Six thousand Polish pilgrims joined Pope John Paul II on Monday morning in his celebration of the 22nd anniversary of his pontificate.
    Many children were on hand in the Vatican general audience auditorium, having come with their parents to participate in this past weekend's Jubilee of Families. They received the Holy Father's blessing after singing Polish songs that called on God's blessing for the future.
    The Pope reminded the audience that the Jubilee Year is about Christ's salvation. He said in his mother tongue that Christ showed profound respect for the dignity of every human creature, even the unborn.
    He encouraged those working to defend the dignity of life, marriage and the family. He also thanked all those present for their prayers and congratulatory messages send to him over the past few days.
    "I feel their strength and fruits," he said: "It is a beautiful spiritual gift for me."
    Zenit (available soon)
18 Oct 00

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