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Listening to the New Testament through your headphones at all latitudes

· The international project “Fides ex auditu” by the organization Faith Comes by Hearing ·

Obsculta, o fili, praecepta magistri, et inclina aurem cordis tui “Listen, son” reads the Prologue in the Rule of St Benedict, which has changed the lives of millions of people from the sixth century of the Christian era to today. The simplest thing but not easier -- simple and easy are not synonymous – is to listen, to make room inside ones mind and life for a voice that comes from outside; a message that at first may sound strange, odd and irrelevant, but that over the time proves capable of revealing man to himself.

The non-profit organization Faith Comes by Hearing of Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary year this year, was born to spread the Word of God to those who can not or do not wish to read it, to “reach poor, literate and illiterate” people who can not access these texts – more than half of the world's population – but also for digital people who gladly replace a book with an audio file that can be downloaded on their iPod.

The objective of Faith Comes by Hearing is to produce audio versions of the New Testament and of the Sacred Scripture in various languages throughout the world: in 30 years the audio versions have come out in 600 languages.

The latest file is “Catholic esperanto”: an audio version of the New Vulgate in Latin available since last December: a copy of the CD was presented to Benedict XVI during the General Audience on Wednesday, 11 January.

Beside the Digital Bible Project, designed to reach two billion online surfers and six billion smartphones and mobile phones (with free download applications from htt://Biblium.is) there is also Proclaimer, a sort of “portable Pentecost”, or better, a megaphone of the Word of God with solar-powered panel and a crank for resorting to kinetic energy in case of bad weather, “able to work – we read in the brochure – in environments with temperatures ranging from minus 13 to more than 140 degrees Farenheit even outdoors, under a tree, in villages completely lacking in electricity.

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