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Domenica, 1° novembre 1955


The study tour College which you are now making through the member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty in Europe and the Near East has brought you to Rome, and you wished to take this opportunity to pay Us a visit. We are deeply moved by your attention and extend Our sincere thanks. You have been entrusted with heavy responsibilities by your respective countries. You are now preparing yourselves at «NATO College» to assume administrative functions on the staff of the North Atlantic Organization, and you are applying your efforts to the solution of the grave problems which confront the military defense of those states which are members of it.

That cooperation among member nations must find expression primarily in such a plan is still unfortunately a necessity in a deeply divided world; but We are convinced that it does not lessen in the least their sincere desire to maintain peace. Besides, it has not escaped you how much the problem of defense embodies aspects other than those of the equipment and organization of armed forces; this problem is conditioned by the general state of a country, its political and social ideals, its adherence to a way of thinking and living fully worthy of man and conforming to the needs of his nature; by its desire to dedicate itself seriously to a continuous raising of its economic and cultural level, in a word, by its profound dynamism, its will to live, and to live not shut up within itself in haughty affirmation of its power, but for the service of the international community and in a spirit of sincere cooperation.

We venture to hope that you will contribute your share in maintaining these conditions of fruitful and lasting peace. All Our best wishes accompany you as We ask God’s blessing upon you, your families and the people you represent.

*The Pope Speaks; vol.2 (Winter 1955-1956) n°4, p.341-342.


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