2014-10-09 16:44:00

For Paul VI the moon walk was a recognition of God's handiwork

(Vatican Radio)  It was July 20, 1969 when Paul VI sent a radio message hurtling through space across a quarter million mile void, to the men who had just fulfilled an ancient human dream, that of walking on the moon.

Listen to this programme presented and produced by Veronica Scarisbrick: 

For Paul VI who is to be beatified by Pope Francis on October 19, 2014  the moon walk was a recognition of the greatness of God's handiwork, the moon itself he personified poetically as the pale lamp of our nights.

As the tiny lunar module neared the surface of the mooon, scouring the land for a safe stretch to touch down on, like everyone else at the time Paul VI was glued to the television screen at his summer residence in Castegandolfo which houses the Vatican Observatory.  

Often caught peering at lunar landscapes through the telescope at this Vatican Observatory Paul VI had always shown a special interest in space travel. In the very first speech of his pontificate he said that, with the blessing of God, it had opened up a new era for humanity.

And on a later occasion he had presented an astronaut with a special bronze plaque to be laid on the surface of the moon, with  the words from a Psalm engraved on it : 'O Lord our God, how great your name throughout the earth'.

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