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General Audience 1/07/2009   versione testuale

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

There is a close link between the Pauline Year, which concluded last Sunday, and the Church’s current celebration of the Year for Priests. As we have seen, Saint Paul, in his life and his writings, teaches us that the mystery of Christ must stand at the very heart of our lives as individuals and as a community. This is true in a very special way of priests. In Saint John Mary Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests, we see a wonderful example of a priest whose person was completely identified with his ministry. The priest’s personal identity, grounded in his calling and his sacramental configuration to Christ, may not be separated from his pastoral activity. 

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