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Monday, 2 February 1976


Ladies and Gentlemen,

We greet you joyfully, at the moment when your stay in Rome is about to end, as is the cycle of studies that had brought you here.

Your presence in this city rich in history, art and spirituality, was motivated by a special purpose, but we are happy for your sake that your stay coincided to a great extend with the celebration of the Holy Year. The superior and original concept of existence with characterizes Christian life was expressed in depth in this step of reconciliation with God and with one's neighbour. It showed that this ideal was accessible to everyone, and the mass of faithful, who came from so many countries to bear witness to their faith and their unity round the Successor of Peter, proved that the Gospel often remains the only hope of the humble.

Yes, to ensure the benefits of peace in a lasting way, it is important to set ourselves firmly on spiritual principles. But they are, in fact, far from being taken sufficiently into consideration. Antagonisms seem on the contrary to be increasing in our world. It seems abandoned to the unscrupulous harshness of wills for power and all economic egoisms, thus leading of the greatest unhappiness of the poor. That is why you, too, must contribute, in your own sphere of activity, to ensure peace. We know that such is your desire. We congratulate you and, in this thought, we ask the Lord to bless you and your families.

*ORa n.7 p.10.


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