Paulus VI Homily


Friday, 4 December 1964: Bombay, St Paul Parish


Venerable Brothers, beloved sons and daughters,

Having come to this hospitable land as a pilgrim, to honour Our Lord in the Blessed Eucharist, We address Our words of greeting and of friendly concern to you, to all the Catholics, Bishops, priests and people; and indeed to the people of India.

If you ask: Who is this pilgrim? What are his motives and his intentions? We reply, We are a servant and messenger of Jesus Christ, placed by Divine Providence at the head of His Church as the successor of Saint Peter, Prince of the Apostles. Messenger of Jesus and Head of the Church are in reality one function only, since the Church’s reason for existing is to proclaim and spread the teaching of Jesus, and to continue His ministry on earth. This is Our identity and Our mission.

For a fruitful dialogue, both of us must know one another, We desire to know you better. Already We are aware of the long and glorious history of the Church in India, evangelized by the Apostle Saint Thomas, who sanctified its soil by his preaching and is acclaimed Apostle of India, and evangelized also, according to tradition, by Saint Bartholomew. We recall the fruitful apostolate of Saint Francis Xavier, and of the many other priests and religious who spread the Good News of the Gospel, and who today continue to show men the way to eternal happiness. In the secular history of your land, We know the natural goodness, the humility and the patience, of the sons of this country, your unswerving devotion to spiritual ideals; We are not ignorant of the many trials and difficulties which you undergo with fortitude and longanimity. An outstanding example of these virtues was given by the life and works of Mahatma Gandhi, whose lofty character and love of peace are known to all. Such religious disposition and a deep attachment to family life characterizes India, and in general all the peoples of Asia. We respectfully greet the entire Asian continent, of which India is so typical a component, in variety of races and cultures, in efforts towards genuine progress, in heartfelt desire and promotion of peace among the nations of the world.

We come to you as a messenger of Jesus and his teaching. Many of you know His life and doctrine and, like Mahatma Gandhi, express reverence for Jesus and admiration for His teaching. «I am the light of the world», Jesus said; and today the world stands in great need of this Light, to overcome the strife and division, and the menace of unprecedented violence, which threaten to engulf mankind. The people of India and of Asia can draw light and strength from the teaching and spirit of Jesus, from His love and compassion, in their efforts to help the less fortunate, to practise brotherly love, to attain peace among themselves and with their neighbours.

This is the mission of the Church here, and We are deeply grateful for the freedom assured to the preachers of the Gospel in your country. They communicate the message of Jesus with highest respect for the convictions of others, in the language and cultural expressions of the people, and encourage Christians to express their faith and devotion in harmony with the civilization of India and in truly Indian forms. Thus the Church, having gathered the varied treasures of many cultures of East and West, will be further enriched by the contribution of her Indian sons, drawn from their country’s rich and ancient cultural tradition.

Beloved sons and daughters, and all the people of India! In this simple discourse, We have touched on many points of contact, on several sentiments which we have in common. Hence, We do not feel Ourself a stranger among you. The Pope is at home wherever the Church is at home. The Church everywhere is closely united to the people in all their efforts for the betterment of the nation.

With all Our heart, We desire the prosperity and progress of the people of India; and, insofar as it is possible for Us, We have helped and will continue to help them. We shall never cease to pray that God Almighty and Our Lord Jesus Christ may pour down upon the rulers and people of this noble nation an abundance of divine blessings, especially the high gift of peace, in justice and brotherly love.

Bombay - Friday, 4 December 1964


Venerable Brothers, dear Sons and Daughters in Christ,

As we look out upon the vast multitude gathered here in worship A and as the prayers and hymns of the Divine Liturgy which has been celebrated still sound in Our ears, the words of Our Lord come easily to Our mind: «I tell you that many will come from the east and from the west, and will feast with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven» (
Mt 8,11).

Though we have not yet arrived at that happy cosummation when the Lord’s words will be completely fulfilled, we rejoice in the fact that their promise is visibly manifested in this gathering today. Many have come from the east and from the west and are gathered around the table of the Lord. Many traditions and cultures are represented here, but the Eucharist which has been celebrated is one, and the unity which it signifies and builds up is the unity of all mankind with God in Jesus Christ.

The Liturgy which We have celebrated today comes from an ancient tradition in the Church. First of all, it reminds Us forcibly of the fact that Christianity has been present in this great land from apostolic times through the venerable traditions brought from Palestine, the homeland of the Lord.

If the name Syrian denotes their origins, the ceremonies and the language indicate clearly that they have become deeply rooted in the soil of India. Through centuries which were often difficult they have maintained their vitality and strength, so that today they are a living witness to the ever youthful vigour of the Gospel of Christ.

Succeding centuries brought new contributions to the Christian life of this country. The great saint Francis Xavier was followed by many other fervent apostles from various cultures who brought the message of Christ’s peace and our reconciliation with God. If these newer traditions have preserved many distinguishing characteristics of their own, they are also striving to draw deeply from the culture and life of this country.

The plurality of these traditions is a living witness to the Catholicity of the Church of Christ, which is at the same time for all men, embracing all cultures, and also can express in a particular way the truth and beauty which exist in each culture. In a special manner this Eucharistic Congress manifests this fact and testifies to the truth of what We so recently proclaimed, together with the Fathers congregated in the Second Vatican Council: «The Church fosters and takes to itself, in so far as they are good, the ability, riches and customs in which the genius of each people expresses itself. Taking them to itself, it purifies, strengthens, elevates and consecrates them».

In recognizing this truth, we acknowledge the obligations it places upon us. The first of these is the necessity for a deep, fraternal cooperation among those who share differing liturgical traditions.

You are all one in steadfastly holding to the teaching of the Apostles and the Fathers and in the breaking of the Bread. You are one in your communion with each other and with the Successor of Peter, whom the Lord has established as the Chief Pastor of His Church. Perhaps in the past, the idea of legitimate plurality joined with mutual cooperation may have been obscured at times. But today there must be a new dedication to this idea. The Constitution on the Church clearly states: «In virtue of this catholicity, each individual part contributes through its special gifts to the good of the other parts and of the whole Church. Through the common sharing of gifts and through the common effort to attain fulness in unity, the whole and each of the parts receive increase». Oh, that these words may be engraved on your hearts and be realized in your individual and corporate life!

What treasures of grace will be brought to yourselves, your country and the whole world, if these words become the animating force behind the witness you give to the mission with which Christ has charged you!

There is another obligation which stems from this realization of the catholicity of the Church. That is the obligation to remain faithful to your traditions, at the same time as you strive to adapt yourself to the needs of the present age, and to become more fully a part of the life and culture of your native land. Fidelity to your traditions will help maintain so many ties with what is good and genuine in the past, and also preserve or reestablish bonds with those who share these traditions, but who are not in full communion with the Catholic Church. In a spirit of fidelity and charity, through mutual cooperation devoid of any spirit of contention, you can contribute greatly to the building up of Unity among Christians who live and work together, side by side.

But this fidelity is not to be a dead veneration of the past. It must be joined to a living adaptation to the needs of your people, as they continue to make a positive contribution to the spiritual and cultural life of their country. In this happy union of fidelity and adaptation, entered into by all the different hierarchies and their faithful together in a spirit of fraternal cooperation, lies the promise of a genuine witness to Christ and to His Gospel in this beloved land of India, so rich in religious life and spiritual striving.

It is in this spirit, that with joyful heart We invoke upon the celebrants of this Holy Liturgy, their clergy and faithful, and upon all the bishops, priests and people of every rite and tradition gathered here, the Apostolic Blessing.

Priest: Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace and salutary hope to men, always and for ever. Amen.

People: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name; your kingdom come; your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day the bread we need and forgive us our offences and sins as we also have forgiven those who offended us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, power and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Deacon: Bless, O Lord.

Priest: O Christ our God and our Saviour, hope of the sick and the afflicted, through the prayers of your Mother Mary ever virgin, of St. John the Baptist, of the Apostles and of our Father St. Thomas, of the Prophets, Martyrs and of all the Saints, have mercy on the sick and the afflicted, bless them and give them your grace that they may with patience and holy resignation bear all their pains and sorrows for the benefit of their body and soul. You, the resuscitator of our body and the benevolent Saviour of our soul, Lord of all for ever.

People: Amen.



Yankee Stadium, New York

Brothers and sons of New York,

Brothers and sons of the United States and of all America,

All of you who have assembled here from every part of the World,

We greet you and We bless you!

This is this day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad today! This is the day which We have desired for centuries! The day which, for the first time, sees the Pope setting foot on this young and glorious continent! An historic day, for it recalls and crowns the long years of the evangelization of America, and the magnificent development of the Church in the United States! All honour to you, Brothers and sons! Peace and joy in Christ to you, whom We wish We could individually receive and embrace! A paternal and brotherly greeting to you, Bishops and Pastors, to you, Priests, Men and Women Religious of America! To the Shepherd of this most flourishing Archdiocese, Francis Cardinal Spellman, Archbishop of New York, who is, here beside Us, Our greeting and blessing,. as a token of Our veneration and Our affection, of Our gratitude to him and Our esteem; especially today, on the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi. Our best wishes on his name day; and together with him We greet and salute the entire Catholic community of New York and of all the United States of America. We know your pastoral work and your faithfulness; We know the splendid organization and spiritual vitality of your parishes, of your seminaries, of your universities, of your schools, of your hospitals, of your works of charity! We know too your love for Christ and His Church. We affirm of you what Saint Paul wrote to the Romans: «Your faith is proclaimed all over, the world» (
Rm 1,8). And it is from Rome that We bring you that message of faith and love which unites us all in Christ; together with the blessing of Saints Peter and Paul.

We are most happy to greet at the same time, with all reverence and sincerity, those Christian brothers here present, separated from us, yet united with us by baptism and by belief in the Lord Jesus. We keep them all in Our heart and in Our prayers. We also greet those here present who follow other religious beliefs, and who in good conscience intend to seek and honour Almighty God, the Lord of heaven and earth; among whom the descendants of Abraham have Our particular consideration.

We feel, too, that the entire American people is here present, with its noblest and most characteristic traits: a people basing its conception of life on spiritual values, on a religious sense, on the rule of law, on freedom, on loyalty, on work, on the respect of duty, on family affection, on generosity and courage. We pay honour to the human and civil virtues of this great people, and in these virtues We recognize valuable derivations from Christian values, which We hope will ever remain living and active, safeguarding the American spirit from those dangers which prosperity itself can entail, and which the materialism of our day can make even more menacing. From its brief but heroic history, this young and flourishing country can derive lofty and convincing examples to encourage it in its future progress.

So, too, We turn Our thoughts cordially to all those who belong to other nations and are present at this great religious assembly; they show forth the hospitality of this country, and also the fact that men of different origins can live together, work together and prosper together in freedom and in concord. To all of them and to their respective countries We send Our greetings and good wishes.

What are We to say to you, that can correspond to the duties of Our apostolic ministry and be adequate to the spirit of this unique occasion? Our words can only be the words to the Gospel, which has just been read to you; the words of the risen Jesus, which He repeated three times: Peace be to you!

Truly, verily, Peace be to you!

How rich in meaning, how abundant in good things, is this divine and human greeting of Peace! Repeated thousands of times, we all recognize it, we all desire it. And that is good. But allow Us to exhort you to consider it once again, to preserve it as the Gospel message of the Pope as He lands on this soil and proclaims to all those He meets: Peace be to this house, to this continent, and to all those who inhabit it!

We have, then, three things to say to you.

First of all, you must love peace. Here We can use the words of Christ: «Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the son of God» (Mt 5,9). If we truly wish to be Christians, we must love peace, we must make our own the cause of peace, we must meditate on the real meaning of peace, we must conform our minds to the thought of peace. In the past, it was not always so in the education of minds and the training of citizens; but today it must be so; we must love peace, because its dwelling is first in men’s hearts, and only afterwards in the external condition of society. Peace must live and reign in men’s consciences, as Holy Scripture teaches us: «May the peace of Christ reign in your hearts» (Col 3,15). Peace is order, in relation to God and in relation to men; it is wisdom, it is justice, it is civilization. Whoever loves peace loves mankind, without distinction of race or of colour.

Second thought: You must serve the cause of peace. Serve it, and not make use of it for aims other than the true aims of peace. Serve it, and not use this noble standard as a cover for cowardice or selfishness, which refuses to make sacrifices for the common good; not debilitate and pervert the spirit, by evading the call of duty and seeking one’s own interests and pleasure. Peace is not a state which can be acquired and made permanent. Peace must be built; it must be built up every day by works of peace. These works of peace are, first of all, social order; then, aid to the poor, who still make up an immense multitude of the world population, aid to the needy, the weak, the sick, the ignorant. Peace must be like a garden, in which public and private beneficence cultivates the choicest flowers of friendship, of solidarity, of charity and love.

