Speeches 2002 - Toronto, Exhibition Place, Thursday, July 25, 2002
17th WORLD YOUTH DAY
Young people of the world, dear Friends,
Dear people of the Beatitudes!
With affection in the Lord I greet you all! I am happy to be among you again, after the days you have spent in catechesis and reflection, meeting one another and celebrating. We are coming towards the final phase of your World Day, the high point of which will be our Eucharistic celebration tomorrow.
In you, gathered from the four corners of the world, the Church sees her future, and feels the call to the youthfulness with which the Holy Spirit always enriches her. The enthusiasm and joy that you are showing are a sure sign of your love for the Lord, and of your desire to serve him in the Church and in your brothers and sisters.
2. A few days ago, in Wadowice, my home town, the Third International Young People’s Forum took place. It brought together Catholics, Greek-Catholics and Orthodox youth from Poland and Eastern Europe. Today, thousands of young people from all over Poland are there and are connected with us through a television link-up to celebrate this Prayer Vigil with us. Allow me to greet them in Polish:
I greet the Polish-speaking young people, so many of whom have come from our Homeland and from other countries throughout the world, and the thousands of young people from all of Poland and from the countries of Eastern Europe who have gathered in Wadowice to participate in this prayer vigil with us. To all of you I express the hope that these days will bear abundant fruits of generous fervour in holding fast to Jesus Christ and his Gospel.
Dear Young Friends,
I thank you for your presence in Toronto, I embrace you wholeheartedly, and I always pray for you so that you will be now and always the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
With affection I greet the young Italian people present here and all those in Italy who have joined us by TV link-up. Together with the young people who live this Day all over the world, we want to hold the world in our embrace of faith and love, to proclaim our faith in Christ, faithful friend who enlightens everyone's journey.
3. During this evening’s Vigil we shall welcome the Cross of Christ, the sign of God’s love for humanity. We shall praise the Risen Lord, the light that shines in the darkness. We shall pray in the words of the Psalms, repeating the very words that Jesus used during his earthly life when he spoke to his Father. The Psalms are still the prayer of the Church today. Then we shall listen to the word of the Lord, a lamp for our steps, a light for our path (cf. Ps Ps 119,105).
I invite you to be the voice of the young people of the whole world, to express their joys, their disappointments, their hopes. Look to Jesus, the living One, and repeat what the Apostles asked: "Lord, teach us how to pray". Prayer will be the salt that gives flavour to your lives, and leads you to him, humanity’s true light.
17th WORLD YOUTH DAY
Dear Young People,
When, back in 1985, I wanted to start the World Youth Days, I was thinking of the words of the Apostle John that we have listened to this evening: "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life... we proclaim also to you" (1Jn 1,1 1Jn 3). And I imagined the World Youth Days as a powerful moment in which the young people of the world could meet Christ, who is eternally young, and could learn from him how to be bearers of the Gospel to other young people.
This evening, together with you, I praise God and give thanks to him for the gift bestowed on the Church through the World Youth Days. Millions of young people have taken part, and as a result have become better and more committed Christian witnesses. I am especially thankful to you, who have responded to my invitation to come here to Toronto in order to "tell the world of the happiness you have found in meeting Jesus Christ, of your desire to know him better, of how you are committed to proclaiming the Gospel of salvation to the ends of the earth!" (Message for the 17th World Youth Day, No. 5).
2. The new millennium opened with two contrasting scenarios: one, the sight of multitudes of pilgrims coming to Rome during the Great Jubilee to pass through the Holy Door which is Christ, our Savior and Redeemer; and the other, the terrible terrorist attack on New York, an image that is a sort of icon of a world in which hostility and hatred seem to prevail.
The question that arises is dramatic: on what foundations must we build the new historical era that is emerging from the great transformations of the twentieth century? Is it enough to rely on the technological revolution now taking place, which seems to respond only to criteria of productivity and efficiency, without reference to the individual’s spiritual dimension or to any universally shared ethical values? Is it right to be content with provisional answers to the ultimate questions, and to abandon life to the impulses of instinct, to short-lived sensations or passing fads?
The question will not go away: on what foundations, on what certainties should we build our lives and the life of the community to which we belong?
