Speeches 1979 - Czestochowa, 5 June 1979





Czestochowa, 5 June 197\i9

It is with great joy that I meet the Polish Episcopate's venerable Council for Science of which, until a short time ago, by reason of the will of the Conference of the same Episcopate, I was the chairman. Today I cordially greet my successor, Bishop Marian Rechowicz, all the dear priests and professors.

I wish to tell you that I now give the same importance as before to the Episcopate's Council for Science. Perhaps, indeed, after the promulgation of the new Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana on university studies, I see more clearly the relevance of our Council for Science and appreciate with greater understanding its function and responsibility.

The Church—particularly in our time—must face this responsibility. It must first of all decide knowledgeably about the problems of its own science at the academic level. It must likewise, with great awareness, participate in the important processes of contemporary science that are linked to the activities of the universities and the various institutes, especially its own universities and its own Catholic institutes.

The Episcopate's Council for Science, which comprises the representatives of all the Catholic Athenaea of an academic character in Poland, must precisely in this field be useful to the Episcopate and to the Church in our motherland. I do not exaggerate if I say that upon it falls in great part the responsibility for Christian Polish culture today and tomorrow.

And taking account therefore of all this, I recommend the future activities of all of you, Bishops and Professors, to Mary, Seat of Divine Wisdom, and with all my heart I bless you.





Tuesday, 5 June 1979

1. "Mary, Queen of Poland, I am close to you, I remember you, watch!"

Within a short time we shall repeat these words which, from the time of the Great Novena in preparation for the Millennium of the Baptism, have become the call of Jasna Gora and of the Church in Poland.

I shall repeat them today with you as the pilgrim Pope in his native land.

How greatly these words correspond to the invitation which we hear so often in the Gospel: "Be watchful"! By answering this invitation of Christ himself we desire today, as every evening at the hour of the call of Jasna Gora, to say to Mary: "Mary, Queen of Poland, I am close to you, I remember you, I watch".

These words, simple yet forceful, express what it means to be a Christian in Poland at all times, but in a special way during this decisive millenary period of the history of the Church and of the nation. To be a Christian is to be watchful, as the soldier is watchful, as a mother is with her child, a doctor with his patient.

To be watchful means to protect something of great value.

On the occasion of the Millennium of the Baptism we have become aware, to an even greater extent, of the great good which is our faith and of all that spiritual heritage which has come from it in the course of our history. To be watchful means to guard all of this. It means to have an acute awareness of the values which are inherent in the life of every human being, simply because he is a human being created in the image and likeness of God and redeemed by the Blood of Christ. To be watchful means to remember all of this. To remember it for ourselves and often even for others, for our fellow-citizens, for our neighbour.

2. We Must be watchful, dear brothers and sisters, we must be watchful and solicitous for the entire well-being of every man, because this is the great task incumbent on all of us. We cannot permit the loss of what is human, Polish, and Christian on this earth.

"Be sober, be watchful" (1P 5,8), says Saint Peter; and I today, at the hour of the call of Jasna Gora, repeat his words. Indeed, I find myself here in order to watch with you in this hour and to show you how deeply I feel every threat against man, against the family and the nation. A threat that always has its source in our human weakness, in a fragile will and in a superficial way of looking at life. And therefore, fellow-countrymen, in this hour of particular sincerity, in this hour of the opening of our hearts before Our Lady of Jasna Gora, I am speaking to you about this, and this is what I am entrusting to you. Do not succumb to weakness!

"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Rm 12,21). If you see that your brother is falling, help him; do not leave him exposed to the risk! Sometimes it is difficult to support the other person, especially if "he is slipping from our hands". But can this be done? It is God himself, it is Christ himself who entrusts to us each one of our brothers and sisters, each one of our fellow-countrymen. saying "... as often as you did it for one of my least brethren, you did it for me" (Mt 25,40). Be careful not to make yourselves responsible for the sins of others! Christ addresses severe words to those who give scandal (cf. Mt Mt 18,6-7). Reflect, therefore, dear brother or sister, in this hour of national. sincerity, in the presence of the Mother and her heart full of love, whether you do not give scandal, whether you do not induce someone to evil, whether through a lack of responsibility you do not burden your conscience with vices and with bad habits that others contract because of you... the young people... perhaps your own children.

"Be sober, be watchful!"

