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Santa Cruz Airport
Saturday, 5 December 1964


Our visit to the beloved land of India, though of short duration and limited scope, has filled Our heart with joy and satisfaction. The Pope has been given the opportunity to meet the people of India, to admire their virtues and qualities, to appreciate their high talents and generous energies.

Our thanks are due, and We offer them, to all those who have contributed to make Our visit such a happy one. First, to His Excellency the President of India, who came to bid Us a personal welcome; then, to the Right Honourable Prime Minister and Members of the Government, who have honoured Us by their presence; to the civil authorities of Bombay; to the organizers of the Congress and all their collaborators; and to the Indian people, who have received Us with such warm and affectionate hospitality. Our particular gratitude goes to Our Beloved Son the Cardinal Archbishop of Bombay for his innumerable kindnesses.

As for Ourself, We can only say: Here We leave our heart! We feel Ourself to share in a moral citizenship with this land, which We will ever love. With deepest interest We shall follow its future development, exhorting Our Catholic sons to contribute generously in loyalty and obedience to the true progress of India.

We return to Rome, bearing with Us an unforgettable memory of Our pilgrimage and of all the kindnesses and favours showered upon Us here; as well as a great human and religious confidence in the people of Indio. Most lovingly, then, do We invoke upon you all the richest and choicest of divine graces. God bless India; Jai Hind!


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