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Saturday 7 November 1964


Mister President,

We bid Your Excellency a heartfelt welcome, recalling with happiest memories Our own visit to Africa two years ago. Then, just a fortnight ago, We were happy to participate, in the person of Our Ambassador Extraordinary, in the celebrations marking the birth of the independent Republic of Zambia. Today, We are particularly grateful to Your Excellency for the honour you do Us in visiting this Apostolic See, in Our humble Person, as your first officia1 Presidential engagement outside Africa.

We welcome Your Excellency as a distinguished representative of the vigorous young Christianity of the new Africa, which We extolled at the canonization of the glorious Martyrs of Uganda. In your speeches and writings, Mister President, you have always proudly pronounced yourself a Christian, and proclaimed the benefits which the Gospel message has brought to your country and to all Africa. To you, We need not underline the distinction We drew, in that homily, between evangelization and colonization. Rather do We pledge to you anew the renewed efforts of all Our Catholic children in the building up of the Christian Nation of Zambia, by their ever more generous contributions towards the religious, social and cultural progress of its citizens.

With deep emotion do We recall Our consolation in personally consecrating the first son of Northern Rhodesia raised to the Episcopate. Zam ia needs ever more numerous sons and daughters of her own soil, who will dedicate themselves to the spiritual and temporal welfare of their fellow-citizens in the priesthood, the religious life, the medical, teaching and other professions. We pray, therefore, that Our schools, convents, and particularly priestly seminaries in Zambia, may produce more and better-prepared workers for God and country.

We were happy to note, in Your Excellency’s Independence discourses, your insistence on recognition of the rights and dignity of the human person, as the only true basis for harmony and peace in your country, as in the whole world. We pray that your present journey to many lands and to the United Nations may help you spread that message farther abroad; and that Your Excellency be spared for many years to foster respect for the higher principles of truth, liberty, justice and love in the independent Republic of Zambia.

With this prayer, We willingly invoke upon Your Excellency, upon your wife and family, upon the Government and beloved people of Zambia, the richest graces and favours of Almighty God.

*AAS 56 (1964), p.1002-1003.

Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. II, p.635-636.

L' Osservatore Romano 8.11.1964 p.1.

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