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Thursday, 20 November 1969


Mr. Ambassador,

In these moments when you present Us with the Letters of Credence which accredit you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Venezuela to the Holy See, Our thoughts go beyond the externals of this official act, and Our mind spontaneously opens tip to feelings of cordial welcome to your worthy and learned person. They ate feelings of gratitude for your amiable expressions of acceptance of Our teachings and pastoral efforts, and feelings of profound affection and regard for the whole of dearly beloved Venezuela.

You have unmistakably emphasized a reality that fills Us with consolation. We refer to the Catholicism of your country. The Catholic faith is truly a basic and unifying element in the history and personality of your nation. It has enlightened consciences, given rise to undertakings, and continues to infuse vitality and fraternity into your honourable, peaceful and hardworking people, which has been so prodigiously blessed by Providence.

This faith is an irreplaceable legacy which you have received from your forefathers. That inheritance is today happily being renewed and improved through the enthusiasm end commitment of so many whose ideals and activities combine filial loyalty to the Church with their loyal citizenship of Venezuela. We follow them all with affectionate solicitude and Oar encouragement, so that they may go on maintaining and increasing those moral and religious values which guarantee and elevate the dignity of every human being, which foster harmonious social living, help culture to be extended to all milieux, and which safeguard the rights of the family and the world of work.

In this regard We cannot but receive with joy your observations on reforms, which must be inspired by the spirit of the Gospel, and on the spirit of commitment with which the Government and the People of Venezuela are moving towards new landmarks in development. Your observations are like an echo of Our constant preoccupations in Our ministry

You have said that Venezuela looks to the future with confidence. We share that confidence, and We support it with Our prayers that your country may continue on its way towards constant and integrated progress such as requires resolute and compact collaboration on the part of the whole national community. May Venezuela obtain a more prosperous state of collective well-being; may it share that wellbeing with greater social equity; may it be more united in civil affairs; may it bring more aid and peace to the harmony of the peoples.

In uttering all these desires We turn them into prayer to Almighty God, whose name and whose protection are invoked in the preamble of the Constitution of Venezuela. We take pleasure in assuring you at the same time, Mr. Ambassador, of Our good wishes for, the happy accomplishment of the mission Which you are now beginning. May the divine blessings descend abundantly on your person, on His Excellency the President, the Government and the whole People of Venezuela.

*ORa n.49 p.2.


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