ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER JOHN PAUL II
Friday, 25 August 2000
Dear Brother Bishop,
I am pleased to welcome you as you make your pilgrimage to the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul, before going to the Holy Land, to the places where the Son of God took flesh from the Virgin Mary and became man 2,000 years ago.
The pilgrimage you are undertaking calls to mind every believer's personal journey in the footsteps of the Redeemer. May these privileged days enable you to advance on the path of Christian holiness through deep interior preparation and conversion of heart! By coming here as pilgrims, in fact, you have made a significant commitment to walk with renewed fidelity on the way that leads to Christ in a personal encounter with him, so that you can live in ever greater conformity with his Gospel.
Crossing the threshold of the Holy Door, which represents the person of Christ, thus becomes a sign of the passage that every Christian is called to make from the darkness of sin to the light of grace. By professing that Jesus is Lord, by strengthening their faith in order to live the new life they have been given, believers also show that Christ has brought them more deeply into his Church and enabled them to participate fully in her mission.
Dear friends, I invite you to make your Jubilee pilgrimage a time of spiritual renewal so that you can put Christ more effectively at the centre of your lives. When you return to your country, be ardent and generous witnesses throughout your lives to the Lord's unique and personal love for every human being! As you fulfil your responsibilities in society and in the Church, in collaboration with men and women of good will, endeavour tirelessly to build a world worthy of the human person and worthy of God, with concern for justice and solidarity! Be the artisans of peace and brotherhood! Walk in the footsteps of Christ, who calls you to a new life!
As I entrust you and your pilgrimage to the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary, I ask her to obtain for you an abundance of grace and mercy from her Son. I cordially grant you all my Apostolic Blessing.
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