Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the situation in the Middle East and about the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel today before and after praying the Angelus. Asia News has posted its article on the Holy Father's message given from his vacation retreat in the Italian Alps. He invited all local churches to pray today for peace in the Holy Land and the entire Middle East.
He mentioned that Mount Carmel is only a few kilometers from Lebanon, dominating the city of Haifa, which has been hit in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Lebanon. Describing the history of the mountain, he said:
"Carmel, the headland which rises above the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, at the same level as Galilee, has many natural grottoes among its peaks, sought after by hermits. The most celebrated of these men of God was the great prophet Elijah, who in the IX century before Christ strenuously defended the purity of the faith in the one true God from contamination by idolatrous cults. Drawing inspiration from the figure of Elijah, the contemplative Order of the “Carmelites” emerged . . . ."
Italian television included video of the Angelus together with a short video of the Pope on vacation, visiting with Carmelite nuns on Friday, and playing the piano. Amy Welborn found a link to the video. The TV newscast opens in Windows Media Player and shows about 9:20 minutes of other news before showing the Pope, and it is ofcourse in Italian. The piano video starts about 10:43 minutes into the broadcast. I don't know if the link will still take you to the same newscast once the news is updated or not and didn't find a way to download this particular broadcast, so the link may not be good for long. RAI also has a few other videos of the Pope available online here.