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Rome Reports

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Pope dedicates the audience to Peter the Venerable

Despite his pressing responsibilities and frequent travels in the service of the Church, Peter maintained a contemplative spirit, deep inner tranquillity, rigorous asceticism and a capacity for warm friendships. His ability to combine love of God with sincere love of neighbour found expression in a lively sense of the Church. He urged all the members of Christ’s Body to be concerned for the trials and difficulties of the universal Church, and he expressed an interest in those outside the Church, specifically Jews and Muslims, in ways which were remarkable for his day. Prayer stood at the heart of Peter’s theology and spirituality, which were nourished by the monastic liturgy and meditation on the mysteries of Christ’s life. At Cluny he introduced the feast of the Transfiguration and composed its prayers, centred on the contemplation of the glorious face of Christ. By his ability to combine prayer and contemplation with love of neighbour and a commitment to the renewal of society, Peter the Venerable reflected the Benedictine ideal and serves as an example to Christians today in their efforts to live holy and integrated lives in our often stressful society.

I offer a warm welcome to the English-speaking pilgrims present at today’s Audience, including the pupils and staff from Saint Andrew’s High School, Carntyne, Glasgow, and other school and university groups from England and Norway. May your visit to Rome be a time of deep spiritual renewal. Upon all of you I invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace!