On this joyful occasion, with gratitude I think back to the time of the Second Vatican Council, in which I took part as Pastor of Kraków. In the discussions during the Council sessions on the mystery of the Church, we could not avoid noticing with regret the division between the venerable Eastern Churches and Rome, which had lasted for almost a millennium, just as it clearly appeared that many centuries of incomprehension and misunderstandings on both sides had given rise to injustices and a lack of love. When he was Apostolic Delegate in Sofia and in Constantinople, Pope John XXIII had already laid the foundations for deeper understanding and greater mutual respect.

2. The Council rediscovered that the rich spiritual, liturgical, disciplinary and theological tradition of the Churches of the East belongs to the common heritage of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church (cf. Unitatis redintegratio UR 16). It also stressed the need to preserve with these Churches the fraternal relations that should exist between local Churches, as between Sister Churches (cf. ibid., n. 14).

At the conclusion of the work of the Council, by a highly significant gesture that took place at the same time in Rome and in Constantinople, the reciprocal condemnations of 1054 were cancelled from the memory of the Church. Between my Predecessor, Pope Paul VI, and the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, at that time an unforgettable meeting had already taken place and an important exchange of Letters was already underway between them, justly known as Tomos agapis (the dialogue of love).

Since then, our communion, and I think I can say, our friendship, has been deepened through a reciprocal exchange of visits and messages. I am happy to recall the first visit Your Beatitude made to Rome in 1989, and my journey to Bucharest three years ago in 1999. As time passed, the fruitful exchange between our Churches has also been achieved at other levels: between bishops, theologians, priests and students. In 1980 a Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church as a whole was set up and has been able to draft and publish a number of documents. These are texts in which appear the full extent of our communion of faith in the mystery of the Eucharist, the sacraments, the priesthood and the episcopal ministry in apostolic succession. It is to be hoped that the Commission will resume its work as soon as possible, since its role is of primary importance.

3. Deeply grateful to the Lord for all that we have been able to achieve together, however, we cannot deny the appearance of certain difficulties on our common path. In the years 1989-90, after 40 years of Communist dictatorship, Eastern Europe was once again able to enjoy freedom. The Eastern Churches in full communion with the See of Peter, who had been harshly persecuted and brutally repressed, also rediscovered their place in public life.

This gave rise to tensions which, we hope, may be overcome by a spirit of justice and of love. The peace of the Church is so great a good that each one must be prepared to make sacrifices to achieve it. We are fully confident that you yourself, Your Beatitude, will know how to plead the cause of peace with intelligence, wisdom and love. In following this route, many witnesses who in different times and places have given a shining example, will come to our help and will accompany us.

4. While, with sentiments of deep gratitude, I turn my gaze to the path on which the Spirit of God has guided us in the course of past decades, I feel the question rising up within me: how should we continue? What could our next steps be in order at last to reach full communion? It is certain that we must continue in the future on the common path of the dialogue of truth and love.

Continuing the dialogue of truth means trying to illuminate and to overcome the differences that still remain by increasing our exchanges and reflections on the theological level. The goal is, in the light of the sublime model of the Holy Trinity, to reach a unity which implies neither absorption nor fusion (cf. Encyclical Slavorum apostoli, n. 27), but respects the legitimate difference between the different traditions, for they are an integral part of the Church's treasure.

We have the principles of conduct that have been formulated in the common texts, and which, for the Catholic Church, are still valid. We too are concerned by the proselytism of new communities or religious movements, which have no roots in history and are invading countries and regions where the traditional Churches are present and where the Gospel has been preached for centuries. The Catholic Church is also having this sad experience in various parts of the world.

For her part, the Catholic Church recognises the mission which the Orthodox Churches are called to carry out in the countries where they have been rooted for centuries. She desires nothing else than to help this mission and collaborate with it, as well as to be able to carry out her own pastoral task for her faithful and for those who turn freely to her. To strengthen this attitude, the Catholic Church has sought to sustain and to assist the mission of the Orthodox Churches in their native countries, and the pastoral activity of many communities living side by side in the diaspora with Catholic communities. However, where problems or misunderstandings arise, it is necessary to face them by means of a fraternal and frank dialogue, seeking solutions that can involve the two parties reciprocally. The Catholic Church is always available for such a dialogue so as to bear an ever more credible Christian witness together.