Third thought: Peace must be based on moral and religious principles, which will make it sincere and stable. Politics do not suffice to sustain a durable peace. The absence of conflict does not suffice to make of peace a source of happiness and of true human progress. Peace must have its roots anchored in wisdom, and this wisdom must draw nourishment from the true concept of life, that is the Christian concept. Remember the words of the Lord Jesus: «Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you» (Jn 14,27). Jesus, the Prince of Peace (Is 9,6), has His own original and characteristic peace, which can regulate every human relationship because, in the very first place, it regulates the relationship with God.

Coming among you at a moment, so beautiful, so brief but so important, as this, We have no better greeting, no better remembrance for you than to repeat that holy salutation of Christ: Peace, His peace!

Finally, one more word.

At the end of this Mass, We shall bless a stone, which We had removed from Saint Peter’s Basilica and which We Ourself brought here from Rome. This blessed stone will be placed in the foundations of a great new edifice, the Seminary of the Archdiocese of New York. Cardinal Spellman, with that courage and farsightedness which are characteristic of him, is preparing to build this Seminary for the new and future generations of students for the Priesthood in the service of Holy Mother Church. This is indeed a monument worthy of perpetuating the memory of Our visit to you. You can see in this corner stone an eloquent symbol of the faith and love which unite the Catholics of New York to the Church of Rome. You can see in this ceremony the proof of Our confidence in the Seminarians of New York, those of today and those of tomorrow; the pledge of Our good wishes that they may always be sustained by Christ, and always be the gloria Christi, the glory of Christ (2Co 8,23).

Wednesday, 25 January 1967: PRIESTLY ORDINATION


«Haec dies, quam fecit Dominus»

This is the day which the Lord has made.

What day is this?

Let us say, first of all, what kind of day it is for Us, the Successor of Saint Peter and «Episcopus Ecclesiae Catholicae» (Bishop of the Universal Church): it is a day of grace and of joy, one of the most blessed days of Our life, a day which We shall constantly remember, with gratitude to the Lord and with affection for you.

Always, for a Bishop, the day of Ordination is a happy moment because of the exercise of the fulness of his Priesthood; because of the addition of new ministers to the hierarchical order, as his dearest sons, his closestet brothers, his most faithful collaborators; and because of the edification of Holy Mother Church, who is thus endowed with new ministers, new shepherds.

But today’s Ordination is distinguished by special circumstances: these new Priests have been chosen among a people who, in the course of history, have been, to us Romans, a cause of special drama: «Penitus toto divisos orbe Britannos» (Virgil: Eclogue I, 67): divided from us by half a world; but then, under the auspices of Saint Gregory and Saint Augustine, most dear and close to us; later, with immense pain, torn asunder from us; finally, in recent times marked by new friendship ,and new hope, that people strongly and sweetly draws to itself our very heart.

And now, behold! You come, bringing this new friendship and pledging this new hope, to reconfirm our Christian and Catholic communion with your people - and shall our heart not overflow with joy and emotion? You come, enriched with an experience of life which makes your offering all the more significant and precious - and shall we not attentively seek in your vocations the signs of that Holy Spirit Who renews the face of the earth?

For you, also, venerable and beloved sons, this is a great day, as you are well aware. We do not need to repeat, here and now, those things upon which you have meditated during the years of preparation for this decisive hour. You are becoming Priests of Christ; upon your souls there is stamped the mysterious character which assimilates you to Our Lord. He communicates to you some of His extraordinary and awesome powers, such as those of offering validly the Eucharistic Sacrifice, of acting as ministers and teachers of the faithful people; He binds you as obedient and active cooperators to the Hierarchy of the Church; He pledges you to an imitation of Christ which may demand all of your life, and consume everything in it; but, at the same time, He also gives you His grace, His strength, His joy and His peace.

Doubtless, you will never forget this day; and We form the prayerful wish that the memory of this day may ever be for you an interior source of spiritual light and riches. May the recollection of this ceremony, on the anniversary of the first announcement of the Vatican Council, and in this venerable Sistine Chapel which was host to Our historic meeting with the highest Representative of the Anglican Communion, inspire you to closer relations and warmer friendship with your fellow countrymen of differing beliefs, but united in Christian good will.

