26-July-2000 -- Vatican Information Service |

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GENERAL AUDIENCE: POPE GREETS PILGRIMS IN 13 LANGUAGES

VATICAN CITY, JUL 26, 2000 (VIS) - Pope John Paul, following today's general audience catechesis in Italian, and summaries in French, English, German, Spanish and Portuguese, greeted the 20,000 pilgrims present in St. Peter's Square in those languages as well as in Latin, Lithuanian, Croatian, Hungarian, Slovakian, Japanese and Korean.

In English, he extended "a special welcome to the visitors from Sendai and Kagoshima in Japan. May God bless you and your families and all your fellow citizens." In Japanese, he added: "Thank you for your visit."

Speaking Latin, the Pope said he was happy to greet promoters of this language who had just concluded an annual course entitled "Aestiva Romae Latinitas." He urged them "to persevere in your studies."

John Paul II told Croatian pilgrims that "the Jubilee celebrations make us feel the need to welcome the Gospel announcement in the social and cultural realities of every nation. ... It is urgent to know how to listen again today to the message of Christian faith and to reflect on it in order to be able to give it vigor once again and to reinforce one's identity, laying out the path to the future."

He concluded his multi-lingual greetings by addressing, in their languages, the Japanese and Korean pilgrims from the Sts. Joachim and Anne Association, with their foundress and spiritual leaders. Pointing out that today is the feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne, parents of the Virgin Mary, he asked that they "might accompany as heavenly protectors older couples in their mission of supporting families."

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