JOHN PAUL II
Sunday 9 September 2001
Dearest Brothers and Sisters!
1. Today I would like to ask you to pray for some important
ecclesial events, which will take place in the near future. I refer, first of
all, to the brief but intense pastoral visit that, God willing, I will have the
joy of undertaking next Sunday morning, in the Diocese of
Frosinone-Veroli-Ferentino. It will be a great pleasure for me to meet with the
people of Ciociaria, to whom I already send my warm greetings.
Armenia is homeland to one of the most ancient peoples of the
Near East, who embraced Christianity officially some 17 centuries ago, and is
the depository of a religious and cultural heritage of singular richness. I very
much hope that my visits will contribute to the cause of the new evangelization
and the ecumenical dialogue.
Vatican Council II, which has amply illustrated the pastoral office of the pastors in the decree "Christus Dominus", will be the principal point of reference for the synod's work. The Conciliar teaching will be reread in light of the last decades and, especially, in the perspective of the new evangelization, as the topic itself suggests. The bidding of the Gospel "Duc in altum - Put out into the deep" (Lk 5,6), which I have proposed as the motto for the beginning of the new millennium, is addressed first of all to bishops, the Apostles' successors, and calls them to be dedicated with confidence to this new missionary season of the Church.
3. For each one of these meetings and for the entire life of the Church, we invoke the distinctive assistance of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose Birthday we celebrated yesterday. As the Star of evangelization and Queen of the Apostles, may the Blessed Virgin watch over all believers and obtain for each one the abundance of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
After the Angelus, the Holy Father greeted the pilgrims in French, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. To the English pilgrims he said:
I extend a special greeting to the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors, especially to the group from Ireland. I commend your dear country to Our Lady Queen of Peace. God bless you all!
To the Italians, he greeted in a particular way the Bridgettine Sisters, who came to Rome to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the foundation of their congregation:
"I wish each one, especially the newly professed, to live their lives in conformity with the teachings of the Mother foundress".
© Copyright 2001 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana