Speeches 2005-13 120




Friday, 12 October 2007

Venerable Brothers,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We are meeting in this place which constitutes the main entrance to the Apostolic Palace in order to bless and inaugurate the Bronze Door which has been completely restored after two years of patient and skilled work. The event is not in itself of great importance but is significant for the role that this singular Door plays and for the centuries of ecclesial history it has seen unfolding. I therefore thank you for being present and address my cordial greeting to each one.

This Main Door was made by Giovanni Battista Soria and Orazio Censore in the Pontificate of Paul V, who, between 1617 and 1619, desired to renew completely the entire structure of the Porta Palatii.In 1663, after the colossal architectural intervention which was due to the genius of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the Main Door was relocated to its present position, that is, on the threshold between the Colonnade of St Peter's Square and the Constantine Wing. Worn with time, there was an idea of restoring it for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, but this operation of radical restoration only became possible a few years later. Thus, the main Door was taken and not only carefully restored to its original beauty with the most modern methods and techniques, but also reinforced with a steel frame. And it is now back on its hinges and has resumed its role beneath the splendid mosaic that portrays Our Lady with the Child between Sts Peter and Paul.

Precisely because it marks the access to the House of the one whom the Lord has called to guide the whole People of God as Father and Pastor, this Portal has acquired a symbolic and spiritual value. Those who come to meet the Successor of Peter walk through it. Pilgrims and visitors on their way to the various Offices in the Apostolic Palace enter by it. I warmly express the hope that those who pass through the Bronze Door may feel welcomed by the Pope's embrace as soon as they enter. The Pope's House is open to all.

My thoughts of appreciation and gratitude go to those who have made this urgently needed and radical restoration work possible. First of all, to those who directed and carried out the work in its various phases: the Technical Services of the Governorate and the Restoration Workshops of the Vatican Museums, which called in specialized firms for the parts in wood and in metal. It was possible to undertake this long and demanding work thanks to the generous financial support of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre and the Credito Artigiano. I therefore express deep gratitude to these two Institutes, which have thus desired to renew an expression of fidelity to the Supreme Pontiff and attention to the art works that constitute a patrimony of the Holy See. I extend my most sincere thanks to all who have made their contribution in various ways.

And I now assure my remembrance in prayer to those in charge, to the workers and to the benefactors, as well as to each one of you present here, as I impart my Apostolic Blessing with affection to you all.


Via di Torre Rossa, Rome Saturday, 13 October 2007

Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood,
Dear Professors and Students of the Pontifical Institute for Sacred Music,

On the memorable day of 21 November 1985 my beloved Predecessor, Pope John Paul II, went to visit this "aedes Sancti Hieronymi de Urbe" where, since its foundation by Pope Pius XI in 1932, a privileged community of Benedictine monks has worked enthusiastically on the revision of the Vulgate Bible. It was then that the Pontifical Institute for Sacred Music moved here, complying with the Holy See's wishes, although it retained at its former headquarters in Palazzo dell'Apollinare, the Institute's historic Gregory XIII Hall, the Academic Hall or Aula Magna which still is, so to speak, the "sanctuary" where solemn academic events and concerts are held. The great organ which Madame Justine Ward gave Pius XI in 1932 has now been totally restored with the generous contribution of the Government of the "Generalitat de Catalunya". I am pleased to greet the Representatives of that Government who are present here.

I have come with joy to the didactic centre of the Pontifical Institute for Sacred Music, which has been totally renovated. With my Visit I inaugurate and bless the impressive restoration work carried out in recent years at the initiative of the Holy See with the significant contribution of various benefactors, among whom stand out the "Fondazione Pro Musica e Arte Sacra", which has overseen the total restoration of the Library. My intention is also to inaugurate and bless the restoration work done in the Academic Hall, in which a magnificent piano has been set on the dais next to the above-mentioned great organ. It was a gift from Telecom Italia Mobile to beloved Pope John Paul II for "his" Institute for Sacred Music.

I would now like to express my gratitude to Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education and your Grand Chancellor, for expressing his courteous good wishes to me also on your behalf. On this occasion, I gladly confirm my esteem and pleasure in the work that the Academic Board, gathered closely around the Principal, is carrying out with a sense of responsibility and appreciated professionalism. My greetings go to everyone present: the relatives, with their children, and the friends accompanying them, the officials, staff, students and residents, as well as the representatives of the Consociatio Internationalis Musicae Sacrae and the Foederatio Internationalis Pueri Cantores.

Your Pontifical Institute is rapidly approaching the centenary of its foundation by the Holy Father Pius X, who established with the Brief Expleverunt Desiderii, the "Scuola Superiore di Musica Sacra" in 1911. Later, after subsequent interventions by Benedict XV and Pius XI, with the Apostolic Constitution Deus Scientiarum Dominus, once again promulgated by Pius XI, it became the Pontifical Institute for Sacred Music, and is still today committed actively to fulfilling its original mission at the service of the universal Church. Numerous students who have met here from every region of the world to train in the disciplines of sacred music become in their turn teachers in the respective local Churches. And how many of them there have been in the span of almost a century! I am pleased here to address an affectionate greeting to the man who, one might say, represents with his splendid longevity the "historical memory" of the Institute and personifies so many others who have worked here: the Maestro, Mons. Domenico Bartolucci.

I am pleased in this context to recall what the Second Vatican Council established with regard to sacred music. In line with an age-old tradition, the Council said it "is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art. The main reason for this pre-eminence is that, as a combination of sacred music and words, it forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy" (Sacrosanctum Concilium SC 112). How often does the rich biblical and patristic tradition stress the effectiveness of song and sacred music in moving and uplifting hearts to penetrate, so to speak, the intimate depths of God's life itself! Well aware of this, John Paul II observed that today as always, three traits distinguish sacred music: "holiness", "true art" and "universality" or the possibility that it can be proposed to any people or type of assembly (cf. Chirograph Tra le Sollecitudini, 22 November 2003; ORE, 28 January 2004, p. 6). Precisely in view of this, the ecclesiastical Authority must work to guide wisely the development of such a demanding type of music, not "freezing" its treasure but by seeking to integrate the valid innovations of the present into the heritage of the past in order to achieve a synthesis worthy of the lofty mission reserved to it in divine service. I am certain that the Pontifical Institute for Sacred Music, in harmony with the Congregation for Divine Worship, will not fail to make its contribution to "updating" for our times the precious traditions that abound in sacred music.

As I invoke upon you the motherly protection of Our Lady of the Magnificat and the intercession of St Gregory the Great and of St Cecilia, I assure you on my part of a constant remembrance in prayer. As I hope that the new academic year about to begin will be filled with every grace, I cordially impart a special Apostolic Blessing to you all.


Dear Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood,

I am happy to welcome you who have received from the Lord the responsibility of being Pastors of God's People in the Republic of the Congo. I hope that our meeting, an expression of communion with the Successor of Peter, may also be a source of increasingly intense communion between you and your diocesan Churches, filling you with confidence and encouraging you to persevere in the proclamation of the Gospel. I thank Bishop Louis Portella Mbuyu of Kinkala, President of your Episcopal Conference, for his report on the Church's situation in the Republic of the Congo. Through you, I cordially greet the priests, deacons, men and women religious, catechists and lay faithful of your Dioceses who have often expressed their attachment to Christ and their solidarity with their brethren in the trials of your Country's recent history; I invite them, together with all people of good will, to continue to be tireless artisans of justice and peace.

Your Bishops' Conference does not cease to awaken consciences and strengthen their will, making a specific and practical contribution to establishing peace and reconciliation in the Country. I therefore call Christians and the entire population of the Country to open up paths of reconciliation so that ethnic and social differences, lived in respect and mutual love, may become a common treasure rather than a cause of division.

Your quinquennial reports mention the urgent need to develop a true missionary dynamism in your local Churches. The Church cannot shirk this essential mission that invites her to comply with the fundamental need to be consistent and to harmonize faith and ethical norms. To evangelize in truth and depth, it is vital to become ever more faithful and credible witnesses of Christ. This eminent responsibility is incumbent upon you in particular. Remain "men of God", present in your Dioceses beside your priests, concerned above all to proclaim the Gospel, drawing from your intimacy with Christ the strength to weave stronger and stronger bonds of brotherhood and unity among yourselves and with everyone. This requirement also concerns the Bishops' Conference, increasingly called to be a privileged place of communion and also of fraternal life, and to make a concerted effort with common projects. This approach will yield abundant fruit.

