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 APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER JOHN PAUL II
IN THE CATHEDRAL OF THE HOLY CROSS

Boston
Monday, 1st October 1979

 

Dear Cardinal Medeiros, dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

On the first day of my pastoral visit to the United States of America, it is a great joy for me to come to this City of Boston, and in this Cathedral, and later tonight on the Common, to be able to meet with the Catholic community. It is the first time in history that a Successor of Peter is received in your midst. On this wonderful occasion I wish to render homage to the Most Holy Trinity, in whose name I have come. And I make my own the greeting of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians : "To you who have been consecrated in Christ Jesus and called to be a holy people, and to all those who, wherever they may be, call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours. Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Cor 1:2.3).

My cordial thanks go to you, Cardinal Medeiros, Archbishop of Boston, for your welcome today. In your Cathedral Church, I am happy to renew to you the expression of my deep esteem and friendship. Warm greetings also to the Auxiliary Bishops and to all the clergy, both diocesan and religious: you who are my brother priests in virtue of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Through your priesthood, you are also God's gift to the Christian community. Because you are servants of the Gospel, you will always be close to the people and their problems. Because you share in the Priesthood of Christ, your presence in the world shall always be marked by Christ's zeal, for he set you apart so that you might build up his Body, the Church (cf. Eph 4 :12).

I wish to extend a special blessing to you religious, both Religious Brothers and Sisters, who have consecrated your lives to Jesus Christ. May you always find joy in his love. And to all of you, the laity of this Diocese, who are united with the Cardinal and the clergy in a common mission, I open my heart in love and trust. You are the workers for evangelization in the realities of daily life, and you give witness to the love of Christ in the service that you give to all your fellow men and women, beginning with your own families.

To all I want to say how happy I am to be in your midst. I pray for each one of you, asking you to remain always united in Jesus Christ and his Church, so that together we may "display to the world our unity in proclaiming the mystery of Christ, in revealing the divine dimension and also the human dimension of the Redemption, and in struggling with unwearying perseverance for the dignity that each human being has reached and can continually reach in Christ" (Redemptor Hominis, 11). May this Cathedral, dedicated to the Holy Cross of Jesus, always be a reminder of our calling to greatness, for through the mystery of the Incarnation and of the redeeming Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross we share in "the unsearchable riches of Christ" (Eph 3 :8).

From this Cathedral I send my greeting to all the people of this City of Boston : to those in particular who are, in one way or another, burdened by suffering; to the sick and the bedridden; to those whom society seems to have left by the wayside, and those who have lost faith in God and in their fellow human beings. To all I have come with a message of hope and peace—the hope and peace of Jesus Christ, for whom every human being is of immense value and dignity, and in whom are found all the treasures of justice and love.

In the City of Boston I am greeting a community that through the many upheavals of history has always been able to change and yet to remain true to itself—a community where people of all backgrounds, creeds, races and convictions have provided workable solutions to problems and have created a home where all people can be respected in their human dignity. For the honor of all the citizens of Boston, who have inherited a tradition of fraternal love and concern, may I recall what one of the founders of this city told his fellow-settlers as they were aboard ship en route to their new home in America: "We must love one another with a pure heart fervently, we must bear one another's burdens". These simple words explain so much of the meaning of life—our life as brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ.

May God's peace descend on this City of Boston, and bring joy to every conscience and joy to every heart!

 

Copyright 1979 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

 

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