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Consistory Hall
Saturday, 31 October 1987


Dear Friends,

I am very happy to have this opportunity to greet such a large group of visitors from Sweden. I welcome each one of you present here in the company of His Excellency the Ambassador to the Holy See. May this visit to the Vatican remind you of the long history of contacts between your country and this City, the place of martyrdom of the Apostles Peter and Paul, and may it also help to increase the friendship and Christian fellowship which unites us in the Lord Jesus Christ.

In a special way I am pleased to receive this visit from the young artists who have been performing a play based on the life of the great Saint Bridget, patroness of Sweden and foundress of the Bridgettine Order. This remarkable woman, who was esteemed and venerated especially for her kindness and meekness, lived throughout her life in great intimacy with God. In him she placed all her trust and prayerfully sought his counsel in her undertakings. Her life speaks to us of the supremacy of faith and love in our relationship with God, and of the humble service we are called upon to render to our brothers and sisters in their needs.

I pray that there may be ample space in your young lives for reflection and meditation on the life and work of Jesus Christ, so that the title of Christian may have authentic significance for you. Jesus Christ wishes to be your friend and companion on the road of life. He calls you to share ever more fully in the community of salvation by giving expression in your lives to the values of his kingdom of justice, peace and love.

I wish to encourage you too in your artistic activities. May you always give praise to God through the use of your talents in the service of beauty and in the promotion of harmony among peoples.

To the Bridgettine Sisters present I express my support and encouragement in your religious consecration. You are particularly committed to contemplation, liturgical worship and ecumenical hospitality. In this way you honour the Most Holy Saviour and you embrace the needs of the world, presenting them before God’s loving providence. In the perspective of faith, this is a most efficacious apostolate and it requires that your life of prayer be sustained by interior charity and genuine self-giving. In this Marian Year you will intensify your imitation of Mary who gave strength to the first Christian community which, in the words of the Acts of the Apostles, was of one accord and devoted to prayer (Cfr. Act. 1, 14).

To all of you I extend my heartfelt good wishes. Through you I greet your families and your fellow-citizens. I pray for your happiness and for the further progress of Christian unity among you.

May Almighty God bless you all.


© Copyright 1987 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana