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Manila, Philippines
Friday, 27 November 1970


Mister President,

We are happy to present Our respectful greeting to Your Excellency as head and highest representative of the great nation of the Philippines. We wish likewise to thank you for the remarkable welcome which We received on arriving on your soil. Your offer to give us hospitality in your residence was deeply appreciated, but Our practice obliges us to stay at the Apostolic Nunciature. We feel, nevertheless, that We are fully the guest of the Filipino people, and so your guest. Thank you again.

We have been informed of the lofty and upright intentions which have inspired and still inspire the policies of your Government. We are certain that this cordial meeting between the humble successor of Peter and the holder of the highest office among the dear Filipino people - the only people in the Far East that is Christian in the greater part-will likewise be an effective spur for a new and more vigorous effort in favor of men. We are thinking of an effort to be made through a more equitable distribution of the riches of this country which has been blessed by God, a real and integral development of individuals and communities, a human advancement - especially of the most needy classes-a deeper awareness at all levels, not only of one’s rights, but still more and above all of one’s duties towards other men, other fellow human beings, and towards the whole community.

The object of Our visit to Manila is of the spiritual order; it has an apostolic character. Great would be Our joy if by Our visit the Catholic people were made firm in their faith and in the sincere and coherent expression of it. Great would it be if they were spurred on to seek a happy blending of their religious heritage with the new needs of the modern world. We would like to see strengthened their readiness to live in good understanding with all, to promote social development in the name of the charity of Christ whose witnesses they are, to prize the civic qualities of integrity, disinterestedness and equal service of all. These qualities are the basis of the prosperity of great, free and united peoples.

To your illustrious collaborators We likewise present Our respectful greeting and the assurance of Our esteem for the greatness of their functions. The Church holds in great esteem the servants of the public good who ensure its tasks for the service of all. By according recognition and respect to the rights of persons, families and groups, and by their care for fairness and for economic and social progress, they do honor to Christianity, from which these virtues derive (Cfr. Rom. 13: 7). May God bless yourselves and your families. May he reward your devotedness and your admirable hospitality with his abundant graces.

*AAS 63 (1970), p.17-18.

Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. VIII, p.1197-1198.

L’Osservatore Romano 28.11.1970, p.2.

ORa n.49 p.4.


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