Sunday, 30 January 2011

Pope Benedict Affirms Solidarity With Lepers

The Holy Father mentioned today's commemoration after he had prayed the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter's Square. Speaking in Italian he said:

Si celebra in questa domenica la “Giornata mondiale dei malati di lebbra”, promossa negli anni ’50 del secolo scorso da Raoul Follereau e riconosciuta ufficialmente dall’ONU. La lebbra, pur essendo in regresso, purtroppo colpisce ancora molte persone in condizione di grave miseria. A tutti i malati assicuro una speciale preghiera, che estendo a quanti li assistono e, in diversi modi, si impegnano a sconfiggere il morbo di Hansen. Saluto in particolare l’Associazione Italiana Amici di Raoul Follereau, che compie 50 anni di attività.

My unofficial translation:

This Sunday we celebrate "World Leprosy Day " promoted in the 1950's by Raoul Follereau and officially recognized by the UN. Leprosy, although declining, still unfortunately affects many people in conditions of extreme poverty. I assure all those who suffer of my special prayer, which I extend to those who assist them and, in different ways, are committed to defeating Hansen's disease. I greet in particular the Italian Association Amici di Raoul Follereau, which has completed 50 years of it's activity.

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