Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "The Saints Peter and Paul not only shine in the sky of Rome," but "in the heart of all believers in all parts of the world ...": During the Angelus, Benedict XVI solemnly reaffirmed the ecumenical and universal value of the feast of the two apostles celebrated today. Earlier, the pontiff presided over Mass in the basilica of St. Peter in the presence of Orthodox delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Anglican choir of Westminster Abbey and 44 archbishops on whom he bestowed the pallium, a sign of communion with the See of Peter.
Citing the Basilica and St. Peter's Square, along with the basilica of St. Paul on the road to Ostia, the Pope recalled that "Rome bears inscriptions in its history of the life and glorious death of the humble fisherman of Galilee and the Apostle to the Gentiles, whom she has rightly chosen as her Protectors. Recalling their luminous testimony, we remember the venerable beginnings of the Church that in Rome believes prays and proclaims, Christ the Redeemer. But the Saints Peter and Paul not only shine in the sky of Rome, but in the heart of all believers who, enlightened by their teaching and by their example, all over the world walk the path of faith, hope and charity".
"On this road to salvation - he added - the Christian community, supported by the presence of the Spirit of the living God, feels encouraged to continue strong and serene on the path of fidelity to Christ and proclamation of his Gospel to men of all time. The bestowing of the pallium upon the metropolitan archbishops, which took place this morning in the Basilica, is also part of this fruitful spiritual and missionary itinerary. An always eloquent rite, it highlights the intimate communion of pastors with the Successor of Peter and the deep bond that binds us to the apostolic tradition. This is a double treasure of holiness, which blends together the unity and catholicity of the Church: a precious treasure to be rediscovered and lived with renewed enthusiasm and continued commitment. "
He concluded: "Dear pilgrims, gathered here from all over the world! In this day of celebration, we pray with the Liturgy East:" Praise be to Peter and Paul, these two great lights of the Church, they shine in the firmament of Faith. "In this climate, I would like to extend a special greeting to the Delegation of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, who, as usual, came to take our part in these traditional celebrations. May the Blessed Virgin leads all believers in Christ to the goal of full unity! ".