25th ANNIVERSARY OF THE PONTIFICATE
ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
Saturday, 18 October 2003
1. I cherish moving memories in my heart of the solemn celebration of the Eucharist last Thursday that made me relive the events of 25 years ago. I share this fraternal agape with you with joy and gratitude. In this way we are prolonging the intense communion experienced during the interesting Symposium organized by the College of Cardinals.
I warmly thank each one of you, venerable Brothers, for the affectionate closeness that you demonstrate on every occasion. I am particularly grateful to Cardinal Sodano, Secretary of State, who expressed your common sentiments, and to the whole College of Cardinals for their generous gift. It will be used for the Christian communities in the Holy Land, so harshly tried.
2. We will continue to meet one another in the next few days, first for the Beatification of Mother Teresa and then for the Consistory. These days, full of meaning, highlight the unity and vitality of the Church.
I extend my grateful thoughts to the Director and personnel of this welcoming and efficient house that is offering us hospitality, as well as to those who have prepared our meal.
3. Once again thank you, thank you all for your presence and for your love for the Church. When you return home, please convey to your Ecclesial Communities and your faithful my greeting and assurance that the Pope loves them. Thank them especially for their prayers and for the spiritual closeness that they have shown to me in these days. I now impart my Blessing to you and to your Communities, with deep affection.