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Monday, 27 October 2003 


Dear Friends,

I am pleased to greet you, the members of the Pro Petri Sede and Étrennes Pontificales Associations, who have come to Rome together to demonstrate the new bonds that unite your two organizations, and especially, to express your common attachment to the See of Peter.

For many years you have taken care to keep alive in your Dioceses and parishes the spirit of communion that marks the Catholic Church and is expressed in the openness of each Church to the others around the See of Peter, guarantor of unity and communion among them all. This sense of ecclesial communion is expressed in particular by the practice of charity and the promotion of fraternal sharing, so that the more favoured help the less privileged (cf. II Cor 8: 13-15) and the Church is truly the Body of Christ in which each member feels solidarity for all the others (cf. I Cor 12: 25-26).

The Pope is grateful to you for the generous and faithful help that your associations give to the Church. It enables her, in her communities and throughout the world, to continue her spiritual and material action for everyone and, especially for the poorest of our brethren, to ensure a greater respect for their dignity everywhere. Please express, therefore, to all the members of your associations my deep gratitude for their gifts and their commitment. In their daily lives, may they always be attentive to the lowliest and thereby express to them the love of God who "shows no partiality" (Acts 10: 34)!

Dear pilgrims, as I entrust you and your families to the motherly intercession of the Virgin Mary, whom we venerate, especially in this month, as Our Lady of the Rosary, I wholeheartedly impart a special Apostolic Blessing to you, which I extend to all the members of both your associations and to their loved ones.


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