To be watchful and to remember in this way is to stand next to Mary. I am close to you! I cannot be close to you, to Our Lady of Jasna Gora, unless I am watchful and I remember in this way. If I watch and I remember, then I am close to her. And because she has so penetrated into our hearts it is easier for us to be watchful and remember what is our heritage and our duty, standing next to Mary. "I am near you."

3. The call of Jasna Gora has not ceased to be our prayer and our programme! The prayer programme of all! May it be in particular the prayer and the programme of Polish families!

The family is the first and basic human community. It is a sphere of life, it is a sphere of love. The life of every society, nation and State depends on the family, on whether the family is a true sphere of life and love in their midst. Much has to be done; indeed, everything possible has to be done, to give to the family those means that it needs: means for employment, means for housing, means to support itself, care for life which has been conceived, social respect for fatherhood and motherhood, the joy given by children born into the world, the full right to education and at the same time the various types of help needed for education... Here is a vast and rich programme on which depends the future of the individual and of the nation.

How I desire today, my dear fellow-countrymen, how ardently I desire that in this programme there should be fulfilled day after day, year after year, the call of Jasna Gora, the prayer of Polish hearts.

How ardently I desire, I who owe my life, my faith, my language to a Polish family, that the family should never cease to be strong with the strength of God. May it overcome whatever weakens it or tears it asunder; may it overcome whatever does not permit it to be a true sphere of life and. love. For this I pray for you now with the words of the call of Jasna Gora. And I wish to pray also in the future, repeating: "I am close to you, I remember you, I watch", until this cry before the Mother of God rebounds and becomes a reality where it is needed most.

Where, on fidelity to these words repeated at the end of the first Millennium there will depend to a great extent the new Millennium.





Wednesday, 6 June 1979

My dear friends!

1. The Gospel which we often hear read when we are present here at Jasna Gora is that which recalls the wedding feast at Cana of Galilee. Saint John as an eye witness has described that event in all its particulars—an event which took place at the beginning of the public life of Christ the Lord. This is the first miracle—the first sign of the saving power of Christ—performed in the presence of his Mother and his first disciples, the future Apostles.

You also are gathered here as disciples of Christ the Lord. Each one of you has become his disciple through holy Baptism, which requires a solid preparation of our minds, our wills and our hearts. This is done by means of catechesis, first of all in our families, then in the parish. By catechesis we search ever more deeply into the mystery of Christ and we discover the meaning of our participation in it. Catechesis is not only learning religious concepts; it is an introduction to the life of participation in the mystery of Christ. Thus, knowing Christ—and through him also the Father: "He who has seen me has seen the Father" (Jn 14,9)—we become, in the Holy Spirit, participants in the new life which Christ has grafted into us from the moment of Baptism and which he has strengthened with Confirmation.

2. This new life which Christ has given us becomes our spiritual life, our interior life. We therefore discover within ourselves the interior person with its qualities, talents, worthy desires and ideals; but we also discover our weaknesses, our vices, our evil inclinations: selfishness, pride and sensuality. We perfectly understand how much the first of these aspects of our humanity needs to be developed and strengthened, and how much instead the second one must be overcome, combatted and transformed. In this way—in living contact with Jesus, the contact of the disciple with the Master—there begins and develops the most sublime activity of man: work on himself that aims at the formation of his own humanity. In our lives we prepare ourselves to perform various activities in one or other profession; our interior task, on the other hand, tends solely to form the human person himself—that human person which is each one of us.

This task is the most personal collaboration with Jesus Christ, similar to that which occurred in his disciples when he called them to intimate friendship with him.

3. Today's Gospel speaks of a banquet. We know that the Divine Master, calling us to collaborate with him—a collaboration which we as his disciples accept in order to become his apostles—invites us as he did at Cana of Galilee. In fact, he presents to us, as the Fathers of the Church have described in an expressive and symbolic way, two tables: one of the word of God, the other of the Eucharist. The work that we take on ourselves consists in approaching these two tables in order to be filled.

I know how many young people in Poland, boys and girls, who with joy, with trust, with an interior desire to know the truth and to find pure and beautiful love, approach the table of the word of God and the table of the Eucharist. On this occasion today I wish to emphasize the great significance of the various forms of that creative work which allows us to discover the deep value of life, the true attraction of youth, living in intimacy with Christ the master, in his sanctifying grace. One discovers in this way that human life, on whose threshold youth still finds itself, has a rich meaning and that it is—always and everywhere—a free and conscious answer to the call of God, a well-defined vocation.

