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Saturday, 1 March 1975


We are very glad to receive the dear, priestly family of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy this year too. We wish the meeting to be a very simple one, like that of a father among his sons, in order to find oneself again together with you students, who have started or completed the courses preparing for the service of the Holy See in Pontifical Representations; to express to you our expectations and hopes, to encourage you for the apostolic labours which await you.

For this is what it is yours will be an apostolate, carried out in the name of Christ and of the Church, which only love justifies and sustains. It will be a ministry, a diakonia, aimed at the good of the local ecclesial communities among which the Pontifical Representative and all his collaborators are the visible link with the See of Peter, Mater et Caput omnium Ecclesiarum, the visible sign of the presence of the Successor of him whom Jesus willed to be the rock of the Church, the support and element of cohesion, the encouragement of the faith of his brothers: confirma frates tuos (Lk 22, 32).

As we said in 1951 when the 250th anniversary of the foundation of your institution was celebrated, “diplomacy presents itself as a form of love for peoples, and the School which prepares them is a superior school of charity. When we were in the Seminary, we were taught to love the parish, to love the diocese. Here we are taught to love entire peoples, to open our heats and widen them in a really Roman magnanimity, to open our spirit in consideration of the nations, the continents, the more complex histories and vaster forms of human life. Here the school says to the pupil: you will be the servant of these great, superior and immense needs" (cf. Paolo VI e la Pontificia Accademia Ecclesiastica, 1965, pp 49-501

This is the range of the tasks that await you, this is the commitment that demands of you today prayer and study, so that your mind will be enriched by solid doctrine and by the necessary knowledge and so that you will grasp the universal character of the apostolate which becomes everything to everyone (cf. 1 Cor 9, 33). Imploring especially from divine grace, by means of deep eucharistic piety, help to sustain you in the perseverance of preparation, today, and tomorrow, in the generous and joyful sacrifice of yourselves for the Church.

May you be strengthened to do so by the intercession of Mary Mater Ecclesiae; and may you be encouraged by our benevolence, which we willingly repeat to you with all our heart, with the pledge of our Apostolic Blessing.

*ORa n.11 p.2.


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