Persevering in the dialogue of love means continuing to promote personal exchanges and meetings between bishops, priests and laity, between monastic centres and theology students. Yes, I think we should encourage meetings between young people above all, for they are always curious to know worlds that are different from their own, to open themselves to broader dimensions.

Therefore our duty is to uproot old prejudices and to pave the way for a new future founded on mutually offered peace.

5. Another aspect interests me. I ask myself if our relations have become sufficiently deep and mature to enable us, with God's grace, to give them a solid institutional structure, in such a way as also to find stable forms of communication and a regular, reciprocal exchange of information with each of the Orthodox Churches, and at the level of the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church as a whole. I would be happy if this matter could be the subject of a serious reflection in future dialogues, and if some might suggest some constructive solutions in this regard.

We are conscious that we are only humble instruments in God's hands. The Spirit of God alone can give us full communion. That is why it is important to pray with ever greater intensity that he may grant us peace and unity. With Mary and the Apostles, let us gather and pray for the coming of the Spirit of love and unity. Let us continue our common pilgrimage towards visible unity, in the certitude that God is guiding our footsteps.

Address of His Beatitude Teoctist




"The glory which you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me" (Jn 17,22-23).

In the deep joy of being together again in the city of Rome, close to the tombs of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, we exchange the kiss of peace under the gaze of the One who watches over his Church and guides our steps; and we meditate anew on these words, which the Evangelist John transmitted to us and which constitute Christ's heartfelt prayer on the eve of his Passion.

1. Our meeting takes place in continuity with the embrace we exchanged in Bucharest in May 1999, while still resounding in our hearts is the moving appeal "Unitate, unitate! Unity, unity!", that a great crowd of faithful spontaneously raised on that occasion when they saw us. This appeal is the echo of our Lord's prayer that "they may all be one" (Jn 17,21).

Today's meeting reinforces our dedication to pray and to work to achieve the full and visible unity of all the disciples of Christ. Our aim and our ardent desire is full communion, which is not absorption but communion in truth and love. It is an irreversible journey for which there is no alternative: it is the path of the Church.

2. Still marked by the sad historical period during which people denied the Name and Lordship of the Redeemer, even today Christian communities in Romania often have difficulty in surmounting the negative effects those years have had on the practice of fraternity and sharing, and on the quest for communion. Our meeting must be taken as an example: brothers must meet to be reconciled, to reflect together, to find the means to achieve mutual understanding, to expound and to explain each other's differences. We therefore urge those who are called to live side by side in the same land of Romania, to find solutions of justice and charity. By means of a sincere dialogue, we must overcome the conflicts, misunderstandings and suspicions coming from the past so that in this decisive period of their history Christians in Romania can be witnesses of peace and reconciliation.

3. Our relations must reflect the real and profound communion in Christ, that already exists between us, even if it is not yet full. In fact, we recognize with joy that we possess together the tradition of the undivided Church centred on the mystery of the Eucharist, to which the saints we have in common in our calendars bear witness. Moreover, the many witnesses of the faith who showed their fidelity to Christ in the times of oppression and persecution in the last century are a seed of hope in our present difficulties.

In order to promote the quest for full communion, even with the doctrinal differences that still remain, it is appropriate to find concrete means by setting up regular consultations, with the conviction that no difficult situation is destined to remain beyond redress, and that thanks to the attitude of listening and dialogue and the regular exchange of information, satisfactory solutions can be found to straighten out points of friction and reach equitable solutions for concrete problems.

We should reinforce this process so that the full truth of the faith becomes a common patrimony, shared by both sides, that can give birth to a truly peaceful conviviality, rooted in and founded in charity.

We know well how to behave to establish the orientations that must guide the work of evangelization so necessary after the sombre period of State atheism. We agree to recognize the religious and cultural traditions of each people, and religious freedom as well.

Evangelization cannot be based on a spirit of competition, but on reciprocal respect and cooperation which recognize the freedom of each person to live according to his own convictions in respect for his religious belonging.

4. In the development of our contacts, starting with the Pan-Orthodox Conferences and the Second Vatican Council, we have been the witnesses of a promising reconciliation between East and West, based on prayer and on a dialogue of charity and of truth, which has had many moments of profound communion. This is why we look with concern at the current difficulties that beset the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church and, on the occasion of our meeting, we desire to express the hope that no initiative will be neglected that can reactivate the theological dialogue and relaunch the activity of the commission. We have the duty to do so, for theological dialogue makes stronger the affirmation of our shared will for communion over against the present situation of division.

