ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II
Saturday, 29 May 1993
I am pleased to welcome the members of the Boston Theological Institute. "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom. 1: 7).
You have come to Rome as members of different Churches and Ecclesial Communities, under the sponsorship of the Boston Theological Institute, to study the spirit and the institutions of the Catholic Church. In coming here you are fully aware that this is an "apostolic" city. In it the Apostles Peter and Paul witnessed to Christ, even to the shedding of their blood. Countless martyrs followed in their footsteps, giving their lives for the Gospel.
The Scriptures give ample witness to this apostolic heritage of Rome. One of the great Epistles of the New Testament was written to the people of this city. In his Letter to the Romans, Saint Paul expressed his eagerness to come to Rome, to proclaim the Gospel here and reap a great harvest for the sake of the Lord (Cf. Rom. 1: 11-15). We read in the Acts of the Apostles that Paul lived here for two years, "preaching the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ quite openly and unhindered" (Acts. 28: 30-31).
I pray that your stay in Rome will be enriching for you. I pray especially that it will give you a deep understanding of the need for all Christians to work together for the unity of all Christ’s disciples, that unity for which Our Lord prayed on the night before he died: "that they may all be one... so that the world may believe" (Jn. 17: 21). The path forward is not easy but we must go on, trusting in him who called us to this task.
As we prepare for the Feast of Pentecost, may the light and peace of the Holy Spirit fill your hearts and kindle in them the fire of his love (Cf. Missae in Vigilia Pentecostes: "Canticum ad Evangelium").
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