Thursday, 31 May 2007
Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all" (II Thes 3: 18).
With the words of the Apostle Paul I address a cordial greeting to all of you who form the large family of those who work in the various Offices of Vatican City State.
I greet the Cardinal Members of the Pontifical Commission and the President, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, whom I thank for the kind words of welcome. My greeting extends to the other Cardinals and the Superiors of the Governorate.
I thank you all for having come here and for the generosity with which you contribute at various levels to the diverse activities that the Governorate complex is called to administer.
I extend a special greeting to the Vatican Museum's Patrons of the Arts who have been so kind to join us. Thank you for making such a long journey from the United States, England, Ireland, Portugal and Chile. Your generosity gives splendid witness to the beauty of the faith, expressed so richly in the works of art you have graciously helped to restore.
My thought goes in a particular way to you, dear friends, who render your service in the different sectors of our little State, from the most visible to the most hidden.
Daily I notice and appreciate the fruit of your commitment and competence, and I came here in order to say my sincere thanks to you and to give you a concrete sign of my closeness.
I know well that your service is often tiring and that it requires sacrifices that sometimes involve both you and your families: this makes my thanks even more heartfelt. And I welcome the occasion to greet your relatives, some of whom are here with us this evening.
The Governorate, by whom you are employed, carries out an important function. When my Venerable Predecessor Pius XI concluded the negotiations for the Lateran Treaty, he was concerned that the Holy See could count on "that bit of territory" to guarantee "absolute independence for the fulfilment of its lofty mission in the world".
Performing your duties with commitment, dear friends, you assure the daily life of the State and help the Pope in fulfilling the ministry that the Lord has entrusted to him at the service of the Church and the world.
Hence, it is not out of place to define you as "collaborators of the Pope", and as such to greet you today, exactly here, in front of this building that ideally symbolizes the various offices where you carry out your duties.
Therefore, you work in the Vatican for and with the Pope; you work in the places that have seen the witness of many martyrs and above all of the Apostle Peter. This asks of you, besides competence, professionalism and dedication, also a serious commitment to be Gospel witnesses.
I count on you, and I ask you to grow each day in the knowledge of the Christian faith, in friendship with God and in the generous service of your brethren.
I exhort you, therefore, at home and at work, to be always faithful to your Baptism, and to be docile disciples and credible witnesses of the Lord Jesus. Only in this way can you make your precious contribution to the spreading of the Gospel and the edification of the civilization of love.
A little while ago, in the Governorate Chapel, I blessed a beautiful image of the Blessed Mother, whom you venerate as "Mother of the Family". I also blessed the new organ expressly desired to accompany the song of the liturgical assembly that unites you for the daily Holy Mass.
The Church's presence amid your offices and workplaces reminds you each day that the paternal glance of God, in his providence, follows you and takes care of each one of you.
May prayer, which is confident dialogue with the Lord, and also midweek participation in the celebration of the Divine Sacrifice that unites us to Christ the Saviour, be the secret and strength of your days and sustain you always, especially in difficult moments.
I have also been informed that the projects of the Governorate include a fountain dedicated to St Joseph, subsidized by generous donors. The Spouse of the Virgin Mary, head of the Holy Family and Patron of the Church, can quite rightly be considered the example and model for those committed in the numerous services of the Governorate, who for the most part carry out services that are humble and silent, but which are an indispensable support for the activity of the Holy See.
I hope, therefore, that the project will be successfully completed. And I ask St Joseph to protect you and your families always.
Besides the protection of St Joseph I invoke upon you the maternal assistance of the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, who watches us from above this building. I entrust all of you to her: may her maternal smile accompany you and may her intercession obtain for you God's choicest Blessings.
While I wholeheartedly bless you, once again I thank you for your work.
© Copyright 2007 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana
Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana