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Benedict XVI Hails 'Mystery of the Charity of Joan of Arc'

Papal Address After Performance of a Péguy Play

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 5, 2006 (Zenit) - Here is a Vatican translation of Benedict XVI's address, in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo, following the performance on Aug. 19 of Charles Péguy's "The Mystery of the Charity of Joan of Arc."

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Dear Friends,

At the end of this remarkable performance of "The Mystery of the Charity of Joan of Arc" which you have offered me this evening, I very warmly thank Archbishop Bernard Barsi of Monaco and the Archdiocese of Monaco who are responsible for this felicitous idea, which I found touching.

I also cordially greet the ambassador of the principality of Monaco to the Holy See and the other authorities present.

Charles Péguy's work, which has just been presented to us by three very talented actresses, has led us to discover Joan of Arc's soul and the root of her vocation.

Through a deep reflection on topics ever present in contemporary thought, we have been introduced into the heart of the Christian mystery. In this extremely rich text, Péguy has been able to convey forcefully Joan's passionate cry to God, imploring him to put an end to the wretchedness and suffering she sees around her, thereby expressing mankind's anxiety and search for happiness.

The remarkable interpretation of "The Mystery of the Charity of Joan of Arc" that has been offered to us also showed us that Joan's pathetic cry, which betrays her distress and helplessness, reveals above all her ardent and lucid faith, marked by hope and courage. Leading us even deeper into meditation, Péguy enables us to glimpse in the "Mystery" of Christ's passion what ultimately gives meaning to the prayer of this young woman, whose spiritual power cannot but move us.

The performance of this work for us this evening seems to me especially appropriate. Indeed, in the international context familiar to us today, in the face of the tragic events in the Middle East and situations of suffering caused by violence in many regions of the world, the message transmitted by Charles Péguy in "The Mystery of the Charity of Joan of Arc" remains a most profitable source of reflection.

May God hear the prayer of the saint of Domremy and our own, and give to our world the peace to which it aspires!

I would like to express my gratitude to the producer, who has been able with great restraint to bring out the essential elements of this masterpiece by Charles Péguy.

I warmly congratulate the actresses who have given us a high-quality interpretation. They have put at the service of the text not only their professional acting skills, but their own interiority, thus drawing us into the sentiments of the characters whom they brought to life before us.

My gratitude also goes to the technicians and to all the people who helped put on this performance, which we will remember with pleasure.

At the end of this beautiful evening, may St. Joan of Arc help us to penetrate the mystery of Christ ever more deeply, to find in it the path to life and happiness!

I wholeheartedly implore an abundant outpouring of the Lord's blessings upon you all.

© Copyright 2006 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana [adapted]


The Vatican  , VA
Pope Benedict XVI - Bishop of Rome, 661 869-1000



Joan of Arc, Charity, Pope

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