ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER JOHN PAUL II
Thursday 14 October 1999
1. I am pleased to meet you on the occasion of the Fourth General Chapter of your congregation.
I also extend a special greeting of good wishes to Mother Maria Maurizia Biancucci, whom the confidence of her fellow sisters has reconfirmed as Superior General.
2. Dear Sisters, your religious family, born almost 50 years ago, is characterized by its devotion to the Holy Face of Christ in a spirit of "reparation". You adore the Face of the Lord in the celebration of the Eucharist and in the tabernacle; you contemplate it, in imitation of the Virgin of Nazareth, by meditating in the prayerful silence of your hearts on the mysteries of salvation; you honour it in your neediest brethren, the sick and poor who are your apostolate in Italy, India, Romania, Poland and the Democratic Republic of the Congo; you see it in that of the sisters with whom you share your fraternal community life, and that of the priests to whom you offer valuable assistance.
Your generous dedication has been rewarded with an abundant flourishing of vocations. This requires a strong commitment to formation, which will be all the more solid if it is deeply rooted in the Gospel values that define your charism.
3. Two years ago, together with Cardinal Angelini, your congregation founded the International Institute for Research on the Face of Christ, whose initiatives received a wide reception. Dear sisters, may the Face of Jesus, which you strive to make known and to be recognized in those who suffer in body and soul, be the constant reference-point of your spiritual life and apostolate so that, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, your religious family will continue to produce ever more abundant fruit in the Church.
With these wishes, accompanied by a remembrance of you in my prayer, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing to you, to the entire congregation and to all who benefit from your daily service.
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