2010-06-26 09:58:45

Fr Lombardi Editorial : Rome, History and Faith

The feast of Saints Peter and Paul is the most "Roman" of feasts. Indeed, Rome is what it is for the universal Church because it is the place of martyrdom and tombs of the two great apostles.

On this feast day, the archbishops appointed during the year come to Rome to receive the "pallium" from the hands of the Pope, which they will wear on their shoulders during liturgical celebrations as a sign of their union with him in the leadership of their churches and care for the communion of the universal Church. The “palli” are kept in a niche close to the tomb of Peter, under the central altar of the Basilica, directly under the summit of the great dome, which indicates the very heart of the communion of the Church.

Also on this feast day a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, come to Rome as a sign of the fraternity between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, in the hope of a fuller communion.

So for two thousand years those who pray, hope and work for the unity of the community of believers in Christ, have looked to Rome. They come to Rome as pilgrims to find evidence of this troubled history of passion for unity. The gaze of the apostles, present and venerated here since ancient times - as also reflected in the very recent discoveries in the catacombs of Saint Tecla - accompanies us on our journey. The strong faith of the Successor of Peter, his reading of events guided by the Spirit remains the surest reference point for those who want to follow Jesus Christ togther with other believers, in the real story of our history.

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