ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
Monday, 13 December 2004
1. I joyfully welcome you today, dear Sons and Daughters of the Cross, and I cordially greet you. I greet Cardinal Andrzej Maria Deskur who has accompanied you and those in charge of your Institute.
Our Meeting acquires special value because it is taking place just a few days after the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Moreover, this year is the 150th Anniversary of the proclamation of this important Marian Dogma by my Predecessor, Bl. Pius IX.
2. Dear Sons and Daughters of the Cross! Your spirituality is steeped in devotion to and love for the Virgin Mother of God.
Love Our Lady, to whom you are totally consecrated, and like her, be faithful disciples of Christ. Serve the Church with enthusiasm, fostering unity and perfect harmony with the Pastors of the Christian Communities to whom you offer your pastoral cooperation. This will make you effective witnesses of the One who, from high on the Cross, entrusted us all as children to his sweetest Mother.
May the Immaculate Conception continue to guide your steps and make you conform ever more closely to Jesus, who in a few days we will contemplate as a Child in the mystery of Holy Christmas. I express my fervent good wishes to you for the Christmas celebrations, and I cordially bless you all.