With real missionary concern to build the Church-Family, your pastoral action should rely on living ecclesial communities. As special places for the proclamation of the Gospel and the practice of charity, particularly for the poorest of the poor, these communities put into practice a pastoral approach of closeness and thus constitute a powerful bastion against the sects. I invite you to devote attentive care to the initial and continuing Christian formation of the faithful so that they may know the Christian mystery and live on it, supported by the reading of Scripture and the sacramental life. Thus, they will discover the riches of their baptismal vocation and the value of their Christian commitments in accordance with ethical principles and with a view to an ever more active presence in society. I thank those involved in the formation of lay people, in particular catechists and their families who are a precious help in evangelization. I hope that the appropriate structures of formation will be made available to them so that they may carry out their important role successfully.

Convey the Pope's encouragement to your priests. It is your task to support them, calling them to lead, in full communion with you and in a true spirit of service to Christ and the Christian community, an ever more dignified and holy existence based on a profound spiritual life and emotional maturity lived in celibacy, through which, with the grace of the Spirit and the free response of their own will, they offer their love and solicitude totally to Jesus Christ and to the Church (cf. Pastores Dabo Vobis PDV 44). By being close to your priests, you yourselves will be examples of priestly life and will help them to become ever more keenly aware of the priestly brotherhood in which Ordination to the priesthood has established them. I also appeal to the numerous Congolese priests living abroad to consider seriously the pastoral needs of their Dioceses and to make the necessary decisions in response to the pressing appeals of their diocesan Churches.

I am delighted that you are planning to hold an in-depth reflection on priestly ministry in the near future. Your intention is to propose to priests and seminarians an existence as diocesan priests rooted in a strong spiritual life that corresponds to the demands of configuration to Jesus Christ, Head and Servant of the Church, and is based on a love for the mission and a life in conformity with the commitments of Ordination. It is through teaching and behaviour, as I have previously had the opportunity to emphasize, that "faith must be displayed in an irreproachable manner".

The tangibly dwindling number of canonical marriages is a real challenge that weighs upon the family, which is indispensable for the stability of the social framework, as is well known. Civil legislation, the undermining of the family structure and the powerful influence of certain traditional practices, especially the exorbitant cost of dowries, are truly obstacles that prevent young people from committing themselves to marriage. An in-depth pastoral reflection is called for in order to foster the dignity of Christian marriage, which is a reflection and realization of Christ's love for his Church. It is important to help couples acquire the human and spiritual maturity they need to assume responsibly their mission as Christian spouses and parents, and to remind them that their love is unique and indissoluble and that marriage contributes to the full realization of their human and Christian vocation.

May the Church continue to play her prophetic role at the service of all the Country's inhabitants, particularly those who are the poorest and without a voice, revealing his or her dignity to each one and offering them God's love fully revealed in Jesus Christ! "Love is the light - and in the end, the only light - that can always illuminate a world grown dim and give us the courage needed to keep living and working" (Deus Caritas Est ). Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, Star of Evangelization, I gladly grant my Apostolic Blessing to you and to your diocesan communities.



Dear Friends,

"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (
2Co 1,2). I am happy to welcome you to Rome, where Peter and Paul bore witness to Christ by shedding their blood for the Gospel.

In the ecumenical spirit of recent times, we have begun to have contacts with each other after centuries of isolation. I am aware that leaders of the Mennonite World Conference accepted the invitation of my beloved predecessor, Pope John Paul II, to join him in Assisi both in 1986 and in 2002 to pray for world peace at a great gathering of leaders of Churches and Ecclesial Communities and other world religions. And I am pleased that officials of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity have responded to your invitations to attend your world assemblies in 1997 and 2003.

Since it is Christ himself who calls us to seek Christian unity, it is entirely right and fitting that Mennonites and Catholics have entered into dialogue in order to understand the reasons for the conflict that arose between us in the sixteenth century. To understand is to take the first step towards healing. I know that the report of that dialogue, published in 2003 and currently being studied in several countries, has placed special emphasis on healing of memories.

Mennonites are well known for their strong Christian witness to peace in the name of the Gospel, and here, despite centuries of division, the dialogue report Called Together to be Peacemakers has shown that we hold many convictions in common. We both emphasize that our work for peace is rooted in Jesus Christ "who is our peace, who has made us both one… making peace that he might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross (Ep 2,14-16)" (Report No. 174). We both understand that "reconciliation, non violence, and active peacemaking belong to the heart of the Gospel (cf. Mt 5,9 Rm 12,14-21 Ep 6,15)" (No. 179). Our continuing search for the unity of the Lord’s disciples is of the utmost importance. Our witness will remain impaired as long as the world sees our divisions. Above all, what impels us to seek Christian unity is our Lord’s prayer to the Father "that they may all be one… so that the world may believe that you have sent me" (Jn 17,21).

It is my hope that your visit will be another step towards mutual understanding and reconciliation. May the peace and joy of Christ be with all of you and with your loved ones.



Your Holinesses, Your Beatitudes,
Distinguished Authorities representing the Churches and Ecclesial Communities,
Eminent Spokespersons of the great World Religions,

I gladly take this opportunity to greet the Personalities who have gathered here in Naples for the 21st Meeting on the theme: "For a world without violence - Religions and cultures in dialogue". In a certain sense, what you represent expresses the different worlds and religious patrimonies of humanity to which the Catholic Church looks with sincere respect and cordial attention. A word of appreciation goes to Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe and the Archdiocese of Naples, which is hosting this meeting, as well as to the Sant'Egidio Community which works with dedication to encourage dialogue between religions and cultures in the "spirit of Assisi".

Today's meeting takes us back in spirit to 1986, when my venerable Predecessor John Paul II invited important Religious Representatives to the hills of St Francis to pray for peace, stressing on that occasion the intrinsic ties that combine an authentic religious attitude with keen sensitivity to this fundamental good of humanity. In 2002, after the dramatic events of 11 September the previous year, John Paul II himself once again summoned Religious Leaders to Assisi to ask God to halt the serious threats that were looming over humanity, due especially to terrorism.

While respecting the differences of the various religions, we are all called to work for peace and to be effectively committed to furthering reconciliation among peoples. This is the true "spirit of Assisi" which opposes every form of violence and the abuse of religion as a pretext for violence. In the face of a world torn apart by conflicts, where violence in God's Name is at times justified, it is important to reaffirm that religions can never become vehicles of hatred; it is never possible, invoking God's Name, to succeed in justifying evil and violence. On the contrary, religions can and must offer precious resources to build a peaceful humanity because they speak of peace to the human heart. The Catholic Church intends to continue on the path of dialogue in order to encourage understanding between the different cultures, traditions and forms of religious wisdom. I warmly hope that this spirit will be spread increasingly, especially where tensions are strongest, where freedom and respect for others are denied and where men and women suffer the consequences of intolerance and misunderstanding.

Dear friends, may these days of work and listening be fruitful for all. I address my prayers to Eternal God for this, so that he may pour out upon each one of the participants in the meeting an abundance of his Blessings, wisdom and love. May he free human hearts of all hatred and uproot all violence, and make us all artisans of the civilization of love.

LUNCHEON ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI Archdiocesan Seminary at Capodimonte, Naples Sunday, 21 October 2007


Before we say goodbye, I would like once again to offer a cordial greeting to each one of you, with whom I have had the joy of sharing this festive moment.

Once again, I thank Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, Pastor of this Archdiocese, whom the Lord has given me the opportunity to visit today, and through him I renew the expression of my sincere gratitude for the welcome given to me in this style of instant warmth typical of the Neapolitans. I also greet the other Cardinals, the Bishops who have come to spend this day of celebration with us and everyone present.

A "thank you" to those who prepared this friendly lunch with care and served it professionally could not be missing. Thank you for having gladdened us with a pleasing and tasty meal.

As I take my leave of you, I would like to assure everyone of my remembrance in prayer and I invoke upon you and your loved ones an abundance of God's Blessings. Thank you! Thanks to you all and best wishes for this important meeting!


Your Eminences,
Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I thank the Lord who this year too has granted me the possibility of meeting the teachers and students of the Pontifical and Ecclesiastical Universities present in Rome. It is a gathering for prayer - the celebration of Holy Mass which constitutes the fulcrum of our entire life as Christians has just ended - and at the same time, a favourable opportunity to reflect on the meaning and value of your experience of studying here in Rome, in the heart of Christendom. I extend to each one of you my affectionate greeting, which I address in the first place to Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, and I thank him for his kind words on behalf of you all. I also greet Cardinal Dias and the other Prelates present, the Rectors of the Universities and Members of the respective Academic Bodies, those in charge and the Superiors of Seminaries and Colleges, as well as the students who come from almost every part of the world.

Dear friends, the annual event here in the Vatican Basilica, which reunites in spirit the whole Academic family of the Roman Ecclesiastical Universities, enables you to perceive more clearly the unique experience of communion and brotherhood which you can have in these years. If this experience is to be fruitful it needs the contribution of each and every one. Together, you have taken part in the Eucharistic Celebration and you will be spending this new year together. Try to create an atmosphere among yourselves in which the commitment to study and brotherly cooperation are a common enrichment for you, not only with regard to the cultural, scientific and doctrinal aspects, but also the human and spiritual dimensions. May you learn to make the most of the opportunities in this regard which are offered to you in Rome, a truly unique city also from this point of view.

Rome is rich in historical memorials, masterpieces of art and culture; it is above all full of eloquent Christian testimonies. In the course of time, Ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties, now more than a century old, came into being, where entire generations of priests and pastoral workers have been formed, among whom great saints and important men of the Church are not lacking.
You are following in their footsteps, dedicating important years of your life to acquire a deeper knowledge of various humanistic and theological disciplines. The purposes of these worthy institutions, as beloved John Paul II wrote in 1979 in his Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana, are among other things: "through scientific research to cultivate and promote their own disciplines, and especially to deepen knowledge of Christian revelation and of matters connected with it, to enunciate systematically the truths contained therein, to consider in the light of revelation the most recent progress of the sciences and to present them to the people of the present day in a manner adapted to various cultures" (Section I, art. 3 1). This commitment is more urgently needed than ever in our post-modern age in which we feel the need for a new evangelization that requires properly trained teachers of the faith and heralds and witnesses of the Gospel.

In fact, your stay in Rome can and must serve to prepare you to carry out in the best possible way the task that awaits you in the various fields of apostolic action. The evangelizing mission proper to the Church in our time not only requires that the Gospel message be disseminated everywhere, but also that it penetrate deeply peoples' ways of thinking and criteria of judgment and behaviour. In a word, the entire culture of contemporary man must be permeated with the Gospel. The multiplicity of the subjects taught at the Athenaeums and Study Centres that you attend intends to respond to this vast and urgent cultural and spiritual challenge. May the possibility of studying in Rome, the See of the Successor of Peter and hence of the Petrine ministry, help you to reinforce your sense of belonging to the Church and your commitment of fidelity to the Pope's universal Magisterium. In addition, the presence in the academic Institutions and in the Colleges and Seminaries of teachers and students from every continent offers you a further opportunity to be acquainted with one another and to experience the beauty of belonging to the one, large family of God: may you know how to make the very most of it!

Dear brothers and sisters, it is indispensable that the study of the humanistic and theological sciences always be accompanied by a gradual, intimate and profound knowledge of Christ. This entails combining a sincere desire for holiness with your necessary concern for study and research. Therefore, in addition to being a serious and persevering intellectual commitment, may these years of formation in Rome be first and foremost a time of intense prayer, in constant harmony with the divine Teacher who has chosen you for his service. Likewise, may contact with the religious and social reality of the city be useful to you for a spiritual and pastoral enrichment. Let us invoke the intercession of Mary, the docile and wise Mother, so that she my help you to be ready in every circumstance to recognize the voice of the Lord, who safeguards you and accompanies you on your journey of formation and at every moment in your life. I assure you of my remembrance in prayer, and as I wish you a peaceful and fruitful year, I corroborate these wishes with a special Apostolic Blessing.


