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Shannon Airport
Monday, 1st October 1979


Dear brothers and sisters,

The time has come for me to leave Ireland, to continue my pastoral mission, my apostolic journey.

I came here to proclaim peace and love, to speak to you about the Son of God made man, about your life in Christ. Yes, as Successor of the Apostle Peter I came to confirm my brethren in the faith, and to ask all Ireland to lift up its heart to a new vision of hopeā€”in the words of Saint Paul: to "Christ Jesus our hope" (1 Tim 1:1).

I began my pilgrimage under the protection of our Blessed Lady, and on the feast of the Archangels. And I take leave of you on the feast of Theresa of the Child Jesus, splendid example of joyful simplicity, and proof of the extraordinary effectiveness of generous Christian love.

I am deeply grateful for all the kindnesses shown me by the civil and religious authorities of this land. I also thank those who worked so hard and with such great skill here in Ireland to organize the many details of this visit. I thank all the people for the warm and loving reception in which they manifested their keen sense of humanity and their lively faith.

With the Apostle Paul, I now beg you for ever "to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called ... eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Eph 4 :1, 3).

In the name of the Lord I exhort you to preserve the great treasure of your fidelity to Jesus Christ and to his Church. Like the early Christian community described in the Acts of the Apostles, Ireland is called to be "faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers" (Acts 2 :42).

Ireland : semper fidelis, always faithful !

Ireland: always faithful!

Moladh go deo le Dia !


© Copyright 1979 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana