Stronger Pope greets crowds

 Thousands of pilgrims gathered in St Peter's Square this morning to greet and listen to Pope John Paul who appeared at his study window for the Angelus for the second time since leaving Gemelli hospital, where he was a patient for ten days with breathing problems as a complication of the flu. Cheers arose when the Pope read a brief message before the Angelus prayers and greeted several groups, including off-the-cuff remarks, following the Marian prayer. He said: "The spiritual exercises in which I took part, together with many of my collaborators in the Roman Curia, concluded yesterday with a solemn Eucharistic celebration, following by Adoration. The Eucharist is the source from which communion between the members of the mystical body of Christ draws ever new vigour." "In this perspective, the special duty entrusted to Peter and his successors acquires full confirmation: the Petrine ministry is essentially serving the unity of the Church. 'You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church'. Other comforting words of the Lord's echo this promise of His: 'And I have prayed for you (Simon Peter) that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren'." "'Feed my lambs... Tend my sheep'. This invitation of Jesus' is especially alive in my soul when I contemplate the Eucharistic mystery. I entrust all the People of God to Him, the Good Shepherd, in this Lenten walk towards Easter. Let us invoke the support of Mary, Mother of the Church, with the customary Angelus prayer." After the Angelus, the Pope greeted all the faithful in St Peter's Square, including a group from Slovenia, whom he addressed in their language, adding improvised words to the prepared text. Loud cheers erupted when the Pope greeted and blessed the faithful. Source: VIS

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