ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER JOHN PAUL
I am delighted to meet you at our now traditional meeting at the end of the Christmas festivities. I thank you for your cordial welcome and I greet you all, together with your families. I extend a respectful greeting to the authorities present, especially the Mayor, whom I thank for his kind words. I also thank the person who made the crib, who has expressed your sentiments of respect.
I am always glad to pay you a visit, for our meeting allows me to express my grateful appreciation to the President, to the directors and to all of you, members of AMA, for the important service you render, day and night, for our city and its citizens.
This occasion also gives me the chance to extend to each one of you, and to those who worked together to set up this meaningful Nativity scene my cordial good wishes at the beginning of the new year: may it be a year of serenity and peace for you and your relatives. Referring to my Message for the recent World Day of Peace, I would like to repeat that "The pillars of true peace are justice and that form of love which is forgiveness" (n. 2). In his own world, each one must become a peacemaker. May believers and all people of good will accept the announcement of peace, proclaimed by the angels at the Grotto of Bethlehem (cf. Lk 2,14).
We too can hear the echo of that announcement as we pause in front of the crib, that for 30 years has been set up with a deep spirit of faith. May the Lord, Prince of Peace, be your daily support: turn to him with confidence. His love will give new meaning to your every activity and aspiration.
May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the incarnate Word and "Salus Populi Romani" (Salvation of the Roman People) protect you, your families, your activities and your plans. With these sentiments, I warmly impart to all of you my Blessing.