Dear Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood,

I greet you with joy, Pastors of the Church in Gabon, hoping that your ad limina visit has been a strong time of ecclesial communion and spiritual life. You thus strengthen your apostolic mission to be increasingly servants and guides of the people who have been entrusted to you. I thank Bishop Timothée Modibo-Nzockena of Franceville, President of your Episcopal Conference, for the pastoral picture he has presented to me. In your ministry, with the living forces of your Dioceses, you are called to develop an increasingly organic pastoral approach on the diocesan and national levels. Likewise, you should organize your Bishops' Conference in an increasingly suitable way, in your meetings and in the structures put in place to help you. By sharing your pastoral wealth and projects you will be able to instil new dynamism in your Dioceses. The greater the communion among you and among all Catholics, the stronger and more effective your evangelization will be.

The Gabonese sometimes allow themselves be attracted by a consumer society and by permissiveness, and are therefore less attentive to the Country's poorest people. I encourage them to develop their sense of brotherhood and solidarity. One observes a certain laxity in the life of Christians, caught up by the world's seductions. I hope that with regard to spiritual and moral values their conduct may become more and more exemplary.

Among the urgent tasks of the Church in Gabon, it would be right first of all to note the transmission of the faith and the deepening of knowledge of the Christian mystery. In order to stand up to enticements, the faithful need to receive a thorough formation that will give them the possibility of basing their Christian life on clear principles. This implies that you organize the structures of formation in such a way that they are truly effective. Do not be afraid of training capable priests and lay people for this task. Thus, Ecclesial Communities will be livelier, and in the liturgy and in personal, family and community prayer the faithful will find the strength to be in all areas of social life witnesses of the Good News and artisans of reconciliation, justice and peace, of whom our world has greater need than ever.

As successors of the Apostles, you are like fathers for the members of your Dioceses, called to pay special attention to your Country's youth. May all Christians, and especially parents, be mobilized to invite young people to open their hearts to Christ and to follow him. The Lord desires to give each one the grace of a beautiful and good existence and the hope that makes it possible to find life's true meaning through the dangers of daily life. Moreover, I hope that young people will not be afraid to be the first evangelizers of their peers. It is often through friendship and sharing that the latter are able to discover the Person of Christ and become attached to him.

You emphasize in your reports that vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life are still scarce. The absence of young people who agree to hear the Lord's call always causes a Pastor suffering. The presence of the seminary in Libreville must be for all of you the object of very special attention, because it is the future of evangelization and of the Church which is at stake; this will not fail to be an incentive to the development and intensification of the pastoral care of vocations in each Diocese. May priests, men and women religious as well as families be mobilized by prayer, the guidance of the youngest and concern to transmit Christ's call, so that the vocations your Country needs may be born and fulfilled. Nor can we forget the role of Catholic teaching, in which the duty of teachers and educators is the integral education of young people; this requires the witness and transmission of faith as well as attention to vocations. I also want to give thanks with you for all the missionaries, men and women, who have enabled your Country to receive the seed of the Gospel. May they be thanked for the work they have done and continue to do with faithfulness in collaboration with the Pastors of Gabon.

My affectionate thoughts go to the priests, whose generosity in the ministry I acknowledge. By ceaselessly developing their life in intimacy with Christ they will have a deeper awareness of the demand of fidelity to commitments made before God and before the Church, especially to obedience and chastity in celibacy. Thus, they will increasingly live their priestly ministry as a service to the faithful. May they also remember that in their ministry they are part of a presbyterum around the Bishop. They will find spiritual support in priestly brotherhood, comforted by you who are fathers and brothers to them; you will then be able to achieve common pastoral projects that will give the mission a new impetus. I urge each priest to seek first the good of the Church and not his personal interests, conforming his life and mission to the act of the washing of the feet (cf.
Jn 13,1-11). Such love, lived in a perspective of disinterested service, gives rise to profound joy.

Take the Pope's greetings back to your priests, to all the people who collaborate in pastoral life, to all the faithful and to all the Gabonese. As I entrust you to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Star of Evangelization, I impart my Apostolic Blessing to you and all the members of your Dioceses.

Speeches 2005-13 120