And to your parents, your families and friends, what does this day signify? Some of them are here present, and We greet them with great respect and cordial welcome. To all of them, near and far, this Ordination represents a sharing. They share, first, in your sacrifice of your lives to the service of God; and they willingly give up your presence, your assistance, your undivided affection, so that you may dedicate yourselves completely to the Priesthood and its duties. But, second, they also share in your merit for this sacrifice, and participate in the graces which you call down upon all the Christian people, but most richly upon your loved ones, by your mediation between God and man. Finally, they share today in your meditation upon the divine plan, by which God has called you to His full service; and in the deep feelings which fill your hearts at the reflection that His choice, among all the human race, has actually fallen upon you.

We thank your parents and families for giving you, so unselfishly and generously, to the Holy Church, and We invoke upon them the richest reward of heavenly favours that your priestly intercession can obtain, for their consolation and salvation.

On this feast, at this Ordination performed by the Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, We turn confidently to Saints Peter and Paul, that they may intercede for these new Priests and secure every blessing upon their service to the people of God. We pray also to the Saints of England, Scotland and Wales, particularly to Saint Bede the Venerable, heavenly patron of your College. Above all, We claim the loving assistance of the Mother of God for these new shepherds from that land so long and affectionately known as «Mary’s Dowry».

Surrounded and upheld by this heavenly intercession, We call down upon you, beloved sons, upon your families and loved ones here and at home, the love, protection and guidance of the Eternal Priest; and to all We impart from Our heart, Our paternal Apostolic Blessing.


Yes, Venerable Brothers and beloved sons and daughters! Elizabeth Ann Seton is a Saint! We rejoice and we are deeply moved that our apostolic ministry authorizes us to make this solemn declaration before all of you here present, before the holy Catholic Church, before our other Christian brethren in the world, before the entire American people, and before all humanity. Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton is a Saint! She is the first daughter of the United States of America to be glorified with this incomparable attribute! But what do we mean when we say: «She is a Saint»? We all have some idea of the meaning of this highest title; but it is still difficult for us to make an exact analysis of it. Being a Saint means being perfect, with a perfection that attains the highest level that a human being can reach. A Saint is a human creature fully conformed to the will of God. A Saint is a person in whom all sin-the principle of death-is cancelled out and replaced by the living splendor of divine grace. The analysis of the concept of sanctity brings us to recognize in a soul the mingling of two elements that are entirely different but which come together to produce a single effect: sanctity. One of these elements is the human and moral element, raised to the degree of heroism: heroic virtues are always required by the Church for the recognition of a person's sanctity. The second element is the mystical element, which express the measure and form of divine action in the person chosen by God to realize in herself-always in an original way-the image of Christ (Cfr.
Rm 8,29).

The science of sanctity is therefore the most interesting, the most varied, the most surprising and the most fascinating of all the studies of that ever mysterious being which is man. The Church has made this study of the life, that is, the interior and exterior history, of Elizabeth Ann Seton. And the Church has exulted with admiration and joy, and has today heard her own charism of truth poured out in the exclamation that we send up to God and announce to the world: She is a Saint! We shall not now give a panegyric, that is, the narrative which glorifies the new Saint. You already know her life and you will certainly study it further. This will be one of the most valuable fruits of the Canonization of the new Saint: to know her, in order to admire in her an outstanding human figure; in order to praise God who is wonderful in his saints; to imitate her example which this ceremony places in a light that will give perennial edification; to invoke her protection, now that we have the certitude of her participation in the exchange of heavenly life in the Mystical Body of Christ, which we call the Communion of Saints and in which we also share, although still belonging to life on earth. We shall not therefore speak of the life of our Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. This is neither the time nor the place for a fitting commemoration of her.

