VATICAN CITY, 24 MAR 2010 (VIS) – At the end of today’s general audience in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope addressed a special greeting to Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, archbishop of Santiago de Chile, and to Bishop Alejandro Goic Karmelic of Rancagua, president of the Episcopal Conference of Chile, who are currently visiting Rome with a delegation to receive an image of Our Lady of Carmel. The Holy Father spoke of his “affection towards the citizens of that country, which is celebrating its bi- centenary”, and gave assurances that he “will continue to accompany them during these difficult moments following the recent earthquake”.

Turning then to address Polish pilgrims, the Holy Father recalled the fact that tomorrow marks the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. “In Poland”, he remarked, “it is also celebrated as the Day of the Sacredness of Life. The mystery of the Incarnation reveals the specific value of the dignity of human life. God gave us this gift and sanctified it when the Son became man and was born of Mary. It is a gift that must be protected, from conception until natural death. With all my heart I join people involved in various initiatives aimed at respecting life and promoting a new social awareness”.
AG/CHILE LIFE/…VIS 100324 (220)