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Sentinels of creation in Castel Gandolfo

· Half a million bees given to the Pope for the Pontifical Villas' farm ·

Similia similibus curantur. In reflecting on the significance of the gift offered to the Pope last Sunday by Coldiretti [Italy's largest farming group] – eight hives containing about half a million bees – the motto of Samuel Hahnemann springs  to mind. He was a German doctor who lived between the end of the 18th and the beginning of  19th  centuries, famous for founding alternative medicine, better known as homeopathy. In fact,  it was a highly symbolic gift to emphasize the meaning of a day which the agricultural association chose to dedicate to the preservation of creation and the safeguard of the environment. Bees do this perfectly. It is not by chance that in a press release from Coldiretti they are described as true and proper “sentinels of nature's global balance”, so that their possible disappearance “could have disastrous consequences both for health and for the environment”. And the available data show that “more than a third” of our food “depends on the cross-pollination of crops by insects, 80 percent of which are bees”. What could be better than using the Pope's farm as a trampoline from which to relaunch the cry of alarm at the risk of extinction? They say at Coldiretti that this threatens various products of nature, because of a boorish commercial distribution mechanism that gives priority to large quantities and the standardization of the offer.

“Our gift”, Sergio Marini, President of Coldiretti, told L'Osservatore Romano , “is first and foremost a sign of Coldiretti's gratitude to the Pope for his constant encouragement of the daily work of those who cultivate the earth, in which it is easy to recognize the respect and love of one who knows that the preservation of creation is the best investment for the future”  and at the same time also wishes to be a proper recognition of the examplarity “of the Vatican farm at Castel Gandolfo”, deemed “the most satisfactory natural environment to give a strong sign of how, together with the modern technologies, the characteristic of rusticity and purity proper to the genuine countryside may be preserved intact”.

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Sept. 19, 2019

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