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Monday, 2 November 1964 


Dear Children of Sweden.

We are happy to have this occasion to speak to you. Our Catholic children call Us the Holy Father, and We feel that Our Fatherhood extends to every man, woman and child on earth. A father is God’s representative to his children; he must love them with God’s love, and show them God’s goodness. This love and goodness We wish to extend to every human being; therefore, We feel most keenly the sorrow of the divisions between Christians and others, and even among the followers of Christ themselves.

Praying on the evening before His death for us, Jesus asked: «Holy Father, keep in Thy name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, even as We are» (Jo. 17, 11). Today each and every Christian must strive as never before, that this prayer may be fulfilled. All must make efforts, and sacrifices; all must be humbly obedient to God’s graces. Above all, each Christian must try to draw ever closer to Jesus Himself; since, by coming nearer and nearer to Him, we will come closer to each other, and to the unity in love for which He prayed.

Few of you, dear children, are Catholics; but We say to you: Study your holy faith deeply and well; respect the beliefs of others. Live your faith in your daily lives, at home and in school; and show true Christian love to your schoolmates who also worship Jesus as their Saviour. Be patient and understanding, pray for each other, help each other; obey the voice of your conscience, and strive for Christian unity with all.

You live, dear children, in Sweden, a prosperous and peaceful land. Let yourselves be filled by the spirit of God’s love, and show true brotherhood to all in the unbounded fatherhood of God. Thus will you do your part, to ensure world peace and deeper understanding among races and peoples. We pray that God will bless and favour your efforts. As a pledge of that divine grace, We impart to you and your families Our Apostolic Blessing; and We invoke upon you all, your parents and relatives, your teachers and your beloved country, the choicest and most copious favours of Almighty God.    


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