ADDRESS OF THE HOLY
To the Superior General
It is a pleasure for me to welcome you at the end of your 19th General Chapter, in which you reflected on the presence and action of the Holy Spirit in your lives, in order to be “women of Spirit”, in the Franciscan style of your founder, Ven. Luis Amigó y Ferrer, and so to offer today's world new expressions of Christian life and courage in your service. On this occasion I extend my most cordial greeting to each of you and, through you, to all the sisters of the congregation who in your various houses in Europe, America, Asia and Africa make present the spousal dimension of the Church and her virginal motherhood, collaborating with their unconditional devotion and discreet, but fruitful presence in bettering the human family.
The Church greatly appreciates the particular contribution that you, as consecrated women, make to the tasks of the new evangelization. By embracing the evangelical chastity, poverty and obedience of Jesus, you become, in a certain sense, a prolongation of his humanity and bear prophetic witness to the primacy of God and the good things to come in present-day society, where the trace of the divine seems to have been lost (cf. Vita consecrata, n. 85).
Given the new challenges that the third millennium presents to religious life, your commitment and mission must be guided by supernatural discernment, which can distinguish between what comes from the Spirit and what is contrary to him (cf. Gal 5:16-22). It is only by starting from this dynamism of fidelity to the Spirit that you can act effectively in the respective areas of your foundational charism, remembering in your hearts and in your prayer the many needs of the men and women of our time.
While encouraging you in your praiseworthy educational work of assisting children and young people who have difficulty in growing in humanity under the guidance of the Spirit, I invoke on the whole institute the protection of the Holy Family of Nazareth, so that they will always support you in your religious life. With these sentiments I cordially impart to you my Apostolic Blessing, which I willingly extend to all the sisters of the congregation and to all who work with you in your various apostolates.
From the Vatican, 31 October 1998.
IOANNES PAULUS PP. II
© Copyright 1998 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana