ADDRESS OF POPE FRANCIS
TO THE OFFICERS AND AGENTS OF THE GENERAL INSPECTORATE
FOR PUBLIC SECURITY AT THE VATICAN
Monday, 20 January 2014
Dear Chief Inspector,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentleman,
Dear Officers and Agents,
I welcome you and address my cordial greeting to each one of you, which I extend to your families and to your loved ones. I thank the General Commissioner for the courteous words which he has addressed to me on behalf of all who are present and of all who belong to the General Inspectorate for Public Security at the Vatican. This traditional meeting, my first, offers me the occasion to express to you my gratitude for your service, especially that which you carry out in St Peter’s Square: in the cold, in the heat, in the rain, in the wind, always.... This counts so much! We are all aware of the constant need to ensure the special character of this unique place be protected, preserving its character as a sacred and universal space. And for this, a discreet yet attentive vigilance is needed. In effect, in St Peter’s Square people are calm, they move about peacefully, they enjoy a sense of peace. And this is also thanks to you, who maintain public order.
I also think of your commitment during larger gatherings of the faithful, who come from all over the world to meet the Pope, to pray at the tomb of St Peter and at those of his Successors, especially John XXIII and John Paul II.
Your work requires technical and professional training combined with attentive vigilance, kindness and dedication. The pilgrims and tourists, as well as all those who work in the various offices of the Holy See, know that they can count on your cordial assistance.
I thank you especially for the work carried out efficiently in the days that proceeded the Conclave, following the renouncement of Pope Benedict. I wish to take the opportunity of this meeting to renew the most sincere thanks — on my own behalf and that of my collaborator’s — to all those who did their best to make sure that everything would be carried out in an orderly and peaceful manner.
And I would like to express my hope that the time spent in service at the Vatican will be for each of you an opportunity to grow in faith. Faith is the most precious treasure that your families have entrusted to you and that you are also called to transmit to your children. It is important to rediscover the message of the Gospel and to welcome it in the depths of one’s own conscience and in concrete daily life, courageously bearing witness to God’s love in every sphere, also at work.
I entrust you to the Virgin Mary, so that as a caring Mother she may protect each one of you, your families and your work. I ask you to please pray for me — I need it — and from my heart I bless you.
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