3. Dear Friends, spontaneously in your hearts, in the enthusiasm of your young years you know the answer, and you are saying it through your presence here this evening: Christ alone is the cornerstone on which it is possible solidly to build one’s existence. Only Christ – known, contemplated and loved – is the faithful friend who never lets us down, who becomes our travelling companion, and whose words warm our hearts (cf. Lk Lc 24,13-35).
The twentieth century often tried to do without that cornerstone, and attempted to build the city of man without reference to Him. It ended by actually building that city against man! Christians know that it is not possible to reject or ignore God without demeaning man.
4. The aspiration that humanity nurtures, amid countless injustices and sufferings, is the hope of a new civilization marked by freedom and peace. But for such an undertaking, a new generation of builders is needed. Moved not by fear or violence but by the urgency of genuine love, they must learn to build, brick by brick, the city of God within the city of man.
Allow me, dear young people, to consign this hope of mine to you: you must be those "builders"! You are the men and women of tomorrow. The future is in your hearts and in your hands. God is entrusting to you the task, at once difficult and uplifting, of working with him in the building of the civilization of love.
5. From the Letter of John – the youngest of the apostles, and maybe for that very reason the most loved by the Lord – we have listened to these words: "God is light and in him there is no darkness at all" (1Jn 1,5). But, John observes, no one has ever seen God. It is Jesus, the only Son of the Father, who has revealed him to us (cf. Jn Jn 1,18). And if Jesus has revealed God, he has revealed the light. With Christ in fact "the true light that enlightens every man" (Jn 1,9) has come into the world.
Dear young people, let yourselves be taken over by the light of Christ, and spread that light wherever you are. "The light of the countenance of Jesus – says the Catechism of the Catholic Church – illumines the eyes of our heart and teaches us to see everything in the light of his truth and his compassion for all" (No. 2715).
If your friendship with Christ, your knowledge of his mystery, your giving of yourselves to him, are genuine and deep, you will be "children of the light", and you will become "the light of the world". For this reason I repeat to you the Gospel words: "Let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Mt 5,16).
6. This evening the Pope, along with all of you, young people from every continent, reaffirms before the world the faith that sustains the life of the Church. Christ is the light of the nations. He died and rose again in order to give back to those who journey through time the hope of eternity. Nothing human is hurt by the Gospel: every authentic value, in whatever culture it appears, is accepted and raised up by Christ. Knowing this, Christians cannot fail to feel in their hearts the pride and responsibility of their call to be witnesses to the light of the Gospel.
Precisely for this reason I say to you this evening: let the light of Christ shine in your lives! Do not wait until you are older in order to set out on the path of holiness! Holiness is always youthful, just as eternal is the youthfulness of God.
Communicate to everyone the beauty of the contact with God that gives meaning to your lives. In the quest for justice, in the promotion of peace, in your commitment to brotherhood and solidarity, let no one surpass you!
How beautiful the song that we have been hearing during these days:
"Light of the world! Salt of the earth!
Be for the world the face of love!
Be for the earth the reflection of his light!"
That is the most beautiful and precious gift that you can give to the Church and the world. You know that the Pope is with you, with his prayer and fond blessing.
7. I would like to greet once again the Polish young people.
Dear young people, I thank you for your presence in Toronto, in Wadowice and wherever you are spiritually united with the world's young people taking part in the 17th World Youth Day. I wish to assure you that in my heart and in my prayer I never cease to embrace each and every one of you, asking God that you may be the salt and the light of the earth, now and in your adult lives. God bless you!
17th WORLD YOUTH DAY
Sunday July 28, 2002
I greet you all and thank you for coming to see me at the closing of the Seventeenth World Youth Day.
I am grateful above all to the Archbishop of Toronto, Cardinal Ambrozic, who, together with Bishop Anthony Meagher, has guided the long preparations for this great event. My thanks also go to all those who by their dedication have made it a success, as well as to those who gave financial support.
I am happy to meet the young people of the First Nations from the land of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. You rightly call her kaiatano (most noble and worthy person). May she be an example to you of how Christians are to be the salt and light of the earth.
A special word of appreciation to the young, and not so young, members of the National Committee for the World Youth Day. I know how much generous effort you have put into the work of the past two years. In the name of all the young people who came to Toronto and have shared in the results of your work, the Pope says thanks!
Upon all of you, and upon your families, I invoke the blessings of Almighty God.
Monday, July 29, 2002
Dear Brothers in the Episcopate,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Beloved Brothers and Sisters,
1. First of all I would like to express my great joy in coming to this beloved land of Guatemala for the third time as a pilgrim of love and hope. I thank God for permitting me to return here to celebrate the canonization of a figure you so deeply love and admire: Brother Pedro de San José de Betancurt, a son of Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands. Prompted by a great missionary spirit, he came to Guatemala and gave himself to the service of the poor and needy.
2. I am pleased to greet first of all President Alfonso Antonio Portillo Cabrera, to whom I extend my heartfelt gratitude for his kind words of welcome. I deeply appreciate the presence of the Presidents of the Sister Republics of Central America, of the Dominican Republic and the presence of the Prime Minister of Belize. I am also grateful to the Government of the Nation, to the other Authorities and to the Diplomatic Corps for their welcome presence at this ceremony and for their valued cooperation in the preparations for my Visit.
I greet with affection my Brothers in the Episcopate, particularly the Archbishop of Guatemala and President of the Episcopal Conference, and the other Archbishops and Bishops. I also extend my fraternal greeting with great affection to the priests, deacons, men and women religious, catechists and faithful, to all Guatemalans, addressing with affection the indigenous peoples as well as those who have come from other Latin American countries and from Spain.
3. Tomorrow I will have the good fortune to canonize Brother Pedro de Betancurt, who embodied God's love for his people. This celebration should be a true moment of grace and renewal for Guatemala. In fact, the example of Brother Pedro's life and the eloquence of his message are a valuable contribution to building society, which is now opening to the challenges of the third millennium. I fervently hope that the noble Guatamalan people, who thirst for God and for spiritual values, who are anxious for peace, solidarity and justice, may live and enjoy the dignity which is theirs.
4. Entrusting myself to the protection of the Holy Christ of Esquipulas, and closely united to the beloved sons and daughters of all Guatemala, I begin this Apostolic Journey. I cordially bless you all, particularly the poor, the indigenous people and the campesinos, the sick, all the marginalized, and most especially those who are suffering, in body or in spirit. My cordial greeting goes to you all.
Praised by Jesus Christ!
Tuesday, July 30, 2002
Mr President of the United Mexican States,
Your Eminence, the Cardinal Archbishop of Mexico City,
Dear Brothers in the Episcopate,
Distinguished Authorities and Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Dear Mexican People,
1. I am filled with great joy at being able to come to this hospitable land for the fifth time. It was here that I began my Apostolic travels which have taken me as the Successor of the Apostle Peter to so many parts of the world, bringing me close to many men and women to strengthen them in their faith in our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
After celebrating the 17th World Youth Day in Toronto, today I have had the good fortune to add to the list of saints a wonderful evangelizer from this continent: Brother Pedro de San José de Betancurt. Tomorrow, with deep joy I shall canonize Juan Diego, and on the following day I shall beatify two other compatriots of yours: Juan Bautista and Jacinto de los Ángeles, who will thus join these beautiful examples of holiness in these beloved American countries, where the Christian message has been welcomed with open hearts, permeating their cultures and bringing forth abundant fruit.
2. I am grateful for the friendly words of welcome which the President has addressed to me on behalf of all Mexicans. I would like to reciprocate by renewing once more my sentiments of affection and esteem for this people with their wealth of history and ancestral cultures. I encourage everybody to work for the building up of an ever renewed homeland and for the country’s continual progress. I greet with affection the Cardinals and Bishops, the dear priests, men and women religious, all the faithful who day by day endeavour to practise the Christian faith and make the words that are the hope and programme of the future come true: "Mexico ever faithful!". From here I also send an affectionate greeting to the young people gathered at a prayer vigil in Plaza del Zócalo in front of the Primatial Cathedral, and I tell them that the Pope is counting on them and asking them to be true friends of Jesus and witnesses to his Gospel.
3. Dear Mexicans: thank you for your hospitality, for your constant affection, for your fidelity to the Church. Continue to be faithful on this journey, encouraged by the marvellous examples of holiness born in this noble nation. Be holy! Repeating what I said to you in the Basilica of Guadalupe in 1990, serve God, the Church and the nation, each one assuming personal responsibility for passing on the Gospel message and witnessing to a faith that is alive and active in society.
