"Peace is a shared endeavor in which the Church wishes to participate, as she is at the service of man and, implicitly, at the service of God." John Paul II wrote these words in a letter to French Bishop Saint-Flour for the celebration of the millennial election of Gerbert de Aurillac to the papacy. With the name Sylvester II, the French Pope guided the Church into the second millenium.
    "At this time in our world, when we are subjected to innumerable changes and have a profound need for peace," John Paul II wrote, Gerbert de Aurillac has left us a very clear message: "To pacify, to congregate and to unify in Christ."
    The Pope's idea of peace, inspired in that of Sylvester II, goes well beyond the silencing of arms. "This peace must be a reality in a great variety of circumstances, as the field of human activity is very varied. Peace will be possible if man refers to the Gospel, and to fundamental human and moral values and respect for every person."
    Sylvester II was the first French Pope in history. His brief pontificate lasted from April 2, 999 to May 12, 1003; hence his identification as the Pope of the millennium.
    "On the threshold of the third millennium, when violence and war continue, and Christians are still disunited, the figure of Gerbert challenges us to a tireless search for peace and unity, and for dialogue, while respecting truth and forgiveness."

10:00am 14/4/99 / Zenit


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