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Sunday, 17 December 1978


Beloved sons, in the first place I extend a particularly cordial greeting to all of you present here, for the warm welcome you have given me.

I am happy and at the same time honoured to be among you today to inaugurate this "St Paul's Vocational School", which had been conceived and willed by my great predecessor Paul VI. He, not I, should have been here in my place to crown an intense and personal interest in this work of high social value, planned as early as 1974 and now happily completed.

This is one of the most living and significant monuments, raised to his keen sensitiveness to human advancement, understood as a necessary consequence of adherence to the Gospel, lived fully. With a real spirit of concrete love with lasting effects, he thought of the needs of the densely populated Ostiense District and above all of its many young people. In agreement with the competent Regional Authorities of Latium, the particular type of school and construction was chosen, and then an institute was constructed which, catering for 500 boys, can meet properly the local needs for specific courses of vocational training for mechanics, electricians and electro-technicians. As you know, the considerable expense incurred in setting up the vast and functional complex, was borne by the Pontiff himself. Therefore, both the building and the high quality equipment of the School are a generous gift of this outstanding Pope, who was well aware, as the Apostle Paul teaches us, that "faith works through love" (Gal 5:6). On their side, the well-deserving Giuseppini Fathers of Murialdo, who already direct the neighbouring St Paul's Youth Centre, bring to it their appreciated management as expert educators of youth.

I am here today to recall and recognize all this, to pay due tribute and express praise to him who really made the light of his good works shine before men (cf. Mt 5: 16), and to invite the families of the district and especially the pupils of the School to bless the memory of the Holy Father Paul VI, who, like Jesus, "went about doing good" (Acts 10:38). I am here, too, to tell you that I fully share these noble intentions. Therefore, even if Paul VI is no longer among us, be well assured that the new Pope makes his initiative his own and prays to the Lord to be so good as to help him to continue, with the same indefatigable zeal, the same commitment of efficacious charity, particularly in favour of the neediest.

There remains for me now only to express a fervent wish for all the youths who are here learning a trade for life. I know that the academic year started already last October. But I am still in time to urge you to learn here not only a specialized work, useful for you and for your livelihood, but also and above all the dimension of brotherly Christian love, which knows how to give and to give itself, so as to make to the society of our time not only a material contribution, but one of spiritual and interior construction, without which everything would be imperfect and unstable.

In particular I urge you, in this period of your youth which is so precious, but also decisive for the maturing of your personality, to dedicate yourselves with generosity to your religious formation as well as to your human and vocational one.

And may my most cordial Apostolic Blessing accompany you all: students, teachers, and all those who work here and have collaborated in its realization, so that this School may grow and bear fruit worthy of its venerated Founder, through the contribution of all and with the necessary grace of God.


© Copyright 1978 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana