Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Archdiocese of Naples,
I greet you all with great affection and I am glad to join you in spirit at the solemn celebration for the closure of your Jubilee which has been an important time of hope and an opportunity for new evangelization for the entire diocesan community. I first greet your Archbishop, dear Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, the priests, deacons men and women religious, catechists and the other pastoral workers, with a special thought for families, young people and the sick.
I warmly rejoice with you all because the journey you have made in these months has seen the joyful participation and wholehearted involvement of the ecclesial as well as the civil community and of a great many people of good will. I learned with pleasure that many people have made a generous contribution to the spiritual, moral and cultural development of your city and of the archdiocese!
Indeed for the Church in Naples this special Jubilee Year has been a time of immersion in God’s mystery and therefore a year of grace. It can be compared to a “baptism”, because, in a certain sense, the Jubilee has opened the heavens above you and has brought down upon your life and your community the power of the Holy Spirit, just as when he came down upon the disciples in the Upper Room at Pentecost.
It is the Holy Spirit himself who has made the various moments of your Jubilee beautiful and has inspired in you holy resolutions, generous projects and above all a renewed desire to set your city ablaze with the fire of the Gospel.
Yes, dear Neapolitan friends, the heavens have opened above you! And you can walk with fresh enthusiasm and face with the strength of faith, hope and charity the many complex problems that are encountered in daily life. Just as the Apostles, after Pentecost, set out courageously to proclaim the Good News, may you too, after this Jubilee, renew your hope, let yourselves be guided by the power of the Holy Spirit and collaborate with new dynamism in the Church’s mission.
Each and every one should make the gifts they have received fruitful, putting them at the service of others and of the edification of the whole community, without forms of personalism or rivalry, but in a spirit of sincere humility and in joyful brotherhood. May you always dedicate special care — as you already do — to your smallest and weakest, poorest and least privileged brothers and sisters.
May Our Lady of Mount Carmel, protectress of the city of Naples, and St Januarius watch over you and help you to carry forward with perseverance and faithfulness the commitments you have taken on in this Jubilee Year. Together with my prayers, may the Apostolic Blessing which I cordially impart to you all accompany you always!
BENEDICTUS PP. XVI
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