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On the Sacred Heart

"We Adore God's Love of Humanity"

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 6, 2005 (Zenit) - Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave today before praying the Angelus with the crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square.

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Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Last Friday we celebrated the solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, devotion profoundly rooted in the Christian people. In biblical language, "heart" indicates a person's center, seat of his feelings and intentions. In the heart of the Redeemer we adore God's love of humanity, his will of universal salvation, his infinite mercy. Worship of the Sacred Heart of Christ means, therefore, worship of that heart which, after having loved us to the end, was pierced by the spear, and from the cross on high, shed blood and water, inexhaustible source of new life.

The feast of the Sacred Heart has also been the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests, propitious occasion to pray so that presbyters will prefer nothing to the love of Christ. Profoundly devoted to the Sacred Heart of Christ was Blessed Giovanni Battista Scalabrini, bishop and patron of immigrants, the centenary of whose death we observed on June 1. He founded the men and women Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo, known as the "Scalabrini," to proclaim the Gospel among Italian immigrants.

Recalling this great bishop, my thoughts go to those who are far from their homeland and often also from their families; I hope that they will always meet receptive friends and hearts on their path who are capable of supporting them in the difficulties of every day.

Undoubtedly, the heart that is most like Christ's is the heart of Mary, his Immaculate Mother, and precisely for this reason, the liturgy introduces her for our veneration. Responding to the invitation addressed by the Virgin of Fatima, let us commend to her Immaculate Heart, which we contemplated in a particular way yesterday, the whole world so that it will experience the merciful love of God and true peace.

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Angelus, Pope, Benedict, Humanity, God, Love, Solemnity, Jesus

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