ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
Monday, 24 May 2004
1. I am glad to welcome you to the Vatican during your visit to Rome for the traditional and affectionate homage which you pay to Saints Cyril and Methodius, Apostles of the Slavonic peoples, whose memory is preserved in the venerable Basilica of Saint Clement.
I extend to you, Mr. President, my cordial greetings and my sincere congratulations on the important office recently entrusted to you at the service of your Nation. My thoughts go to all who accompany you, to the representatives of the Churches and to the whole national community, who are close to my heart.
2. Your country has wisely reaffirmed its commitment to follow the path of peace and reconciliation. This is a credit to all your citizens and an encouragement to continue along the same route. Dialogue and the search for harmony will allow you to dedicate every human and spiritual resource to the material and moral progress of your people, in a spirit of fruitful cooperation with neighbouring countries.
Your eyes are turned legitimately towards Europe. Your traditions and your culture belong to the spirit that permeates this Continent. I truly hope that your desires will receive just consideration and that the citizens of your Republic may be one day rightful members of a united Europe, in which each people will feel at home and fully appreciated.
3. With an assurance of my prayers for you and the people of Macedonia, I implore upon you as a pledge of prosperity and peace, the blessings of the Most High.
*Insegnamenti di Giovanni Poalo II, vol. XXVII, 1 p. 662-663.
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