(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis surprised German-speaking pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday, when he greeted them at the end of the weekly General Audience with a few improvised words in their native tongue.
“I am pleased to welcome the pilgrims from German-speaking countries and the Netherlands,” began the Holy Father, adding, “I greet in particular the faithful of the Diocese of Passau.” At that point, the Holy Father departed from his prepared remarks to invoke Our Lady, who has a famous shrine in Passau, which is a suffragan diocese of Munich and Friesing.
“You call to mind the Virgin of Altötting,” he said.
Pope Benedict XVI visited the shrine – the national shrine of the old Kingdom of Bavaria – during his 2006 trip, which also took him to Munich and Regensburg.
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