LETTER OF JOHN PAUL
TO BE OBSERVED ON 5 JUNE
With great warmth, I wish to join you as you observe your 90th birthday. God knows how much I would like to come in person to embrace you and extend my best wishes personally, that we might together give thanks to the divine Goodness, who has filled with his gifts your long life, spent in the service of the Gospel and in complete fidelity to the Church. I know how lovingly you follow the daily activities of this Apostolic See and, on my part, I assure you of my personal remembrance, on this occasion, more intense and fraternal.
With the passage of time, Your Eminence, the eloquent witness that you have given to Christ stands out even more in the Church. Your name has crossed the threshold of your native land, touching and edifying the faithful in Europe and in the entire world. Where bishops, priests, religious and laity continue to be put to the test by the regimes that suppress religious freedom and freedom of conscience, it is a sure source of consolation and encouragement to know that persons like you have persevered in their intrepid witness during the Communist persecution.
Thank you, dear Brother, for this shining example of love for the Lord, who sustained you in every trial, offering a decisive signpost for the new generations. I place myself among those who are indebted to such a radiant witness; thus, I feel the need to be close to you every day and, particularly, on the occasion of this birthday.
With an affectionate fraternal embrace, I place you and your desires under the protection of the Mother of God, and with all my heart I extend to you and to your loved ones a special Apostolic Blessing.
JOHN PAUL II