VATICAN CITY (SAR NEWS) — Alluding to the ongoing anti-Christian persecutions in India, Pope Benedict XVI alluded to India six times, both directly and indirectly, in his brief address to the pilgrims who came from India.
Each time the Pope mentioned the name Sister Alphonsa or India, the Indians in the piazza went wild some waving the tri-colour they carried with them and others clapping their hands. The Vatican Television captured those rapturous moments on the giant screens.
In the first instance, commenting on the parable of the guests at the wedding banquet and the sufferings of persecuted Christians the pope said St. Alphonsa was convinced that “such a cross was the very means of reaching the heavenly banquet prepared for her.”
The Pope also mentioned the 12-member Government of India’s official delegation which included Ministers like Oscar Fernandes, Moncy Joseph, M. Jacob, K.M. Mani, Dr. Jancy James, Cyriac Thomas, P.C. George and others.
In the third instance, the Pope said: “Her (St. Alphonsa’s) suffering reminds us that God always provides us the strength to over come every evil.”
He further said, “I wish to assure them (persecuted Christians of India) of my prayers during this difficult time, commending, commending to the providential care of Almighty God persons (who) try for peace and reconciliations.”
The fifth time, in a strongly worded pleading, he appealed, “I urge the perpetrators of the violence to renounce that, join the brothers and sisters to work together in building a civilisation of love.”
In the last instance before the Angelus prayer, Benedict XVI recalled the “violence against Christians in Iraq and India, “whom I remember each day before the Lord.”