5. The Church is not a reality closed in on herself: she is sent to the world and she is open to the world. The new possibilities that are being created in an already united Europe that is in the process of extending its frontiers to associate the peoples and cultures of the Central and Eastern parts of the continent, are a challenge that the Christians of East and West must face together. The more the latter are united in their witness to the one Lord, the more they will contribute to giving voice, consistency and space to the Christian soul of Europe, to respect for life, to the dignity and the fundamental rights of the human person, to justice and to solidarity, to peace, to reconciliation, to the values of the family and to the protection of creation. Europe in its entirety needs the cultural richness forged by Christianity.

The Orthodox Church of Romania, the centre of contacts and exchanges between the fruitful Slav and Byzantine traditions of the East, and the Church of Rome who in her Latin element, evokes the Western voice of the one Church of Christ, must contribute together to a task that belongs to the third millennium. In accord with the traditional beautiful expression, the particular Churches like to call one another "Sister Churches". To be open to this dimension means collaborating to restore to Europe its deepest ethos and its truly human face.

With these perspectives and these dispositions, together we entrust ourselves to the Lord, imploring him to make us worthy of building the Body of Christ, "until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Ep 4,13).

Vatican, 12 October 2002



To Reverend Monsignor
Luigi Giussani

On the occasion of your 80th birthday, dear Monsignor, I gladly join you in giving thanks to the Lord for the wonderful gifts he has bestowed on you during these 80 years of human and spiritual growth.

I renew to you my heartfelt sentiments of esteem and affection. With you I would like to embrace with a single glance these 80 years to entrust them to Mary, our heavenly Mother, whom you have been careful to point out to everyone as the favourable path for meeting Jesus and serving him faithfully.

With grateful heart, I look back with you over the years of your childhood, thinking of the example and help of your parents; of your years of preparation for the priesthood, when you met teachers who contributed a great deal to your human and spiritual formation; your years of teaching at the secondary school and at the university, the birth and development of the Movement of Communion and Liberation; then the years that saw the rapid spread of the work you founded to so many countries.

However, I join with special participation in your recent years when you have been tried by sickness, and I thank you for your witness of confident acceptance of the divine will, that you have never ceased to offer to the Movement and to the Church. May the Lord, giver of every good gift, allow you to experience the comfort of his presence and the joy of his love.

I share these wishes with your relatives and with the countless friends, spiritual sons and daughters who join in your celebration. I assure you of my prayer and I warmly impart a special blessing to you, which I gladly extend to all your loved ones.

From the Vatican, 7 October 2002.




Tuesday, 15 October 2002

Dear Brothers in the Episcopate,

1. I am happy to receive you, Pastors of the Church in Chile, during this ad limina visit in which you have come to the tombs of St Peter and St Paul, renewing the faith in Jesus Christ, passed down by the Apostles and which, as their successors, you are responsible for preserving. You have also come to Rome to revive the bonds of communion with the Successor of Peter and to increase your "concern for all the Churches" (Christus Dominus CD 6).

I am grateful to Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz, Archbishop of Santiago and President of the Bishops' Conference, for the cordial words he used as your spokesman to express your sentiments of affection and loyalty to the Bishop of Rome, the See "in which the primacy of the apostolic Cathedra has always resided" (St Augustine, Ep 43,3), and to share your main anxieties and pastoral experiences.

In meeting you and encouraging you in your tireless pastoral work, I greet the Chilean people to whom I feel close. I retain a happy memory of my meetings with them when I visited them in their own land, and experienced the deep roots of Christian faith in your people and their affection and fidelity to their Pastors and to the Apostolic See. A beautiful expression of it are the many fruits of holiness in your land, such as St Teresa of the Andes, Bl. Laura Vicuña and Bl. Alberto Hurtado, for whom you are observing the 50th anniversary of his holy death.

2. These memories are a source of inspiration and hope for your pastoral work at the present time, at the beginning of this new millennium marked by rapid changes in many walks of life, and by the great challenge of the phenomenon of globalization. At times one can discern serious financial, technical and cultural threats to the weakest nations, but one can also perceive elements that can offer new opportunities for growth.

