Pope Francis honors each of the soldiers of D-Day

Troops of E Company, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division, wade onto the Fox Green section of Omaha Beach, June 6, 1944. Credit: Chief Robert F. Sargent/US Coast Guard.

In a letter sent Friday to French bishops, Pope Francis paid homage to the men who fought in the D-Day invasion of Normandy 70 years ago, which was one of the key turning points in World War II.

“His Holiness Pope Francis unites himself wholeheartedly to the intercession of those who commemorate the tragic events which occurred here seventy years ago, and prays for peace,” read the letter sent June 6 by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, to Bishop Jean-Claude Boulanger of Bayeux (-Lisieux), in whose territory the Normandy landing occurred.

On June 6, 1944, more than 150,000 Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy to begin the liberation of Europe from Nazi occupation. As many as 13,000 soldiers died that day.

The Pope's message commended the sacrifice of those who “left their homeland to land on the beaches of Normandy, with the aim of combating Nazi barbarity, freeing occupied France,” and also urged that we “not forget the German soldiers driven into this drama, like all victims of this war.”

“It is fitting that today's generations express their full appreciation to those who accepted such a great sacrifice.”

By the message, which was sent also to Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois of Paris, Pope Francis took the opportunity to encourage Europe to remember and appreciate its Christian roots.

He wrote that “this commemoration reminds us that the exclusion of God from the lives of persons and societies can bring only death and suffering.”

“The European nations can find in the Gospel of Christ, the prince of peace, the root of their history, and the source of inspiration for the establishment of ever more links of fraternity and solidarity.”

The message concluded by entrusting the cause of peace to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.


Voices

Appreciating the gift of memory

Anne Hansen

Why do we hold on to so many things in closets, garages and storage units? What is it about the birth announcement of an adult child or the high school diploma of an elderly grandparent that keeps these objects carefully saved rather than discarded? They are of no use to anyone and take up space. Yet they are precious and difficult to part with.

 

 

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January 26, 2015

  • Monday, January 26

    Food trucks, 5:30-9 p.m., Our Mother of Good Counsel Church, 2060 N Vermont Ave., Los Angeles. Every Monday except holidays and rain. 10% of all sales go to OMGC school. 

    Bible Study: “Priest, Prophet, King,” 7-8:30 p.m., Holy Trinity Parish Center auditorium, 209 N Hanford Avenue, San Pedro. Monday nights through Feb. 16. Call (310) 548-6535 to register.

    AB 60 (Drivers License Initiative) Workshop, 7 p.m., St. Rose of Lima, 4450 East 60th Street, Maywood. Free. (323) 560-2381.

    Holy Silence Contemplative Prayer Group offers a book study and discussion on the Desert Fathers, 7:30-9 p.m., St Andrew Russian Greek Catholic Church, 538 Concord St., El Segundo. (310) 322-1892.

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