ZENIT News Agency, The World Seen from Rome  

Play About Joan of Arc Reminds Pope of Mideast
Production at Castel Gandolfo Prompts Comment

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 22, 2006 (Zenit.org).- After seeing the play "The Mystery of Joan of Arc's Charity," Benedict XVI could not but mention the tragedy in the Middle East and the situations of peoples at war.

The play by French writer Charles Péguy (1873-1914) was acted in the original language by three actresses in the courtyard of the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo last Saturday afternoon, at the initiative of the Archdiocese of Monaco and the principality's embassy to the Holy See.

The play echoes the dramatic cry of the 15th-century national French heroine for an end to the misery and suffering she saw around her.

Moved, the Pope acknowledged that the "representation of this work seems to me to be a particular opportunity."

The Holy Father explained: "In the international context we know today, given the tragic events of the Middle East, the situations of suffering caused by violence in numerous regions of the world, the message transmitted by Charles Péguy in 'The Mystery of Joan of Arc's Charity' continues to be a very useful source of reflection."

The Pope ended his words of gratitude in French to the actresses and organizers of the representation asking God to hear the prayer of St. Joan "and ours, and give our world the peace to which it aspires."