Let us hope that the Chilean people's efforts to be integrated into the global world will not lead to their losing their cultural identity, not letting everything be reduced to an economic exchange, but that it will allow you to take everywhere the best values of your wonderful country, linked strongly to its Catholic tradition. This will enrich the multicultural ambience that becomes more widespread with attitudes of mutual respect and will encourage a dialogue that enthusiastically seeks the truth, avoiding the superficiality and relativism that promote indifference and ruin social coexistence.

The Catholic universities and schools, that, thanks be to God, are numerous in Chile, must contribute to this. I am sure that the Bishops will continue to follow them with great attention, because they are destined to bring to Chilean society the saving leaven of Christ's Gospel.

3. Today it is necessary to illuminate the people's way with Christian principles, profiting by the opportunities that the current situation offers to develop a genuine evangelization which, with new language and striking symbols, will make the message of Jesus Christ easier to understand for the men and women of today. For this reason, it is important, as you yourselves have said, that at the beginning of the new millennium, the Church should inspire hope, so that all the changes of the present time may truly be turned into a renewed encounter with the living Christ, who will call your people to conversion and solidarity.

Taking into account the fact that Christian Revelation leads to a "deeper understanding of the laws of social living with which the Creator has endowed man's spiritual and moral nature" (Gaudium et spes GS 23), the Church, with her own mission in society, must not withdraw from the task of accompanying and guiding the processes underway in your country to reform crucial aspects of the common good such as education, health care and the administration of justice, watching to ensure that they serve the advancement of citizens, particularly, the weakest and neediest.

4. I know and appreciate all you are doing for the family, which is facing many kinds of problems and is subjected to snares that attack the essential aspects of God's plan, such as the indissolubility of marriage. Your efforts, which render a valuable service to your country, must also be accompanied by an integral pastoral service to the family, that includes the preparation of engaged couples for marriage, supports them afterwards, especially when problems arise, and guides them in the education of their children.

In this perspective, nothing can make up for a true culture of life, a profound experience of fidelity and a deep-rooted spirit of self-sacrifice, about which the Word of God and the Magisterium of the Church enormously enlighten human life. Evangelizing families does mean presenting to the husband and wife the infinite love of Christ for his Church, that they must reflect in this world (cf. Eph 5,31f.). You must also instill in family members the vocation to holiness to which they are called, without being afraid to propose lofty ideals which, though at times may seem difficult to realize, are those which respond to the divine plan of salvation.

5. The experience lived during the recent World Youth Day, observed in Toronto, makes me recall also the Continental Youth Meeting that took place several years ago in Santiago. You played a leading role in that great gathering of your people, sure of their generosity and of their enthusiastic collaboration. As I told them in my Message, "I know that your hearts are pounding with a deep desire for service to your neighbour and for solidarity" (First Continental Youth Meeting, Santiago, Chile, 10 October 1998; ORE, 11 November 1998, p. 8), which will require the guidance and confidence of their Pastors, if it is to be transformed into a living meeting with Christ and a decisive plan to follow his Gospel faithfully, to spread it joyfully in Chilean society and throughout the world.

In fact, despite the many enticements that are an invitation to hedonism, mediocrity or instant success, young people are not easily put off by the difficulties and for that reason are therefore particularly sensitive to radical demands and commitment without reservations when one presents the true path of life to them. That it is an uphill path does not worry them, if they discover Christ who went before them and is ready to go again with them (cf. Address during the welcoming ceremony, Toronto, 25 July 2002, n. 3; ORE, 31 July, p. 5). For young people who are full of initiative, the most important thing is to be the builders and artisans of life and of the world they are looking out on. Thus they need to hear from you, without doubts or reservations about the values of the Gospel, their moral duties and the need for divine grace implored in prayer and received in the sacraments, how to "build, brick by brick, the city of God within the city of man" (Prayer Vigil, Toronto, 27 July 2002, n. 4; ORE, 31 July 2002, p. 7 ).

6. As on other occasions, I warmly commend to you the priests, your principal collaborators in the pastoral ministry. They need well-organized programmes of continuing formation, especially in the areas of theology, spirituality, pastoral life and the social teaching of the Church, which will enable them to be competent evangelizers and worthy ministers of the Church in contemporary society. Indeed, for the majority of the People of God, they are the immediate channel through which the Gospel reaches them, and the most immediate image through which they perceive the mystery of the Church.

