The Christian world has been shocked by events in Egypt. The Holy Father yesterday referred to this after praying the Angelus. The text, from Vatican Information Services is reprinted in full below:
PRAYERS FOR VICTIMS OF MASSACRE AT COPTIC CHURCH IN EGYPT
VATICAN CITY, 2 JAN 2011 (VIS) – At midday today the Pope appeared at the
window of his study in the Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with
thousands of faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
The Pope again expressed his felicitations for the new year, and thanked
everyone who had sent him “messages of spiritual support”.
Commenting on today’s reading, a reiteration of the prologue of the St.
John’s Gospel as proclaimed on Christmas Day, the Pope highlighted how “this
wondrous text expresses, in the form of a hymn, the mystery of the
Incarnation as preached by the eye witnesses, the Apostles and in particular
St. John whose feast falls on 27 December”.
Benedict XVI then addressed some remarks to thousands of people gathered
in Plaza de Colon in Madrid, Spain, who were following him on live
television linkup. They are celebrating, for the fourth consecutive year,
the feast of the family which has as its theme this year: “The Christian
family. Hope for Europe”.
“I invite you”, said Benedict XVI, “to be strong in love and humbly to
contemplate the mystery of Christmas, which continues to speak to our hearts
and becomes a school of family and fraternal life. The maternal gaze of the
Virgin Mary, the loving protection of St. Joseph and the sweet presence of
the Baby Jesus provide a clear image of how each Christian family should be:
a true shrine of fidelity, respect and understanding in which faith is
transmitted, hope fortified and charity enflamed. I encourage everyone to
live their Christian vocation with renewed enthusiasm in the home, as
genuine servants of the love which welcomes, accompanies and defends life.
Make your houses true seedbeds of virtue, and serene and luminous areas of
trust in which, guided by the grace of God, it is possible to discern the
call of the Lord Who continues to invite us to follow Him. With these
feelings I fervently entrust the goals and fruits of your meeting to the
Holy Family, that joy, mutual commitment and generosity may reign in a
growing number of families”.
After the Angelus prayer the Holy Father referred to “news of the serious
attack against the Coptic Christian community in Alexandria, Egypt. This
vile and murderous gesture, like that of placing bombs near the houses of
Christians in Iraq to force them to leave, offends God and all humankind,
which only yesterday prayed for peace and began a new year with hope. In the
face of these strategies of violence, which aim against Christians but have
consequences on the entire population, I pray for the victims and their
relatives, and encourage ecclesial communities to persevere in the faith and
in the witness of non-violence which comes to us from the Gospel. I think
also of the many pastoral workers killed in various parts of the world in
the course of 2010. For them too we equally express our affectionate
remembrance before the Lord. Let us remain united in Christ, our hope and