JOHN PAUL II
29 August 1999
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Jesus' teaching is echoed by St Paul who, in writing to the Christians of Rome, urges them not to be conformed to the mentality of the world but to offer their life as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God (cf. Rom 12: 1-2). Following Christ involves a journey that is often marked by misunderstanding and suffering. Let no one delude himself: today, as in the past, being Christian means swimming against the tide of this world's mentality and not seeking one's own interest and human approval, but only God's will and the true good of one's neighbour.
2. We see this radical fidelity to Christ shining in the martyrdom of St
John the Baptist, whose feast occurs today. The forerunner of Christ chose
the path of consistency, bearing total witness to the Lamb of God whose way
he had prepared. And he paid with death for his uncompromising love of the
3. May Mary, Queen of confessors of the faith and of martyrs, help us to be
strong as we face the tribulations of life and to endure them in union with
Christ for the world's salvation.
I am pleased to greet the new students of the Pontifical North American College in Rome. May your study of theology in the Eternal City deepen your love for Christ and inspire you to be joyful and effective servants of the Gospel. Upon the pilgrims from Ireland and all the English-speaking visitors present at this Angelus prayer I cordially invoke the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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