APOSTOLIC PILGRIMAGE OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II TO BERN
ON THE OCCASION OF THE NATIONAL MEETING
OF THE YOUNG CATHOLICS OF SWITZERLAND
Solemnity of the Holy Trinity
Sunday, 6 June 2004
1. At the end of this celebration, I would like to go on a spiritual pilgrimage to the many Shrines and churches that also in Switzerland are dedicated to Mary.
I am thinking in particular of the Abbey of Einsiedeln and the Shrines of Our Lady of Sasso, Our Lady of Bourguillon and Our Lady of Vorbourg. From these holy places Mary watches over the valleys and districts of your Country, helping believers to preserve and increase those precious possessions: faith, hope and love.
2. Today I renew the entrustment of the Swiss People to the Blessed Virgin. May Mary watch over families, safeguarding conjugal love and supporting the mission of parents. May she comfort the elderly and help them to ensure that society does not lack their precious contribution. May she nourish in young people their sense of values and the commitment to abide by them. May she obtain for the entire national community the constant, unanimous desire to build together a prosperous and peaceful Country, which is both attentive and full of solidarity for people in difficulty.
3. I would especially like to entrust to Mary the youth of Switzerland, whom the Pope regards with affection and gratitude. Indeed, the young men of this Country have guaranteed to the Successor of Peter and to the Holy See the invaluable and highly regarded service of the Pontifical Swiss Guard. In the generous fidelity of the Swiss Guards everyone can admire the spirit of faith and love for the Church of so many Swiss Catholics.
4. Lastly, may the Blessed Virgin help your Nation to preserve harmony and unity among the various linguistic and ethnic groups which comprise it and to show appreciation for the contribution of each one. With these sentiments, let us recite together the prayer of the Angelus, a wonderful compendium of the whole Gospel.
I say to you once again with great joy: "thank you", Switzerland, and "thank you" to the organizational committee of this youth meeting. A special "thank you" goes to the choir. I thank all of you who have come here from the different Cantons.
Your presence gives me great joy.
May the Lord bless you and stay with you for all eternity!
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