6 January 2001
Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
1. In a few moments we will solemnly sing the Te Deum in thanksgiving to God for the priceless gift that the Holy Year has been for the Church and for humanity.
Joining us in giving thanks are the Dioceses of the whole world, which have intensely celebrated this Jubilee in constant communion with the Church of Rome. Nor can we forget the heartfelt participation of Christians belonging to other Churches and Ecclesial Communities, or the sharing by followers of other religions in the joy of Christians at this extraordinary event.
2. I feel the need at this time to express my sentiments of deep gratitude to the institutions and officials of the Italian Government, the Lazio Region, and the Province and Municipality of Rome for their generous commitment to making the Jubilee a success.
I thank the Central Committee for the Great Jubilee and those who collaborated in its various commissions and departments. I thank those who organized the sacred liturgies and prayer services, and those who offered the valuable service of listening to the pilgrims and hearing confessions.
My warm thanks to the police, to those who worked in the hospitality, information and health-care services; to the Roman Jubilee Agency and to the nearly 70,000 volunteers of every age and background who took turns continuously throughout the Jubilee Year; and to the families who welcomed pilgrims, especially the young people, into their homes. There are really so many who did their part: they should all feel included in my deep, heartfelt gratitude.
In addition, I cannot fail to thank those who contributed spiritually to the Jubilee's success: I am thinking of the cloistered nuns and monks, as well as the many people, especially the elderly and the sick, who constantly prayed and offered their sufferings for the Jubilee. In particular, I would like to thank the sick who gathered each month in the Basilica of St Mary Major and those who joined them from every part of Italy.
I thank everyone from my heart!
Dear French-speaking pilgrims, I offer you a cordial greeting. At the end of the Great Jubilee, I hope that your participation in it will bear fruits of grace for yourselves, your families and your diocesan communities. I am confident that everything you have done will help to make the faith grow in your country and contribute to a better life. I grant you all an affectionate Apostolic Blessing.
I am pleased to greet the English-speaking people taking part in this final act of the Great Jubilee: may the abundant graces and blessings of this Holy Year continue to touch your lives and truly fill your homes, your families and friends, and the entire world with the lasting fruits of faith, hope and love!
I cordially greet the pilgrims from German-speaking countries. The Holy Door was closed today, but access to the living Christ always remains open. So the end of the Great Jubilee is also an important beginning: Christ wants you to set out anew. For this, may God's faithful blessing go with you.
I affectionately greet the Spanish-speaking pilgrims. May the special meeting with Christ that this Great Jubilee has meant and the graces received throughout it inspire your whole life in the years to come, making each of you a witness to God's love and mercy.
Dear brothers and sisters, the Jubilee was really a year of the Lord's grace. Take to your homes the certainty of the peace and mercy of Christ, our Passover, and live with firm hope in the Risen One, for he awaits you in his Father's house. God bless you!
For all my compatriots I hope that the spiritual gifts given to us during the Holy Year will last and bear abundant fruits in their personal, family and community life. May Christ, "the only Saviour of the world", enrich everyone with his blessing and lead them all on the paths of the new millennium.
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