Yesterday Pope Benedict visited San Marino. You remember, San Marino is the oldest republic founded by Saint Marin, a deacon, and Saint Leo who escaped the clutches of the Emperor Diocletian by coming from Dalmatia to Rimini. San Marino is in central Italy with about 24 square miles with a population of about 31K. San Marino was first founded as a monastic community in the early period of the 4th century and today it is governed by a constitution adopted in 1600 and is still in effect. Two interesting facts: Saint Agatha is the patron saint and Abraham Lincoln was an honorary citizen.
Follow the Pope in a historical way (even spiritually) who'll notice his insistence on Europeans --indeed all nations with Christian roots-- preserving and appreciating Christian tradition as the moral ground of society. There's a tendency today to push aside one's Christian patrimony in favor of a secularist mentality that rejects Christ and His Gospel. It seems that we are now embarrassed by our belief in Christ; we longer say with confidence that Christ died for me and that He's now risen from the dead and that the Holy Spirit lives in us; that we are scared by what others are going to say and I dare say we'd rather be superficial and believe in nothing than accept the offer of Love from God. Why is it that Christ, who is the source of our being and our destiny is easily dismissed?
In San Marino, Pope Benedict exhorts us all to hold fast to what has been given to us: freedom, love, and meaning.
My heartfelt gratitude for your hospitality, in particular I express my gratitude to the captains regent, also for the courteous words they addressed to me. I greet the members of the government and of the Congress, as well as the diplomatic corps and all the other authorities gathered here. In addressing you, I embrace ideally the whole people of San Marino. From its birth, this republic has had friendly relations with the Apostolic See, and in recent times they have been intensified and consolidated; my presence here, in the heart of this ancient republic, expresses and confirms this friendship