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Pope dedicates statue of St. Michael Archangel; Benedict attends ceremony

Catholic World News - July 05, 2013

Pope Francis dedicated a statue of St. Michael the Archangel in the Vatican Gardens on July 5. Pope-emeritus Benedict attended the ceremony, making his first official public appearance at the Vatican since his resignation.

Pope Francis had specifically invited his predecessor to participate in the official unveiling of the new statue, Vatican officials said. The retired Pontiff sat beside Pope Francis during the ceremony. He was warmly greeted by the small crowd that assembled for the occasion, but did not speak.

“We consecrate Vatican City State to St. Michael Archangel, asking him to defend us against evil and to banish it,” the Pope said as he dedicated the statue, which he described as “an invitation to reflection and prayer.” St. Michael, he said, “defends the People of God from enemies and above all from the greatest enemy of all, the evil.”

“This sculpture reminds us that evil is vanquished,” Pope Francis said.

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