ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS
Saturday, 13 September 1997
Dear Pilgrims from Senegal,
I am pleased to welcome you at the end of your national pilgrimage. I cordially greet Bishop Théodore-Adrien Sarr of Kaolack, President of the Bishops’ Conference, who is leading your way.
Your itinerary has taken you to three important places. The principal stop on your journey was your visit to the Holy Land, which remains an essential source and reference point, the land of the chosen people, the land where the Son of God became incarnate, where he proclaimed the Gospel and where he accomplished the fundamental act of our Redemption. I hope that when you return from this pilgrimage in Jesus’ footsteps, you will come back strengthened in your faith in the one Mediator between God and men, and in the Spirit of Pentecost, who launched the great movement of evangelization from the Upper Room in Jerusalem.
In Fatima you honoured the Mother of the Lord, who was present for the essential moments of Christ’s messianic mission and who accompanies us throughout the Church’s history. In her we are offered the most beautiful model of faith and prayer. May your meditation on the Rosary be enriched by your pilgrimage!
Praying at the tombs of Peter and Paul gives your visit to Rome its full meaning. The martyrdom of the princes of the Apostles has made this city the centre of the universal Church, the centre of unity for our faith and mission. May the intercession of Sts Peter and Paul help you to play your part in the life of your Dioceses, in communion with the whole Church!
As I thank you for your visit, I join in your prayer for the Church in Senegal, for your families and for all your people. I cordially impart to you my Apostolic Blessing.
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