From AGI online:
Vatican City, 12 Jan - The Pope commented today on the Apocalypse before the 7,000 people attending the General Papal Audience today in the Nervi Hall, indicating that the fight between good and evil, personified by Satan, is a very hard one, as shown by the manifold violence and injustice in the world today, however the outcome is certain, evil will be vanquished. Pope John Paul II explained, "God and the Lamb, Christ, surrounded by the 'Council of the Crown', are judging human history in good and evil, but showing us however the ultimate end in salvation and glory. The songs which are found in the Apocalypse and which serve to illustrate the issue of divine glory which regulates the flux, often disconcerting, of the tide of human events". Of great significance is the first part of the hymn intoned by the 24 ancients who seem to incarnate the chosen people in their two historic stages, the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles of the Church. The Pope continued, Satan, the original adversary, who accused our brothers in the heavenly court, has now been cast down from heaven and therefore no longer has great power. He knows he has not much time left because history is about to see a radical turning point in freedom from evil and therefore he is reacting full of great fury. And then the resurrected Christ will rise up, whose blood is the principle of salvation and who received from the Father royal power over the entire universe, in Him are centred salvation, strength and the kingdom of our God. In his victory are associated the Christian martyrs who chose the path of the cross, not yielding to evil and it virulence, but delivering themselves to the Father and uniting themselves to the death of Christ by means of a testimony of donation and courage which brought them to give up life in order to die". He concluded, "the words of the Apocalypse regarding those who have vanquished Satan and evil through the blood of the Lamb, echo also in the splendid prayer attributed to the Christian martyr Simeon, from Seleucia-Ctesifonte in Persia, 'I will receive life without pain, worry, anguish, persecutor, persecuted, oppressor, oppressed, tyrant or victim, there I will see no threat of king, or terror of prefects, no-one will quote me in court or terrorise me and no-one will drag me or scare me".