4. Some of you have discovered that Christ has called you in a particular way to his exclusive service, and that he wishes to see you at the altar as his ministers, or on the path of evangelical consecration through the religious vows. This discovery of a vocation is followed by a particular preparation of some years either in seminaries or in religious novitiates. These institutions—worthy of praise in the life of the Church—never cease to attract young people who are ready to give themselves exclusively to the Redeemer, so that there is fulfilled what you so spontaneously sing: "Come with me to save the world, it is already the twentieth century..."

Remember that I rejoice for every priestly and religious vocation, as a particular gift of Christ the Lord for the Church, for the People of God, as a singular witness of the Christian vitality of our dioceses, parishes, families. Here, today, with you, I entrust every young vocation to Our Lady of Jasna Gora and I offer it to her as a particular gift.

5. During the banquet at Cana of Galilee, Mary asked the first sign from her Son on behalf of the young newly-weds and those in charge of the house. Mary does not cease to pray for you, for all the young people of Poland and of the whole world, so that there will be manifested in you the sign of a new presence of Christ in history.

And you, my dearest friends, remember well these words which the Mother of Christ spoke at Cana, turning to those who were to fill the water jars. She said then, pointing to her Son, "Do whatever he tells you!" (Jn 2,5).

To you also she says the same thing today.

Accept these words

Remember them.

.Put them into practice.






Wednesday, 6 June 1979

1. My dear brothers in the priesthood, and at the same time, in the same priesthood of Christ, beloved sons.

We meet here at the feet of the Mother of God, before the face of our Mother: The Mother of priests. We meet in unusual circumstances, by which you certainly, like me, are deeply moved. And yet this first Polish Pope who today stands before you received the grace of a priestly vocation on Polish soil; he passed through the Polish Major Seminary (for the most part when it was underground, because it was during the Occupation); he studied at the Theology Faculty of the Jagellonian University; he received priestly ordination from the Polish bishop and inflexible prince of unforgettable memory, Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha; and, with you, he shared in the same experiences of the Church and the nation.

This in particular I want to say to you at today's meeting. Everything that was formed in me here, everything I have taken away from here, echoes in all the meetings I have had with priests since 16 October 1978. And so today, in this meeting with you, I wish especially to refer to the words that I have said on those various occasions. In fact I believe that you all have some share in their formation, and in part you have authorship rights. I also hold that though these words have been already said in Rome or elsewhere, they refer to you in Poland.

2. Here is a part of the talk I gave to the diocesan and religious priests of the Diocese of Rome last November 9:

I said: "I remember the admirable, zealous and often heroic priests with whom I was able to share the concern and the struggles... In my previous episcopal work the Priests' Council rendered me great service, both as a community and as a meeting-place for sharing, together with the Bishop, common solicitude for the whole life of the presbyterium and for the effectiveness of its pastoral activity... As I meet you here for the first time and greet you with sincere affection," I also said to the priests and religious of Rome, "I still have before my eyes and in my heart the presbyterium of the Church in Krakow—all our meetings on various occasions—the many talks that began right from the years in the Seminary—the meetings of priests—ordination groups of the individual seminary courses, to which I always went and in which I took part with joy and benefit!" (L'Osservatore Romano, 10 November 1978, p. 1, nos. 2-3).

3. And now let us return together to the great meeting with the Mexican priests at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I said this to them:

"Servants of a great cause, on you largely depends the destiny of the Church in the spheres entrusted to your pastoral care. This imposes upon you the duty to have a deep awareness of the greatness of the mission that you have received, and an awareness of the need to make yourselves ever more fit for it. In fact, it is a question... of Christ's Church—with what respect and love this ought to fill us!—which you must serve with joy in holiness of life (cf. Eph Ep 4,13). This lofty and .demanding service cannot be rendered unless you have a clear and firmly-rooted conviction of your identity as priests of Christ, stewards and ministers of God's mysteries, instruments of salvation for people, witnesses to a kingdom that begins in this world but reaches fulfilment in the world to come" (nos. 2-3; AAS 71 (1979), p. 180).

