Sixty thousand Roman Catholic pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square, Rome, Apr 18, to receive?
Sixty thousand Roman Catholic pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square, Rome, Apr 18, to receive the Easter benediction administered annually by the Holy Father "urbi et orbi" - to the City and the World.
As millions of European viewers watched the ceremony over the Eurovision network, Pope John XXIII said: "Many of our brethren do not enjoy any kind of freedom, personal or civil or religious. Year after year they have been enduring restraint and violence, and perfecting a sacrifice wrought in silence and continuous oppression."
"And our sorrowing gaze turns also to the other children of God everywhere, suffering because of race or economic conditions, and giving reason for anxiety, or through the limitation on the exercise of their natural and civil rights. Would that these also could hear at least an echo of their Father's voice, offering them comfort."
When the Pontiff left the balcony, hundreds of doves were released from boxes beneath the colonnades of the square.