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Salutation Address

by His Em Card. Prefect Darío Castrillón Hoyos

to the Holy Father

on the occasion of the Audience granted to the Permanent Deacons

participating in the Great jubilee of the year 2000

Paul VI Hall

Saturday 19 February 2000



Most Holy Father,

I am glad to present to Your Holiness the permanent deacons gathered here to live their Jubilee days in a fraternal atmosphere with intense communion and Catholicism.

They represent the approximately 24,000 deacons from all the countries where the permanent deaconship has been restored. There are also some wives, children and family members of married deacons who, with prayer and the sharing of apostolic ideals, accompany their path.

Today, Your Holiness, the Liturgy of the Hours and the Divine Sacrifice contain a votive celebration of St. Lawrence, whose memory has given substance to the conference and whose noble relics have been specially exposed to veneration in this Hall.

By his example and intercession, Lawrence, Deacon of the Church of Rome, indissolubly linked to Pope Sixtus II, in the realty of the "communio sanctorum", sustains every Deacon in fidelity to Your Holiness and the Universal Church, in the daily service in the Dioceses.

The shining memory of St. Lawrence encourages us to take the path of interior renewal required by the spirit of the Great jubilee.

In these days we intend to go into the heart of identity to consequently live and work in motivated and heartfelt faith in Mother Church.

The ardour of charity is standard with which St. Lawrence appears, called by the liturgy "faithful in the ministry and glorious in martyrdom".

Thus our Deacons, guided by the light of St. Stephan, St. Lawrence and a host of other holy deacons, intend to remain faithful to the ministry and glorious in martyrdom, in the daily search for coherence between the sacramental reality in which they are immersed on an existential level and the challenges of a wide variety of environments where they duly exercise their ministry with its missionary character.

Confirm, Your Holiness, these deacons – among whom there are 17 acolytes whom I will have the joy of ordaining tomorrow in St. Peter’s Basilica – in their holy intentions, and those who n various qualities accompany them in constantly pursuing their true good, a good that rebounds to enrich the entire Body of the Church!