to take a closer look at the universal vocation to sanctity. The world needs people who are saints more than anything else."

  After highlighting the social changes and economic difficulties that Italy is experiencing, John Paul II says that "a certain consumer and secularized mentality undermines the unity and stability of families, and, seducing a growing number of Christians, it leads them to distance themselves from the values of the faith in the social, civil and political spheres. It is necessary to react to these destructive forces, and, therefore, we must rediscover the Christian roots of our culture. All the faithful are called to this duty and will contribute effectively to this urgent need if they put Christ at the center of every personal, community and family project. Beginning with Him, we can build up a world that is more just and fraternal."


VATICAN CITY, JUN 19, 2004 (VIS) - Pope John Paul today received a group of pilgrims from the Italian diocese of Aversa, accompanied by Archbishop Mario Milano and by Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, who was born in Carinaro in this diocese.

  The Pope recalled his meeting with faithful from Aversa in Rome in the Jubilee Year 2000 when he reminded them of "the importance of material and spiritual solidarity. I issue the same invitation today: 'Be witnesses of solidarity'. A solidarity that is born from the most immediate aspects of daily life, from work to welfare, to give life to a more just and fair society."

  He underscored that "next to the social spheres, the sense of solidarity and reciprocal aid must also mark those of spiritual communion and the evangelizing mission of every Christian community. Is holiness not the highest witness of solidarity that your diocese is called to offer the men and women of our times? Yes! Dear brothers and sisters, proclaim with coherence Christ and His Gospel with generous fidelity and trusting abandon to the divine will. Nourish your existence with fervent prayer, docile listing to the Word of God and frequent recourse to the sacraments, especially Confession and the Eucharist."

  In concluding, the Holy Father urged the faithful to "pursue the path you have undertaken, aided by the grace of today's pilgrimage. May God make fruitful your intentions of ecclesial communion and a commitment to the new evangelization."

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