On the eve of the Week of Prayer for Christian unity and on the World Day of Migrants
and Refugees, Pope Benedict spoke of the experience of the many men and women who
are forced to leave their own country. He said migration, which is sometimes voluntary,
is sometimes "forced by war or persecution." The Pope said the Church - remembering
the Holy Family - has always lived within itself the experience of migration.
if on the one hand the movement of Christians would be an impoverishment for the countries
where their ancestors lived, the Holy Father said, on the other it is an opportunity
to increase the missionary zeal of the Word of God.
The theme of the papal
message for the Day "One human family," affirms that all people are one community,
implying that it is imperative that Christians, although scattered throughout the
world and, therefore, of different cultures and traditions, may be one, as the Lord
wishes. He said this is the purpose of the "Week of Prayer for Christian Unity",
and this year it is inspired by a passage from the Acts of the Apostles: " One in
the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer” The Pope also pointed
out The Octave is preceded, tomorrow, by the day of Jewish-Christian dialogue: a very
significant juncture, which recalls the importance of the common roots that unite
Jews and Christians.
After reciting the Angelus, Pope Benedict expressed his
joy at the upcoming beatification of Pope John Paul II, which is on May 1st.
He said the date is significant: it will be the Second Sunday of Easter, which he
dedicated to the Divine Mercy, on the eve of which his earthly life ended. Pope Benedict
said those who knew him, those who have respected and loved him, can not but rejoice
with the Church for this event.
And finally, the Holy Father said he was praying
specially for the flood victims in Australia, Brazil, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.