GREETING OF THE HOLY FATHER JOHN PAUL
Thursday, 18 May 2000
All of today is marked by "thanksgiving", by "eucharist", and before we say goodbye I would like to express my gratitude again.
Thanks first of all to God, who "crowns the year with his bounty" (Psalm) and, during the days of the Great Jubilee, has allowed us to spend this one dedicated to priests. I am particularly pleased to celebrate my birthday in this priestly dimension, which is fundamental to my life, as it is to yours.
Dear Cardinal Bernardin Gantin, I thank you for your words, and all of you Cardinals, my dear Brothers, who have generously wished to offer me this luncheon. My gratitude also goes to the sisters and all the staff of the Domus Sanctae Marthae for their courtesy and their efficiency in hosting us in a way truly worthy of the patronness of this house. After this morning's celebration, solemn and at the same time full of fraternal affection, this festive moment has enabled me to express the close bond that joins me to each of you, along with the significant participation of a group of priests representing those who have taken part in this Jubilee celebration.
I would like to return your expressions of affection, and I wish to do so in a priestly way by assuring you of a remembrance as I pray Vespers this evening, entrusting each of you to the Blessed Virgin, Mother of Priests.
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