Pope Prays the Angelus in Hometown of Cardinal Bertone


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VATICAN CITY, 19 JUL 2009 (VIS) - This morning Benedict XVI travelled by helicopter from Les Combes in the Italian region of Valle d'Aosta, where he is spending a holiday, to Romano Canavese in the region of Piedmont, birthplace of Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. There the Pope prayed the Angelus in the main square of the town in the company of some three thousand faithful.

Before the Marian prayer the Pope greeted Cardinal Bertone whom he described as "my closest collaborator, as he was for a number of years in the past when I was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith". Benedict XVI also thanked the people who had expressed concern for his health over recent days, and mentioned the medical team of the hospital in Aosta where he underwent an operation on Friday for a fractured wrist. "As you see", he said, "because of my accident my agility is somewhat limited, yet I am fully here in heart and am filled with joy to be among you".

The Pontiff spoke of his Secretary of State's home region, its centuries-old ties with the Church of Rome and the industriousness of is inhabitants. "Yet", he went on, "I know that here too, in the area of Ivrea, many families are experiencing situations of economic hardship due to the lack of work. I have already spoken of this problem on a number of occasions and have dealt with it more profoundly in my recent Encyclical 'Caritas in veritate'".

"Do not be discouraged!" cried Pope Benedict. "Providence always helps people who work for good and are committed to justice, ... people who think not only of themselves but also of those less fortunate. You know this well because your forebears were compelled to emigrate because of a lack of work, but then economic development brought wellbeing and others have immigrated here from Italy and from abroad. The fundamental values of the family and respect for human life, sensitivity to social justice, an ability to face hardship and sacrifice, the powerful bond with Christian faith through parish life and especially through participation in Mass, have for many centuries been your true strength. These same values will allow today's generation to build their future with hope, giving life to a truly united and fraternal society in which ... institutions and the economy are permeated with evangelical spirit.

"I particularly address the young", he added. "It is important to ask what kind of culture is proposed to them, what examples and models they are presented with, and to decide if they are such as to encourage them to follow the ways of the Gospel and of true freedom. Young people are full of resources, but they must be helped to overcome the temptation to follow easy and illusory paths, and to find their way to the true and full Life".

Finally, the Pope recalled how the diocese of which Romano Canavese is part owes much "to the sons and daughters of Don Bosco, to their widespread and fruitful presence throughout the area. ... May this be a further cause of encouragement for your diocesan community to make ever greater efforts in the field of education and of stimulating vocations".