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APOSTOLIC PILGRIMAGE
OF HIS HOLINESS PAUL VI
TO WEST ASIA, OCEANIA AND AUSTRALIA

WELCOME CEREMONY

ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER PAUL VI

International Airport of Manila, Philippines
Friday, 27 November 1970

 

Here we are in the Philippines, in this great land so dear to Our heart. We greet it with great joy, in the name of the Lord, who sends us just as he sent Peter and the Apostles across the world. May the peace of Christ come down and dwell in it.

We offer Our respectful greeting to you, Mister President, who have had the great courtesy to come and welcome us. We thank you in the name of the Lord. For us it is an honor and a pleasure to spend a few hours in the midst of the Filipino people, whose admirable hospitality is being shown to us from this very moment in such a cordial fashion.

We greet you, venerable brothers in the episcopate, and in particular you who are the Cardinal of Manila, whose great diocese, so rich in history and virtues, offers a welcome at this first contact of a Pope with the Far East. We have come to bring you the assurance of Our fraternal affection and to manifest Our desire of communion with you in your pastoral responsibilities.

To you, the people of the Philippines, who have gathered here in such great numbers to bring us the first homage of your generous hearts, We express Our affectionate greeting, Our great joy at having been given the grace to come to you and Our deep desire to proclaim Our attachment for your people who, in the course of history, have given proof in such a wonderful way of the depth of their faith.

We come here in obedience to Our spiritual mission: We have come to take part in the deliberations of the Conference of the bishops of the whole of Eastern Asia. We wish to seek together, in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, how best to proclaim the Gospel to the men of this time and of this continent. We are seeking to make an eternal and universal message an answer to the questions asked by the man of today. The Gospel is, for all men, the message of salvation.

We invoke upon you the abundance of divine grace. May God bless you and your good intentions, may he grant prosperity to the great nation of the Philippines.

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