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Saturday, 4 March 1967


We welcome you to the Vatican and We are happy to renew a friendship which had its beginning only a few years ago in Bombay.

You are on your way to England to perform «India Arise» and to share with your friends your hopes and desires for your respective countries. The development of a nation is the sacred responsibility of all citizens, and We are happy to see that you, the precious youth of so vast a nation, wish to impress this obligation on the young people of your country. A sense of responsibility, motivated by the highest religious principles, is most necessary if a nation is to advance and provide for its citizens. It is heartening to learn that you have spread this message up and down India, so much in need of generous and selfless leaders who are willing to make sacrifices so that the common good of all is secure.

We were impressed by the religious sense that We found in Asia, and We express the hope that it will be the motivating force of your activities. Religion fosters respect for the human person; it strengthens the determination of dedicated men and women to undertake sometimes drastic programs for the good of all citizens, and it gives solid foundation to the hopes of a young nation for its future. We are all children of God, and we must all work together in harmony for the mutual benefit of all. With this conviction comes respect, admiration and affection. We urge you to give yourselves to your country and to your people. Their gratitude will be written in their hearts.

We congratulate you on this undertaking and We express the confident hope that your efforts will bear much fruit. We invoke upon you and your countries God’s abundant blessings. 


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