4. Finally, the fourth statement, and perhaps the best known one: the Letter to all the priests of the Church on the occasion of Holy Thursday 1979. I felt the particularly strong need to address the priests of the whole Church precisely at the beginning of my pontificate. I wanted this to happen on the occasion of Holy Thursday, on the occasion of the "feast of priests", I had before my eyes that day in the Cathedral at Wawel, when we renewed together our faith in the priesthood of Jesus Christ and dedicated to him anew, at his complete disposal, our whole being, soul and body, so that he might be able to work through us and carry out his salvific work.

"Our pastoral activity demands," I wrote, "that we should be close to people and all their problems, whether these problems be personal, family or social ones, but it also demands that we should be close to all these problems 'in a priestly way'. Only then, in the sphere of all these problems, do we remain ourselves. Therefore if we are really of assistance in those human problems, and they are sometimes very difficult ones, then we keep our identity and are really faithful to our vocation. With great perspicacity we must seek, together with all men, truth and justice, the true and definitive dimensions of which we can only find in the Gospel, or rather in Christ himself" (no, 17 A AS 71 (1979), p. 404).

5. Dear Polish priests gathered today at Jasna Gora, those are the thoughts that I wanted to share with you. The priests of Poland have their own history, a history that has been written, in close connection with the history of the motherland, by the entire generations of the "servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God" (1Co 4,1) whom our land has given.

We have always felt a profound bond with the People of God, with this people from the midst of which we have been "chosen", and for which we have been "appointed" (cf. Heb He 5,1). The witness of living faith that we draw from the Upper Room, from Gethsemane, from Calvary, from the faith that we absorbed with our mothers' milk; from the faith that was strengthened amid the hard trials suffered by our fellow countrymen—this is our spiritual hallmark; the foundation of our priestly identity.

In today's meeting, could I fail to recall the thousands of Polish priests who lost their lives in the last war, especially in the concentration camps?

But allow me to limit the memories that crowd into my mind and heart.

I shall say only that this heritage of priestly faith, service and solidarity with the nation in her most difficult periods, which constitutes in a sense the foundation of the historical trust of society in the Polish priests, must always be developed by each of you and must, I would say, always be won again. Christ the Lord taught the Apostles what idea they were to have of themselves and what they were to demand of themselves: "We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty" (Lc 17,10). Dear brothers, Polish Priests, as you recall these words and the experiences of history, you must always keep before your eyes the demands arising from the Gospel that are the measure of your vocation. It is a great blessing this trust that the Polish priest has to his credit with society when he is faithful to his mission and his attitude is clear and in keeping with the style developed by the Church in Poland in the last decades: namely, the style of the evangelical witness of social service. May God assist us in order that this style may not be exposed to any "hesitation".





Wednesday, 6 June 1979

Our Lady of Jasna Góra!

1. There is a custom—a beautiful custom—for pilgrims whom you have welcomed at Jasna Góra to make a farewell visit to you before leaving here. I remember very many of these farewell visits, these special audiences that you, Mother of Jasna Góra, have granted me, when I was still a high-school student and came here with my father and the pilgrimage from the whole of my native parish of Wadowice. I remember the audience that you granted to me and to my companions when we came here clandestinely, as representatives of the university students of Krakow, during the terrible Occupation, in order not to interrupt the continuity of the university pilgrimages to Jasna Góra , pilgrimages begun in the memorable year 1936. I remember so many other farewell visits to you, so many other moments of parting, when I came here as chaplain to young people, later as Bishop, leading pilgrimages of priests from the Archdiocese of Krakow.

2. Today I have come to you, Our Lady of Jasna Góra, with the venerable Primate of Poland, with the Archbishop of Krakow, with the Bishop of Czestochowa and with the whole of the Episcopate of my motherland, to bid you farewell once more and to ask your blessing for my journey. I come here, after these days that I have spent with them—as the first servant of your Son and as the successor of Peter in the See of Rome. The meaning of this pilgrimage is quite inexpressible. I shall not even try to find the words to express what it has been for me and for us all, and what it will never cease to be. And so, Mother of the Church and Queen of Poland, forgive us all if we thank you only with the silence of our hearts; and if with this silence we sing you our "preface" of farewell.

3. I just wish, in your presence, to thank once more my beloved brothers in the Episcopate: the Cardinal Primate, the Archbishops and Bishops of the Church in Poland, from the circle of whom I have been called, and with whom I have been profoundly linked from the beginning and continue to be so. Here are those who becoming, in Saint Peter's words, models of the flock (forma gregis) (cf. 1P 5,3), with all their hearts serve the Church and the motherland, without sparing their energies. Revered Brothers, I wish to thank all of you, and in a special way you, the Eminent and beloved Primate of Poland, repeating once more (perhaps also without words) what I have already said in Rome on 22 and 23 October of last year. Today I repeat the same things—with my thoughts and with my heart—here, in the presence of Our Lady of Jasna Góra.

