OFFICIAL NOTIFICATION OF HIS HOLINESS PAUL VI
TO THE HEAD OF THE ITALIAN STATE
OF THE GREAT JUBILEE FOR THE YEAR 1975
To Signor Giovanni Leone
President of the Italian Republic
We have the honour to inform you that we have just now decided to fix the solemn celebration of the Great Jubilee for the year 1975.
Thus there will be renewed, please God, the ancient tradition which began during the pontificate of Our Predecessor Boniface VIII, in the year 1300, owing to the large-scale influx of people to Rome to pray at the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul, and which with alternating succession has been transmitted to our day, with striking and significant continuity down the centuries. Consequently, as can be foreseen, pilgrims will come in, greater numbers, with the faith of the ancient "roamers" – marvelously described in Italian literature in the verses of Dante – to make the penitential rounds of the ancient Major Basilicas of Rome, and to retemper their Christian faith.
In informing you of this event, which touches no closely the whole Italian nation, especially the city of Rome, we like to express to you our certainty that the Italian people, most dear to us, will welcome in worthy fashion the brethren coming from every part, by offering them, with their innate kindness and hospitality, the obliging assistance and example of their civic and industrious dignity.
We hope, moreover, that the extraordinary influx of so many people may not be for them a source of inconvenience, but rather an occasion of joy and edification.
Finally, we now desire to offer you our lively and cordial thanks for all that the most worthy Authorities and the Italian people will wish to arrange and undertake in view of the forthcoming occasion.
It certainly will not fail, as we Embry trust, to produce fruits of general satisfaction, not merely for the increase of the wholesomeness and sanctity of morals, for which the Holy Year alas expressly instituted (cf. Const. Apost. De Infinita misericordia, 29 May, 1924; AAS 16, 1924, p. 209), but also for the furtherance of brotherhood and mutual knowledge among the peoples, for universal peace, and for the well-being of the human family.
With these wishes we are happy to invoke upon you, Mr. President, on all the various Organs of the State and on the whole Italian Nation, the constant blessing of the Lord.
From the Vatican, 9 May, 1973 in the tenth year of Our Pontificate.
PAULUS PP. VI
*ORa n.22 p.3.
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