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Wednesday, 17 November 1971


Dear friends,

It is our pleasure to greet you this morning in the Vatican. We welcome you as distinguished astronauts, who have made a significant contribution to the world of science.

From the beginning We followed with interest the impressive undertaking of Apollo XV. We are happy to have the occasion to tell you how much We appreciated the message you sent to Us at that time, through the Apostolic Delegate in Washington.

In that message you assured Us that your journey to the moon was undertaken in the hope of contributing “to the progress of human life throughout the world” and that it was “for all mankind”. We express to you this morning our admiration for these aims of yours and assure you of our prayers that your mission will indeed fulfill the expectations of your countrymen and of your brothers on all the continents.

We were pleased to note in that same message of yours how you regarded your God-given talents in the context of a service to be rendered.

We are full of hope that through your efforts men will come to know better the Creator of all things and his marvelous works, and that in harmony they will work together for the building of a peaceful universe, with liberty and justice for all. 


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