But at least let us mention the chapters in which such a commemoration should be woven. Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton is an American. All of us say this with spiritual joy, and with the intention of honoring the land and the nation from which she marvellously sprang forth as the first flower in the calendar of the saints. This is the title which, in his original foreword to the excellent work of Father Dirvin, the late Cardinal Spellman, Archbishop of New York, attributed to her as primary and characteristic: «Elizabeth Ann Seton was wholly American»! Rejoice, we say to the great nation of the United States of America. Rejoice for your glorious daughter. Be proud of her. And know how to preserve her fruitful heritage. This most beautiful figure of a holy woman presents to the world and to history the affirmation of new and authentic riches that are yours: that religious spirituality which your temporal prosperity seemed to obscure and almost make impossible. Your land too, America, is indeed worthy of receiving into its fertile ground the seed of evangelical holiness. And here is a splendid proof-among many others-of this fact.

May you always be able to cultivate the genuine fruitfulness of evangelical holiness, and ever experience how-far from stunting the flourishing development of your economic, cultural and civic vitality -it will be in its own way the unfailing safeguard of that vitality. Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton was born, brought up and educated in New York in the Episcopalian Communion. To this Church goes the merit of having awakened and fostered the religious sense and Christian sentiment which in the young Elizabeth were naturally predisposed to the most spontaneous and lively manifestations. We willingly recognize this merit, and, knowing well how much it cost Elizabeth to pass over to the Catholic Church, we admire her courage for adhering to the religious truth and divine reality which were manifested to her therein. And we are likewise pleased to see that from this same adherence to the Catholic Church she experienced great peace and security, and found it natural to preserve all the good things which her membership in the fervent Episcopalian community had taught her, in so many beautiful expressions, especially of religious piety, and that she was always faithful in her esteem and affection for those from whom her Catholic profession had sadly separated her.

For us it is a motive of hope and a presage of ever better ecumenical relations to note the presence at this ceremony of distinguished Episcopalian dignitaries, to whom-interpreting as it were the heartfelt sentiments of the new Saint-we extend our greeting of devotion and good wishes. And then we must note that Elizabeth Seton was the mother of a family and at the same time the foundress of the first Religious Congregation of women in the United States. Although this social and ecclesial condition of hers is not unique or new (we may recall, for example, Saint Birgitta, Saint Frances of Rome, Saint Jane Frances Fremiot de Chantal, Saint Louise de Marillac), in a particular way it distinguishes Saint Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton for her complete femininity, so that as we proclaim the supreme exaltation of a woman by the Catholic Church, we are pleased to note that this event coincides with an initiative of the United Nations: International Women's Year. This program aims at promoting an awareness of the obligation incumbent on all to recognize the true role of women in the world and to contribute to their authentic advancement in society. And we rejoice at the bond that is established between this program and today's Canonization, as the Church renders the greatest honor possible to Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton and extols her personal and extraordinary contribution as a woman -a wife, a mother, a widow, and a religious.

May the dynamism and authenticity of her life be an example in our day-and for generations to come-of what women can and must accomplish, in the fulfillment of their role, for the good of humanity. And finally we must recall that the most notable characteristic of our Saint is the fact that she was, as we said, the foundress of the first Religious Congregation of women in the United States. It was an offspring of the religious family of Saint Vincent de Paul, which later divided into various autonomous branches-five principal ones-now spread throughout the world. And yet all of them recognize their origin in the first group, that of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Joseph's, personally established by Saint Elizabeth Seton at Emmitsburg in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The apostolate of helping the poor and the running of parochial schools in America had this humble, poor, courageous and glorious beginning. This account, which constitutes the central nucleus of the earthly history and vorldwide fame of the work of Mother Seton, would merit a more extended treatment. But we know that her spiritual daughters will take care to portray the work itself as it deserves.

And therefore to these chosen daughters of the Saint we direct our special and cordial greeting, with the hope that they may be enabled to be faithful to their providential and holy institution, that their fervor and their numbers may increase, in the constant conviction that they have chosen and followed a sublime vocation that is worthy of being served with the total gift of their heart, the total gift of their lives. And may they always be mindful of the final exhortation of their Foundress Saint those words that she pronounced on her deathbed, like a heavenly testament, on January 2, 1821: «Be children of the Church». And we would add: for ever! And to all our beloved sons and daughters in the United States and throughout the entire Church of God we offer, in the name of Christ, the glorious heritage of Elizabeth Ann Seton. It is above all an ecclesial heritage of strong faith and pure love for God and for others-faith and love that are nourished on the Eucharist and on the Word of God. Yes, brethren, and sons and daughters: the Lord is indeed wonderful in his saints. Blessed be God for ever!

Paulus VI Homily