ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
Monday, 8 April 2002
Dear Friends in Christ,
In the Easter joy of the Lordís victory over sin and death I am pleased to greet you, the members of the Papal Foundation, on your annual pilgrimage to Rome. "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom 1:7).
These words of the Apostle Paul remind us that our world is filled with compelling evidence of just how desperately mankind stands in need of Godís grace and peace. The dire consequences of the tragic events of September 11 are still with us; the spiral of violence and armed hostility in the Holy Land ó the land of our Lordís birth, death and Resurrection; a land held sacred by the three great monotheistic religions ó has increased to unimaginable and intolerable levels; throughout the world innocent men, women and children continue to suffer the ravages of war, poverty, injustice and exploitation of all kinds.
Indeed, we are currently experiencing a very difficult international situation. But the Lordís victory and his promise to remain with us "until the end of the world" (Mt 28:20) are beacons of light beckoning us to meet the challenges before us with courage and trust. The Papal Foundation itself, through the generosity of many, enables needed works to be carried out in the name of Christ and his Church. For this I am most grateful to you: by means of your support the Easter message of joy, hope and peace is more widely proclaimed.
I assure you that your love and your dedication to the Church and to the Successor of Peter are very much appreciated. As we continue to walk together the path of light I encourage you to continue in your generous commitment, so that "people may see your good works and give glory to God" (cf. Mt 5:16). Commending you to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose children we have all become (cf. Novo Millennio Ineunte, 58), I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing to you and your families as a pledge of joy and peace in the Risen Savior.