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Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Pope prays for seafarers
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 The Pope has praised the Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) ahead of World Maritime Day on Thursday. He also urged everyone to pray for seafarers on this day, which is observed as the feastday of Our Lady Star of the Sea (Stella Maris). At the end of his weekly Angelus address at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, Pope Benedict XVI told the crowds in English: "Next Thursday is World Maritime Day and I would like to invite all of you to pray for the men and women involved in seafaring, and for their families." The Holy Father continued: "I thank the Lord for the work of the Apostleship of the Sea, which for many years has offered human and spiritual support to those who live this difficult and challenging way of life May Our Lady, Star of the Sea, look down in love upon seafarers and their families and upon all those who care for their human and spiritual needs." A few days earlier at the Vatican during his traditional Wednesday general audience, the Pope blessed the original six-foot icon of Our Lady Star of the Sea (Stella Maris), which had been brought to Rome for the AOS European conference during a short break in its tour around Britain's coastline. The icon was commissioned by AOS in Great Britain and painted by renowned neo-Coptic iconographer Dr Stéphane René. Commodore Chris York, National Director of AOS in Great Britain, said: "I am delighted that the Pope chose to congratulate us for our work so publicly, and to express his real pastoral concern for the conditions of international seafarers who transport 95 percent of world trade in difficult and often dangerous conditions." Source: AOS
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