Solidarity a Global Challenge, Says Pope

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 11, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI says he is convinced that solidarity is the great challenge of the globalized world.

"[O]nly through a common commitment to sharing [is it] possible to respond to the great challenge of our time: that of building up a world of peace and justice in which every man can live with dignity," the Pope said today before leading the praying of the midday Angelus in St. Peter's Square.

He added, "This can happen if a global model of authentic solidarity prevails, one that is able to assure all the inhabitants of the planet food, water, necessary medicines, and also work and energy resources, as well as cultural goods and scientific and technological knowledge."

The Holy Father meditated on the example left by the saint that the Church celebrates today, Martin of Tours (316-397), a soldier, bishop, and founder of the oldest known monastery in Europe.

The Pope recalled that St. Martin has passed into history above all for an act of fraternal charity, which has inspired numerous artists, such as El Greco.

"While still a young soldier, he met a poor man along the road who was frozen and trembling from the cold," the Pontiff explained. "Martin took his own cloak and cutting it with his sword, gave half of it to the man. That night Jesus appeared to Martin in a dream, smiling and wrapped in the cloak."

Benedict XVI exhorted all Christians "to be, like St. Martin, generous witnesses of the Gospel of charity and tireless builders of solidary sharing."

ZE07111109 - 2007-11-11


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