50,000 pledge loyalty at Papal Mass for ` Rerum Novarum' jubilee
FORTY thousand workers and labour leaders from 12 nations, meeting in Rome to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Encyclical "Rerum Novarum," massed in St. Peter's Square on Monday night after a torchlight parade through Rome and cheered the Pope for over half an hour.
They had met at the Basilica of Massenzio and listened to speeches by numerous delegates commemorating Pope Leo XIII's " Workers' Charter."
Among the delegates who spoke were Mgr. Theodore Huurdeman, Vicar General of Utrecht; Karl Lang, president of the Catholic Workers' Group of Southern Germany, and others from Belgium. France and Spain.
Carrying torches. the workers then paraded through Rome and massed in St. Peter's Square, where each delegation, sang a national hymn. Finally, they united to sing a hymn, and then began chanting for the Pope to appear. The Holy Father waved to the workers from his window.
Their persistent cheering caused him to appear three times.
' BE FIRM '
Fifty thousand people crowded into St. Peter's on Whit Sunday to attend the Mass the Holy Father celebrated for the diamond jubilee of the Encyclical.
During the Mass His Holiness delivered a brief address which Vatican Radio broadcast to the world.
The Pope appealed to workers of all nations to work for social harmony in each country as a basis for world peace.
"We ask God for social peace and collaboration among all workers, beloved sons and daughters. in all your countries. to gain the precious good which is peace." His Holiness declared.
Are you ready to meet this promise to pray and struggle for this peace?" In seven languages the 50,000
answered with a resounding shout of "Yes."
The social programme of the Church rests on three solid columns —truth. justice and Christian love— said His Holiness, and he urged the workers, gathered as they were at the Tomb of St. Peter and around his successor. to make a solemn promise " that you will always be guided in your conduct by those three fundamental values and that you will always aim at those goals which the Vicar of Christ has pointed out for your welfare and for your happiness and that of your families.
" Be firm in the faith. firm in fidelity to the Church. The victory of the Church is your victory. It is the victory of the souls which believe in her and are devoted to her."
Ending his address, the Holy Father spoke in English. French, German and Spanish to welcome each foreign delegation and to give to each his special blessing.