For this reason their intellectual and doctrinal formation must always be joined with the witness of an exemplary life, close communion with the Bishops, fraternal relations with their fellow priests, affability in their contact with others, a spirit of communion with all the ecclesial groups of their communities and that style of spiritual peace and apostolic zeal that only constant contact with the Master can create and keep alive. Like the disciples spoken of in Luke's Gospel, they must feel overwhelming joy in the marvels Jesus works through them (cf. Lk Lc 19,7), in this way joining their personal witness to their proclamation and the example of their lives to their teaching.

So that priests may feel your presence close to them, it is of great importance that you always deal with them personally, "ready to listen to them and cultivate an atmosphere of easy familiarity with them" (Christus Dominus CD 16), showing interest in the daily problems that can burden them and making them see how precious in the eyes of God and of the Church is their daily, self-sacrificing work, "that is often hidden and, without making headlines, causes the Kingdom of God to advance in people's minds and hearts" (Letter to Priests for Holy Thursday 2001, n. 3).

All this will turn to the benefit of the pastoral care of vocations which must be decisive, continuous and rigorous, but which will find an irreplaceable support in the attraction that those who radiate the joy of having given their whole life to God and to the service of the Church exercise on young people.

Moreover, the promotion of vocations must always be a primary commitment for every Bishop in his diocese, by prayer and action designed for this end, as I myself stressed in the Apostolic Exhortation Pastores dabo vobis and on many other occasions.

7. The beginning of this millennium, which brings Chile to the second centenary of its independence, presents to the Church and to all citizens, the crucial challenge of a successful, fully reconciled society, which, without hiding the truth, must be able to make room for forgiveness, "which heals and rebuilds troubled human relations from their foundations" (Message for World Day of Peace, 1 January 2002, n. 3).

The Church, whose mission is to be the instrument of reconciliation of humanity with God and with one another, must be "the home and school of communion" (Novo Millennio ineunte NM 43), in which people can appreciate and welcome what is positive in others and which makes no one feel excluded.

The attitude of marginalization that prompts people to pass by on the other side of the road to avoid the brother or sister in need (cf. Lk Lc 10,31) since it might be a nuisance or unproductive, is the negative aspect of present day social models. The Church is especially committed to reminding everyone that it is precisely the neediest who must not be considered the insignificant residue of a progress that is only concerned with what entails success, the unlimited accumulation of goods and superior positions.

8. At the end of this meeting, I ask you to convey my affection and spiritual closeness to your ecclesial communities. Please express my gratitude to the priests and to the communities of men and women religious who work so generously to proclaim and to witness to the Kingdom of God in Chile, and to the catechists and other pastoral workers involved in the work of evangelization. Convey the Pope's thanks to the people and institutions dedicated to charitable work and solidarity with the neediest, since this is one of the great challenges for the life of the Church in the new millennium (cf. Novo Millennio ineunte NM 49-50).

I entrust your pastoral concerns to the Blessed Virgin Mary, with the title of Our Lady of Carmel of Maipú, and fervently implore her to guide her beloved sons and daughters of Chile to meet Christ, the source of life and truth, who will help them to live in this beautiful land as brothers and sisters, and to intercede with her Divine Son so that the country may prosper, in peace and harmony in accord with the best values of its Christian tradition. To you and to the faithful of each one of the particular Churches you preside over I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing.





To Reverend Fr Joseph Chalmers
Prior General of the Order of Carmelites (O.Carm.)

1. I learned with joy that this year, this religious family observes the 550th anniversary of the entrance into the Order of the cloistered nuns and of the establishment of the Third Order, consisting of lay people desirous of living Carmelite spirituality in the world.

With the spread of the Order in Europe, some women asked to be united with it by the same ties as the men religious. Many lay faithful also desired to live the same spirituality while staying in their homes. Bl. John Soreth, Prior General at the time, perceived that the life of sacrifice, solitude and prayer of the nuns would be beneficial for the friars recalling them to the primitive and genuine spirit; and also that it would be useful to offer lay people, as was the case with the Mendicant Orders, the possibility of drawing life from the common spiritual source.

So, on 7 October 1452, the Order asked my venerable predecessor, Pope Nicholas V, for the faculty to set up in the Order the enclosed nuns of contemplative life, and an association of lay persons living in the world, the Carmelite Third Order. The Pope granted this with the Bull Cum nulla that is now being commemorated.

