Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"La Carezza del Papa"

On this half-century of his election, it's well worth re-running one of John XXIII's most-celebrated moments: the impromptu "Moonlight Talk" he gave from his window on 11 October 1962 at the close of a candlelight vigil commemorating the opening of Vatican II, which took place earlier that day....

Dear sons and daughters,

Feeling your voices, mine is just one voice that sums up the voice of the whole world.

All the world is represented here tonight, and it could even be said that the moon hastens close to watch this spectacle that not even St Peter's Basilica, over its four centuries of history, has ever been able to witness.

My own person counts for nothing -- it's a brother who speaks to you, become a father by the will of our Lord but all together, fatherhood and brotherhood and God's grace, give honor to the impressions of this night, which are always our feelings, which now we express before heaven and earth: faith, hope, love, love of God, love of brother, all aided along the way in the Lord's holy peace for the work of the good.

As you head home and find your children, embrace your children and tell them: "This is the embrace of the Pope." And when you find them with tears to dry, give them a good word, tell them the Pope is with us especially in our times of sadness and bitterness.