To my Venerable Brother
Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez
Archbishop of Santo Domingo
The Lord Jesus, sent by the Father, in turn sent out his disciples (cf. Jn 20: 21) to evangelize all the nations. Thus, rejoicing in the renewed missionary zeal that is taking place in many parts of the Church, I recently learned of the upcoming event that the Church in America will be celebrating in Quito, Ecuador, in mid-August.
Our Venerable Brother, Cardinal Antonio José González Zumárraga, Archbishop emeritus of Quito and the Honorary President of the Bishops' Conference of Ecuador, who heads the Central Commission for the preparation of this event, humbly invited me on behalf of the Pastors and faithful of all America to come to Ecuador, or at least to send a Cardinal, for the Third American and Eighth Latin American Missionary Congress to testify to my communion and benevolence.
I deeply appreciate this sincere expression of affection and praise the ardent love and adherence to the Successor of St Peter of the whole Ecuadorian People. Since I am personally unable to make this journey, I thought of you, Venerable Brother, to whom I desire to commend this particular legation. I know very well that you have already prudently carried out other such missions and that you have likewise diligently encouraged the new evangelization among Pastors on the American Continent. I therefore appoint you my Special Envoy to this Congress.
From 12 to 17 of this coming month of August you will be my representative at this Congress to be held in the City of Quito in order to promote the missionary task of the Church which, "sent by Christ to reveal and communicate the love of God to all men and to all peoples, is aware that for her a tremendous missionary work still remains to be done" (Ad Gentes, n. 10). You must likewise encourage a renewed effort to become familiar with the sublime Christian doctrine and to communicate it to those who have not received the hope of eternal salvation or, for various reasons, have lost it.
For my part, I shall support this most important mission with my prayers and, from this moment, I earnestly commend you, Venerable Brother, as well as the Delegates gathered there and all the disciples of Our Lord Jesus Christ who are in America, to the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, Patron of the American Continent, and to St María Ana de Jesús de Paredes, sublime flower of the City of Quito. Lastly, I impart my Apostolic Blessing in abundance first of all to you and to all those to whom I now send you so that you may convey it to them.
From the Vatican, 2 June of the year 2008, the fourth of my Pontificate.
BENEDICTVS PP. XVI
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