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, 4 February 1971


Mr. Ambassador,

It was with deep satisfaction that We listened to the noble words with which Your Excellency has just presented the Letters which accredit you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Holy See.

We thank you much and We welcome you. We desire to assure you that We appreciate to the full the nobility of your sentiments and the profound understanding which you have of the lofty mission that has been entrusted to you. This is a guarantee that Your Excellency is well qualified to represent your country at the Holy See, and it makes Us confident that, thanks to your work, the existing happy relations between Malta and the Holy See will continue to develop in that atmosphere of cordiality which now marks them.

Our confidence is strengthened by the fact that – as Your Excellency has rightly observed – spiritual links exist between the Holy See and Malta and have a value that far exceeds purely diplomatic formalities. We might well say that the special and unmistakable mark of the spiritual character of those relations is age-old fidelity to the Catholic Church, which is so deeply rooted in the life and culture of your people.

As We greet the new Ambassador from Malta here today, Our most earnest desire is that the flourishing Maltese Catholic community may continue to respond to its Christian and Catholic calling, preserve its great spiritual resources and the rich legacy of its ancient traditions, and make them flourish more and more. This is an indispensable condition for a peaceful future and true progress of your Island, and for success in those generous efforts which your Government is nobly making for your people’s economic and social development.

Everything that Your Excellency will do to these ends shall meet here with a ready response. We can assure you that We and Our collaborators shall always give you complete and sincere support.

We offer the most heartfelt prayers to God for the success of your mission. At the same time We cordially impart Our Apostolic Blessing to you, and extend it to the Government and the whole People of Malta, as testimony of Our affection and a pledge of the choicest heavenly blessings.


*ORa n.7 p.2.


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