I express my cordial thanks to all who have been pilgrims with me here during these days—in particular the custodians of the Shrine, the Pauline Fathers, led by their Superior General and Guardian of Jasna Góra.

4. Our Lady of the Bright Mountain, Mother of the Church! Once more I consecrate myself to you in your maternal slavery of love": Totus tuus!—I am all yours! I consecrate to you the whole Church—everywhere and to the ends of the earth! I consecrate to you Humanity; I consecrate to you all men and women, my brothers and sisters. All the Peoples and the Nations. I consecrate to you Europe and all the continents. I consecrate to you Rome and Poland, united, through your servant, by a fresh bond of love.

Mother, accept us!

Mother, do not abandon us!

Mother, be our guide!





Wednesday, 6 June 1979

Beloved Brothers and Sisters!

By the inscrutable design of Providence I had to leave the episcopal see of Saint Stanislaus at Krakow, and from 16 October 1978 to occupy that of Saint Peter in Rome. The choice of the Sacred College was for me an expression of the will of Christ himself. To this will I desire to remain always submissive and faithful. I desire furthermore to serve, with all my strength, the great cause to which I was called, that is, the proclaiming of the Gospel and the work of salvation. I thank you because you have helped me spiritually, above all with your prayers.

If I say this with the first words with which I greet you, it is because Christ writes his calls in the living heart of man. And my heart was and has not ceased to be united with you, with this city, with this patrimony, with this "Polish Rome".

Here, in this land, I was born.

Here, in Krakow, I spent the greater part of my life, beginning with my enrolment in the Jagellonian University in 1938.

Here, I received the grace of my priestly vocation.

I was consecrated Bishop in the Cathedral of Wawel, and in January 1964 I inherited the great patrimony of the Bishops of Krakow.

Krakow, from the tenderest years of my life, has been for me a particular synthesis of all that it means to be Polish and Christian. She has always spoken of the great historic past of my Motherland. She always represented for me in a sublime way the spirit of my country.

I remember the old Krakow of the university years of my youth—and the new Krakow which, with the construction of Nowa Huta, has almost tripled in size. This Krakow, in whose problems I participated as pastor, as Bishop, as Cardinal.

Today, I greet my beloved Krakow as a pilgrim.

I greet all that which constitutes it: the witness of history, the tradition of the kings, the cultural and scientific patrimony and, at the same time, the modern metropolis.

I especially greet you, the residents of Krakow, all of you and each one of you. I come back to you for the few days of the jubilee of Saint Stanislaus, as to a great family.

You are so close to me. Because of the separation to which the Lord has called me, I feel even closer to you. I wish to express my sentiments and good wishes with the words of Saint Ignatius of Antioch. "May the grace of the Lord now give you everything in abundance... Just as you have comforted me in every way, so may the Lord Jesus, give you consolation. You have shown me your love both when I was present and when I was absent; may the Lord reward you for this." (Letter to the faithful of Smyrna, IX, 2: Sources Chrétiennes X, 164.)

During these few days that I will be spending with you I wish to do the same things that I have always done: proclaim "the great works of God" (Ac 2,11), give witness to the Gospel and serve the dignity of man. As Saint Stanislaus did so many centuries ago.


Thursday, 14 June 1979

Dear friends,

FOLLOWING THE EXAMPLE of my predecessor Paul VI, I am happy to extend a cordial welcome to members of Rotary International. It is a pleasure for me to have the opportunity to continue, on an international level, the conversation which Paul VI inaugurated with you years ago in Milan, and which he later carried on in Rome. I too am very willing to reflect with you on your important aims and on your worthy activities.

Your presence here today indicates a great power for good. You come from many different nations and backgrounds. You bring with you vast experience in the economic, industrial, professional, cultural and scientific fields. In the solidarity of your association, you find mutual support, reciprocal encouragement and a shared commitment to work for the common good.

To one who observes you with deep interest and keen attention it seems as though you are offering, with sincerity and generosity, your talents, your resources and your energies to the service of man. And to the extent that you pursue this lofty ideal of reaching out to people everywhere, I am certain that you will continue to find satisfaction and human fulfilment.

