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Address of His Holiness John XXIII to the 11th Session
of the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization*

Friday, 15 September 1961


We would like to address a few words of welcome to a group of Delegates who have taken e last days in the Eleventh General Conference of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

Last Monday, as a preview of the smoothness of that day's meeting, we already had the pleasure of receiving the President of the General Conference, which includes the representatives of more than one hundred nations, gathered to study the most efficient means of suppressing the rise of famine throughout the world. We receive you here today, dear gentlemen, with particular satisfaction, for the noble goals that the FAO pursues, merit the esteem and the respect of all those who truly have at heart the well-being of their fellow men and women.

You know all the interest we ourselves have expressed in your work from the beginning. We have even insisted on pointing them out in a solemn papal document, the recent encyclical Mater et Magistra, and we have been very sensitive to the sympathetic echo that our remarks have had in your Organization.

The world of today aspires to two great achievements: peace and bread. Peace finds its source in the faithfulness of human beings to the demands of the Pater Noster; this produces in turn, as its natural fruit, the well-being that we know to be the gift of Providence: panem nostrum... da nobis hodie. And it could be said that the one follows upon the other: for those who work to give humanity peace, which is threatened as long as the current serious economic imbalance among nations continues, contribute to peace by the very Tact of obtaining bread for hundreds of millions of undernourished men and women.

Such is the essential condition for your work to be truly effective. Dear gentlemen, may people live in peace on earth and thus find the bread which is necessary for them. This is the wish we express with all our heart and we invoke for you and on your activities choicest divine blessings.

*Paths to Peace, p.303.


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