A vast crowd of 200,000 gathered in St. Peter's Square, Rome, April 2, to hear?
A vast crowd of 200,000 gathered in St. Peter's Square, Rome, April 2, to hear Pope John XXIII make his Easter sermon to the world from the centre balcony of St. Peter's Basilica.
Referring to the international situation, the Pope said: "With anxiety and distress we are watching the terrifying action of a large number of men whose threatening agitation disturbs and troubles those who love justice and liberty and who prefer to upheaval a life which is laborious, honourable, beneficent and tranquil."
He continued: "These men who belong to human society are by nature our brothers, but they do not know what they are doing".
Pope John quoted the words of Christ from the Cross: "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." To be indulgent to these men, he said, "means nothing else than to apply correctly the last judgement and the last prayer of the dying Jesus."
Finally he delivered his Apostolic Blessing, "Urbi et Orbi" (to the City and to the World). The crowd fell to its knees and church bells rang,
The Pope's address was televised throughout Europe by Eurovision and broadcast by radio stations in twelve countries linked to the Vatican radio. The sermon was broadcast in 16 languages.