Pope says rain a sign of Divine Love
As Australia's grain marketing board was forecasting a bumper winter grain crop after good drought-breaking rains, the Holy Father was telling an audience that rain is the "first sign of divine love".
"The first sign of divine love is the rain that fecundates the earth," he said at yesterday's weekly General Audience, delivered at the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo outside Rome.
However he was not giving thanks for rains received. In the context of unusually extreme heatwave and drought conditions in Europe, his speech represented an act of wishful thinking. He was meditating on Psalm 146, which refers to drought "in an often dry landscape like in the Orient".
Reports indicate that the health of the Holy Father himself has suffered during the current European heatwave.
Graincorp's winter of content (Daily Telegraph)
Garden jobs go down the drain (Herald-Sun)
Pope Health in Spotlight as Heatwave Grips Italy (Reuters)
24 Jul 2003