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Thursday, 17 October 1963


Venerable Brothers and beloved children,

We are indeed happy to receive and to adress you again, after the solemn ceremonies during which Blessed John Neumann was raised to the glory of beatification. With particular joy do we greet Our Venerable Brothers, the Archbishop of Philadelphia, successor of the new Beatus, and the Archbishops and Bishops of those Sees within whose territories he exercised his ministry. We have Ourself visited several of your dioceses, Philadelphia and its beautiful Cathedral, Baltimore, your senior See, Pittsburgh and Buffalo, and We cherish happy memories of the natural and spiritual glories of your home States.

The beatification of Bishop Neumann during the celebration of the Second Vatican Council is a reminder that the first duty of a bishop, as of every Christian, is to sanctify himself, and thus to be an exemple to others: a city set on a mountain which cannot be hidden, a candle set on a candle-stick to give light to all who are in the house.

This holy Pastor was also a religious of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, and so We salute with pleasure the Redemptorist Fathers present here today, led by their Superior General.

One of his lasting achievements was the foundation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Third Order, several of whom We note among you and greet with paternal affection.

Invoking the heavenly intercession of the new Beatus upon you all, to whose forefathers he ministered the Gospel and gave an outstanding exemple of holiness, We lovingly impart to you, to your families at home, especially the children, the suffering and the afflicted, to your Bishops and pastors, Our affectionate Apostolic Blessing.      


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