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Monday, 30 August 1971


Dear friends from Keio University.

It is always a real pleasure for Us to greet university students; it is a special pleasure for Us when they come from Japan. We know the dynamism that is yours as students and We know the richness that is yours as sons and daughters of Japan and inheritors of the great Asian culture of your forefathers.

Realizing full well that “the youth . . . of all Asia is on the march” (Address t o the University Students of Santa Tomas, 28 November 1970), there is special significance for Us in repeating other words that We spoke last year during Our visit to your continent: “Dear students, We greet you with the deepest loving interest and with all Our paternal affection. Today is your hour. You are the advancing vanguard of your country. Your responsibility is supreme for the future of your nation” (Ibid.).

Our desire this morning is to tell you of this affection and to assure you of respect and esteem for the rich patrimony of Japan and of all Asia. We wish, moreover, to do this in the name of Christ and in the name of the Christianity he founded. The witness that the Church strives to give with ever increasing sincerity and efficacy is that of unity in diversity, and universality in brotherhood.

To you as students We would express once more Our wish for the success of your mission to a world in need. We know “what values you possess: your enthusiasm for the future, your thirst for what is just and true and your aversion for hatred and its worst expression which is war, even your rejection of the out-of-date elements in present-day civilization” (Address to Youth, in Sydney, 2 December 1970). Because of all of this, We pray that your contribution and that of your university colleagues may be great on behalf of promoting peace in justice and brotherhood.

May the Most High enlighten your minds and inflame your hearts for the practice of love.


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