JOHN PAUL II
Sunday, 10 June 2001
1. Before concluding this solemn celebration, let us turn our gaze to the Virgin Mary, Queen of all saints. Her humble and sublime existence is a masterpiece of the Holy Trinity and for every baptized person represents the "archetype" of Christian life, to which we should aspire with trust and determination.
2. I greet His Beatitude Cardinal Sfeir, the Maronite Patriarch, and the
Bishops, priests, men and women religious, as well as the representatives of the
Lebanese authorities and all the Lebanese faithful who came for the canonization
of Sr Rafqa. I extend my cordial greetings to the members of the Lebanese
Maronite Order, who are seeing one of their own raised to the glory of the
altars. This is a special appeal to them to walk with renewed fervour on the
path of holiness, through a life that conforms more and more closely to the
Gospel. May everyone remember that daily witness, based on living in intimacy
with Christ, is a unique instrument of evangelization.
I greet Cardinals Dionigi Tettamanzi, Salvatore De Giorgi and Giovanni Canestri together with the Bishops, priests, men and women religious and the numerous Italian faithful who have come to honour the memory of the new saints. My gratitude goes to the authorities who have wished to join in this celebration. The call to holiness is universal because our Father who is in heaven is holy. May today's celebration of holiness increase in each one the strength to undertake this demanding but exalting journey.
3. I extend a special thought to the young workers who during these days have organized in Bari a great celebration on the theme "young people and work". Young people, I hope you will be leaders in the work-place and face every problem confidently. Never resign yourselves to economic models that exclude or exploit the weakest, but do your utmost to make work decent for the individual, for families and for society.
May Mary, whom we invoke with the prayer of the Angelus, keep us all under her motherly protection.
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