Indeed, in your very act of giving, of assisting, of helping others to help themselves, you will find enrichment for your own lives. In demonstrating ever greater involvement in the cause of man, you will appreciate ever more the unsurpassed dignity and grandeur of man, as well as his real fragility and vulnerability. And in your efforts and endeavours for the good of man you can be assured of the understanding and esteem of the Catholic Church.

The Church is a willing ally of all those who promote man’s well-being, irrevocably committed as she is to this cause, in virtue of her nature and her mandate. In my Encyclical I emphasized the relationship between the Church’s mission and man, when I stated: "Man in the full truth of his existence, of his personal being and also of his community and social being – in the sphere of his own family, in the sphere of society and very diverse contexts, in the sphere of his own nation or people... and in the sphere of the whole of mankind – this man is the primary route that the Church must travel in fulfilling her mission: he is the primary and fundamental way for the Church, the way traced out by Christ himself..."[1].

Because of this solicitude of the Church for man in his concrete reality, permit me to add a word of particular encouragement for your current programme encompassing your concern for "Health, Hunger, Humanity". It is meant to be your specific means of cooperating in the spiritual and material progress of society, in defending human dignity, in applying principles of upright conduct, and in exemplifying fraternal love. May this programme, so conceived, be a lasting contribution to man on the part of Rotary International.

The three words themselves open up extended areas and suggest so much to the ingenuity of your spirit of service. As the modern world succeeds in producing more and more quality medicine, vast numbers of people are still in dire need of basic medical care. Despite magnificent efforts and achievements, the area of preventive medicine remains to a great extent an unfulfilled challenge. The dignity of man requires an attentive and truly knowledgeable care for the sector of mental health – a whole area where we again encounter human fragility and vulnerability, and where earnest and sustained commitment to the grandeur and dignity of man is so needed.

Widespread hunger remains today one of the telling expressions of man’s uncompleted quest for progress and for the mastery of creation. Millions of children are crying out to the world, pleading for food. And at the same time millions of people are forced to bear in their bodies and their minds the results of a lack of proper nourishment when they were young. They exhibit before the witness of history the permanent scars of a diminished or severely handicapped physical or mental condition.

For all who are willing to see, hunger is so real; at the same time hunger has so many facets. Man is hungry for food, and yet he realizes that he does not live "by bread alone"[2]. Man is also hungry for knowledge of the Creator, the Giver of all good gifts; he hungers for love and truth. The human being hungers to be understood; he craves freedom and justice, and true and lasting peace.

Dear Rotarians, is this not an immense area in which you have many opportunities to expend yourselves for your fellowman? And whatever other challenge remains in the quest for human advancement – whether in the area of development or liberation – can be grouped under your third category: humanity – the betterment of humanity. To work for humanity, to serve men and women everywhere, is a splendid aim, especially when the motivation is love.

At this point no one will be surprised if, in my reflections, I add a word with special reference to those Rotarians who are linked to me in the Christian faith. Precisely at a moment when he was speaking about the progress of man and the development of peoples, Paul VI proclaimed his conviction, which is mine and that of Christians everywhere: "By reason of his union with Christ, the source of life, man attains to new fulfilment of himself, to a transcendent humanism which gives him his greatest possible perfection: this is the highest goal of personal development"[3].

And it is to this "new fulfilment" and to this "transcendent humanism" that I wish to give witness today, offering them as the complement of all you are doing in your noble and worthy programme of service. Thus looking upon man as "the primary and fundamental way for the Church"[4], I could not but likewise proclaim that "Jesus Christ is the chief way for the Church"[5];.

Finally, I would ask you to convey to all the members of Rotary International, to all your colleagues throughout the world, the expression of my esteem for the efforts you are making on behalf of humanity. May your generous service render honour to your respective countries and be reflected in the joy of your daily lives. My special greeting goes to your children and to the elderly at home, and my prayers include the many intentions that you carry in your hearts. May God sustain Rotary International in the noble cause of reaching out to serve humanity – humanity in need.

[1] Ioannis Pauli PP. II Redemptor Hominis, 14.

[2] Cfr. Deut. 8, 3; Matth. 4, 4.

[3] Pauli VI Populorum Progressio, 16.

[4] Ioannis Pauli PP. II Redemptor Hominis, 14.

[5] Ibid 13.

Speeches 1979 - Czestochowa, 5 June 1979