I cordially bless each one of you, with the words which your ancestors addressed to their loved ones: "May God make you like Juan Diego!".
"México siempre fiel!" (Mexico ever faithful!)
"His face shone like the sun" (Mt 17,2), we read in today's Gospel. The face of Christ is the face of light that tears open the obscure mystery of death: it is the proclamation and pledge of our glory, because it is the face of the Crucified and Risen One. On it, the Church his Bride, contemplates her treasure and her joy: "Dulcis Iesu memoria, dans vera cordis gaudia" (O gentle memory of Jesus, giving true joy of heart).
Today we remember my venerable Predecessor, the Servant of God Paul VI who, 24 years ago, at sunset on this day, the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, departed from this place to enter God's peace and contemplate his resplendent glory.
How often, recollected in prayer, did he long to see the face of the Lord in faith! His steadfast witness to Christ, the Light of the world, in the difficult times in which he exercised the Supreme Pontificate, even today lives in the Church. He was an untiring, patient architect in building "the civilization of love", of which the glorious face of the Redeemer is the light.
As we prepare to celebrate Mass, let us entrust to God the soul of his faithful servant. Let us also ask the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, that every day of our lives may become a concrete witness of love for the Lord, whose face continues to shine upon us (cf. Ps Ps 67,3).
Kraków – Balice Airport
Friday, 16 August 2002
Your Eminence the Cardinal Primate,
Your Eminence the Cardinal Metropolitan of Kraków,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. Once again I greet Poland and all my countrymen. I do so with the very same sentiments of emotion and joy that I feel every time I return to my homeland. I am most grateful to His Excellency the President for the words of welcome he has spoken in his own name and on behalf of the civil authorities of the Republic. I am grateful to Cardinal Franciszek for the words of kindness addressed to me on behalf of the City of Kraków, so dear to me, as well as on behalf of the Polish Episcopate and the whole People of God in our country.
This time I shall stay only in Kraków, but with affection I embrace the whole of Poland and all its people. I greet His Eminence the Primate, the Cardinals, my Brother Bishops, the priests, the representatives of the men and women Religious, the seminarians and all the lay faithful. I extend a word of greeting also to the State and local authorities; to the members of the Diplomatic Corps, with their Dean, the Apostolic Nuncio; to the civil authorities of the city of Kraków, of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska and of Wadowice.
In a special way I wish to greet my own city of Kraków and the whole Archdiocese. I greet the scientific and cultural communities, the universities, and all who by their intense work in industry, agriculture and other sectors of public activity help to build the spiritual and material splendour of the city and the region.
I cordially greet young people and embrace the children. I thank the youth for the example of faith that they gave just recently in Toronto, Canada, at the unforgettable Seventeenth World Youth Day. In a special way I salute all who bear the weight of suffering: the sick, people who are alone, the elderly, those who live in poverty and need. In these days I will continue to commend to God's Mercy your sufferings, and I ask you to pray that my apostolic ministry will be fruitful and meet every expectation.
I express my respect and recognition to our Brother Bishops and faithful of the Orthodox Church, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and to the Christians of the other Churches and Ecclesial Communities. I greet the Jewish community, the followers of Islam and all people of good will.
2. Brothers and Sisters! "God, rich in mercy". This is the motto of this pilgrimage. This is its proclamation. It comes from the Encyclical Dives in Misericordia, but its source is here, in Kraków, at Lagiewniki. Because from here, thanks to the humble efforts of an unusual witness, – Saint Sister Faustina – the Gospel message of God’s merciful love rings out. That is why the first stage of my pilgrimage and its chief purpose is my visit to the Shrine of Divine Mercy. I am happy to be able to dedicate the new building, which is becoming a world centre of devotion to the merciful Christ.
The Mercy of God is reflected in human mercy. For centuries, Kraków has found glory in great figures who, trusting in God’s love, bore witness to mercy through practical deeds of love of neighbour. It is enough to mention Saint Hedwig, Saint John of Kety, Father Piotr Skarga or Saint Brother Albert. Today they will be joined by the Servants of God whom – with God’s help – I shall have the joy of raising to the glory of the altars at Holy Mass in Blonie Park. The beatification of Zygmunt Szczesny Felinski, Jan Beyzym, Sancja Szymkowiak and Jan Balicki are the second reason for my pilgrimage. Already I hope that these new Beati, who have given an example of the practice of mercy, will remind us of the great gift of God’s love and predispose us for the daily practice of love of our neighbour.
There is also a third reason for my pilgrimage which I wish to mention. It is the prayer of thanksgiving for the four hundred years of the Shrine of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, which I have been associated with from childhood. It was there, praying as I walked along its paths, that I sought inspiration for my service of the Church in Kraków and in Poland, there that I made various difficult pastoral decisions. It was precisely there, among the faithful people at prayer, that I came to know the faith that guides me also on the Chair of Peter. Through the intercession of Our Lady of Kalwaria I want to thank God for this gift.
3. My pilgrimage and meditation on the mystery of Divine Mercy cannot proceed without some reference to the daily experience of those living in Poland. Therefore I wish to be very close to your concerns and to commend them to God, trusting that he will bless your efforts with success, and that with his help difficulties and problems will find a solution.
Events in Poland are very close to my heart. I am aware how much our homeland has changed since my first visit in 1979. This is a new pilgrimage, during which I can see for myself how Poles are managing their regained freedom. I am convinced that our Country is bravely marching towards new goals of development in peace and prosperity.
I am happy that many of my fellow countrymen, following the social teaching of the Church, are involved in building the common house of the nation on the foundations of justice, love and peace. I know that many observe and measure with a critical eye the system that seeks to govern the contemporary world with a materialistic view of man. The Church has always reminded society that a positive future cannot be built on the impoverishment of man, on injustice, on the suffering of our brothers and sisters. Those who work within the spirit of Catholic social ethics cannot remain indifferent to the fate of those who are without work, live in a state of increasing poverty, with no prospect of improvement for themselves or for their children’s future.
I know that many Polish families, especially the largest ones, and many unemployed and elderly people are carrying the weight of social and economic change. I wish to tell all of them that I spiritually share their burden and their fate. I share their joys and their sufferings, their plans and their efforts directed towards a better future. Every day I support them in their good intentions through fervent prayer.
To them and to all my fellow countrymen I bring today the message of hope that springs from the Good News: God, rich in mercy, daily reveals his love in Christ. It is he, the Risen Christ, who says to each and every one of you: "Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one; I died, and behold I am alive for evermore" (Ap 1,17-18). This is the message of Divine Mercy that I bring today to the nation and to my countrymen: "Fear not!" Trust in God who is rich in mercy. Christ is with you, the unfailing Giver of hope.
I beg your pardon. The President is standing, the Cardinal is standing, but I am seated. I beg your pardon for this, but I have to admit that they have created a barrier for me here that does not allow me to stand.
Dear Brothers and Sisters! May these three days of my stay in my homeland lead to a rebirth in us of a deep faith in the power of God’s mercy. May they unite us ever more closely in love; may they encourage responsibility for the life of every man and woman, and for their daily circumstances. May they dispose us to goodness, to mutual understanding, that in the spirit of mercy we may grow closer to one another. May the grace of hope fill your hearts!
Again I cordially greet everyone present, and I warmly bless all who share in our common pilgrimage.
God bless you.
Saturday, 17 August 2002
Magnificent Rectors, Professors and Students, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I thank you for this stop on the way from Lagiewniki to Franciszkanska Street; I thank you very much.
I wish to say to you that everyday I pray for your universities, for the Jagellonian University of Kraków, for the Catholic University of Lublin, and for the Angelicum of Rome, for all the rectors, the professors and for the students, living and dead.
May the Academy flourish; may the professors flourish; may its many members thrive; may each member thrive; may it always be flourishing.
For those who understand Latin, the words mean "may they flourish", may the Academy flourish and may the Jagellonian University in Kraków flourish. May God reward them for all I have received from it and may God bless you for the years to come in this new place. God bless you.
This greeting and wish I address to all the schools of higher learning and all the universities in Poland. Once again, God bless you.
Holy Father's message, signed by the Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, to Bishop Mariano De Nicolň of Rimini, Italy, for the 23rd Meeting for Friendship among Peoples of the ecclesial movement Communion and Liberation.
Dear Bishop De Nicolň,
On the occasion of the 23rd Meeting for Friendship Among the Peoples, the Holy Father invites you to offer the participants his cordial greeting and to express to them his deep appreciation of this important initiative, which in the last few years has become an important event in the Italian Catholic world.
You have chosen a provocative topic for your meeting: "The Feeling of Things, the Contemplation of Beauty". Christ said: "I am the truth" (cf. Jn Jn 14,6), and those who met him on the roads also saw in him "the fairest of the sons of men" (Ps 45,3). The unique correspondence of truth and beauty in the Word made man is portrayed in the depictions of Christian art which, in our time, inspire the desire to rediscover it in contemporary works. In fact, today, thought often tends to assert that truth is foreign to the world of art. Beauty is only supposed to affect the feelings and so to offer a delightful escape from the iron laws that rule the world. But is this really the case?
The beauty of nature, things and people, seen as they are, can be stunning. How can we not see in a mountain sunset, in the immensity of the ocean, or in the features of a face, something that both attracts us and invites us to want to know more about the reality in which we live? This observation impelled Greek thought to give rise to the idea that philosophy is born from the wonder that is inseparable from the fascination of beauty. Even what lies outside the tangible world has its own deep beauty that impresses the spirit and gives rise to admiration. Think of the powerful spiritual attraction of an act of justice, a gesture of forgiveness, a sacrifice made with joy and generosity for a great ideal.
In the beautiful what we find shining forth is the truth which draws to itself with the unmistakeable fascination that great values exercise. Thus, sentiment and reason are radically united in an appeal that is made to the whole person. Reality, with its beauty, allows us to experience the beginning of attainment and whispers to us: "You will not be unhappy; your heart's desire will be fulfilled, indeed, it is already being fulfilled".
Beauty can sometimes seduce and corrupt, but this degeneration, as the Gospel recalls, represents the bitter fruit of an evil choice born in the person's heart, since "there is nothing outside a man which by going into him can defile him; but the things which come out of a man are what defile him" (Mc 7,15). Here the person's sight stops at appearances; by denying the invitation present in every beautiful thing to go beyond it, he denies its value as sign and seeks to possess it, thus gradually losing every trace of beauty.
St Augustine refers to this sorrowful experience in the Confessions when he admits: "I threw myself on the beautiful things you created. Your creatures, which would not have existed except in you, kept me apart from you" (X, 27,38). The Bishop of Hippo recalls, however, that it was precisely beauty that reunited him with God: "You called me, you shouted, and you overcame my deafness. You sent a bright light, you shone and dispelled my blindness. You spread your fragrance, I inhaled it and now I long for you" (ibid.)
The radiance of the beauty we contemplate opens the soul to the mystery of God. The Book of Wisdom reproached those who "were unable from the good things that are seen to know him who exists" (13,1), from the admiration of their beauty they should have been able to ascend to their Author (cf. 1,3; 3). Indeed, "from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator" (13,5). Beauty has a pedagogical power that can introduce us effectively to the knowledge of the truth. Finally, it leads to Christ who is the Truth. Indeed, when love and the quest for beauty flow from a vision of faith, we can have a deeper perception of things and enter into contact with the One who is the source of every beautiful thing.
Christian art at its best splendidly confirms this insight, and such art appears as a tribute to transfigured beauty that is rendered eternal by the vision of faith.
The Supreme Pontiff fervently hopes that the Meeting for Friendship among Peoples will contribute to spreading the new way of looking at things that Jesus teaches us. In this way, art can become a means of evangelization and can help promote a renewal of missionary outreach.
The Holy Father also expresses his fervent hope that this meeting will be for all the participants a precious opportunity of communion in charity, growth in faith and of the contemplation of God, the true and supernatural Beauty.
To this end, he assures you of his remembrance in prayer, and invoking the motherly intercession of Mary, Tota pulchra (All Beautiful), he imparts a special Apostolic Blessing to you, to the sponsors, the organizers and to all who will be taking part in the Meeting.
I add my own good wishes for the success of the event, and take this opportunity to confirm, with deep respect, that I remain
Devotedly yours in the Lord,
Cardinal Angelo Sodano
Secretary of State
Speeches 2002 - Toronto, Exhibition Place, Thursday, July 25, 2002