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28 June 1979 


Mr President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The tradition which leads you to bring to me the product of the "Etrennes pontificales" is one of those which do honour to the Association of Catholic Journalists of Belgium which your delegation represents, to the Union of Catholic Newspapers of Belgium which joins in it and, I venture to say, to the Belgian people which responds so generously to your appeals.

The initiative which you resume every year, with growing success, shows in the first place your loyal attachment to Peter's See; an attachment which you are not afraid to bear witness to in your press and which, in fact, is a stirring example for your fellow-countrymen. I am very touched. Communion of spirit and heart with the Pope, solidarity with him in the immense needs that are presented to his charity, are appreciable characteristics of the Catholic spirit.

I express to you therefore my congratulations and my deep gratitude. And beyond yourselves, I thank the very large number of donors who, through their response and their offering, have entered this immense chain of support. I thank them on behalf of all those who will benefit from their generosity, and you can guess to what extent appeals are made to the Pope's charity!

As regards you, I form good wishes for the accomplishment of your office as journalists. It is an arduous task, as I realized even better in the course of my recent journeys! I encourage you to serve truth and brotherhood in this way, with a free spirit, at once respectful of the convictions of others and strong in your own convictions as men and Christians.

I willingly bless you personally, your families, and the large family of those who joined in your campaign for the "Etrennes pontificales", whose spokesmen you are here.

I appreciated also your delicate evocation of the bonds of friendship and solidarity that have long been established between the sons of Belgium and the sons of Poland. God bless the whole Belgian people!

© Copyright 1979 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


© Copyright - Libreria Editrice Vaticana