I am sure that to recall this authoritative papal intervention is a motive for intimate satisfaction for the cloistered sisters of contemplative life in papal enclosure, while it is an incentive to the Third Order to an ever more courageous spiritual dedication to serve the new evangelization.

2. The Carmelite nuns, immersed in silence and prayer, recall to all believers, and especially their brothers dedicated to the active apostolate, the absolute primacy of God. Consecrated totally to the quest for God, they witness that he is the source of the full realization of the human person and of every spiritual activity. When they open their hearts to him, he comes to meet his children to introduce them into intimacy with him, achieving with them an ever more perfect communion of love. For the Carmelites, the choice of living in solitude, separated from the world, responds to this special call from the Lord. Carmel for this reason enriches the entire Christian community.

From the beginning, this form of cloistered life bore fruit; over the centuries it was enriched with the bright witness of exemplary women, some of whom are officially recognized as blesseds or saints and are even pointed out today as models to imitate. I would like to mention Bl. Frances d'Amboise, considered the foundress of the Carmelite nuns in France, because she worked in close unity and friendship with Bl. Soreth; Bl. Giovanna Scopelli, one of the outstanding exponents of this experience in Italy and Bl. Girlani, who chose the name "Archangel" because she wanted to dedicate herself completely to the praise of God like the angels in heaven. In Florence, St Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi was an eminent example of apostolic and ecclesial zeal and a mirror of the unceasing quest for God and his glory.

In this furrow of holiness, in Spain, we find St Teresa of Jesus, the most illustrious member of the enclosed Carmelite congregation, by whom the nuns of every era have been inspired. Teresa re-elaborated and renewed the Carmelite tradition, fostering the desire to live more perfectly in solitude with God, imitating the first Fathers, hermits of Mount Carmel. Following her example, Carmelite nuns are called, as it is written in their Constitutions, "to prayer and contemplation, for in these are our origins; we are the offspring of those holy fathers of Mount Carmel, who in deep solitude and total disregard of the world, sought this treasure and precious pearl " (Constitutions of the Carmelite Nuns, n. 61).

3. I gladly join in the thanksgiving of the Carmelite family for the countless miracles worked by God in the course of the centuries through this established form of consecrated life which, as we read in the Rule of St Albert of Jerusalem, "is holy and good" (n. 20). In the silence of Carmel, in so many parts of the world, they continue to bring forth perfumed flowers of holiness, souls in love with Heaven, who with their evangelical heroism have sustained and effectively sustain the mission of the Church.

People are reminded by Carmel, though they are busy with so many concerns, that they must give absolute priority to seeking "the kingdom of God and his justice" (Mt 6,33). Looking to Carmel, where prayer becomes life and life flourishes with prayer, the Christian community can more easily understand, as I wrote in my Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio ineunte, how they can become "genuine "schools' of prayer" (n. 33). I ask the beloved Carmelite Sisters, who are so completely given over to the praise of the Lord, to help the Christians of our time to achieve this demanding ascetical and apostolic task. May their monasteries become beacons of holiness, especially for the parishes and dioceses which have the good fortune to have them.

4. The 550th anniversary of the Bull Cum nulla also recalls the incorporation of lay people into the Carmelite family, by establishing the Third Order. They are men and women called to live the Carmelite charism in the world, sanctifying their daily activity by their fidelity to their Baptismal promises. For them to fulfil this vocation fully, they must learn to sanctify the day with prayer, especially with the celebration of the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours. They follow the example of Elijah, whose prophetic mission arose out of an uninterrupted experience of God; above all, let them imitate Mary, who listened to the word of the Lord and, keeping it in her heart, put it into practice.

May these brothers and sisters whom the Scapular joins to the other members of the Carmelite Order, be grateful for the gift received and in every circumstance be faithful to the duties that derive from this charismatic belonging. May they not be satisfied with a superficial Christian life, but respond to the radical appeal of Christ, who calls his disciples to be perfect as the heavenly Father is perfect (cf. Mt Mt 5,48).

With these sentiments, I invoke upon the entire Carmelite family a renewed outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, so that they may live in fidelity to their vocation and communicate the merciful love of God to the men and women of our time. To this end I implore the motherly protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother and Beauty of Carmel, and I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing to the men religious, to the cloistered nuns, to the members of the Third Order, encouraging them all to make their own contribution to the sanctification of the world.

From the Vatican, 7 October 2002, Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary.