Santa Cruz Airport

Saturday, 5 December 1964

Our visit to the beloved land of India, though of short duration and limited scope, has filled Our heart with joy and satisfaction. The Pope has been given the opportunity to meet the people of India, to admire their virtues and qualities, to appreciate their high talents and generous energies.

Our thanks are due, and We offer them, to all those who have contributed to make Our visit such a happy one. First, to His Excellency the President of India, who came to bid Us a personal welcome; then, to the Right Honourable Prime Minister and Members of the Government, who have honoured Us by their presence; to the civil authorities of Bombay; to the organizers of the Congress and all their collaborators; and to the Indian people, who have received Us with such warm and affectionate hospitality. Our particular gratitude goes to Our Beloved Son the Cardinal Archbishop of Bombay for his innumerable kindnesses.

As for Ourself, We can only say: Here We leave our heart! We feel Ourself to share in a moral citizenship with this land, which We will ever love. With deepest interest We shall follow its future development, exhorting Our Catholic sons to contribute generously in loyalty and obedience to the true progress of India.

We return to Rome, bearing with Us an unforgettable memory of Our pilgrimage and of all the kindnesses and favours showered upon Us here; as well as a great human and religious confidence in the people of Indio. Most lovingly, then, do We invoke upon you all the richest and choicest of divine graces. God bless India; Jai Hind!





Saturday, 5 December 1964

His Excellency Doctor Sarpavepalli Radhakrishnan,
President of the Republic of India
New Delhi.

As we leave the territory of India on Our happy return to A Rome, We cannot omit to reiterate to Your Excellency the profound and sincere gratitude We feel for the honour done to Us by Your Excellency and by the Government of India, and for the innumerable kindnesses which made Our visit a spiritual success. We beg Almighty God to reserve for Your Excellency and the beloved Indian people a rich recompense of favours and graces, particularly of harmonious peace in justice.


* * *

Having returned safely to Our home after the unforgettable celebration of the Eucharistic Congress in Bombay, We would ask Your Excellency kindly to accept this further assurance of Our pleasure and honour in meeting You personally, of Our thankfulness for the many acts of kindness shown us during Our visit, and for Our prayerful. good wishes for Your Excellency in the fulfilment of Your high Office, as well as for the Government and people of Our beloved India, invoking upon all the choicest favours of divine benevolence.


To His Eminence Valerian Cardinal Gracias,
Archbishops House, Bombay

With indelible remembrances of the incredible enthusiasm and touching sincerity of Our welcome by the Indian People, and from a heart filled with glorious memories of the International Eucharistic Congress in Bombay, which owes so much to Your indefatigable and generous labours, We send You, beloved son, the assurance of Our heartfelt and undying gratitude for Your exquisite hospitality, and for all the kindnesses You have shown Us during Our pilgrimage, asking God to reward You with his richest graces. We lovingly impart to You, and bestow upon Your great Archdiocese, and upon the Hierarchy, Clergy, Religious and faithful of beloved India, Our appreciative and most affectionate Apostolic Blessing.



Monday, 21 December 1964

Dear Indian Students in Rome,

We are particularly happy, after Our return from a very brief but memorable visit to your motherland, to welcome you into Our home and to share with you Our joy.

First of all, We wish to thank you for your prayers which accompanied Us on Our journey, and which contributed so much to the success of the Eucharistic Congress. We know that you offered special prayers for this historic event.

In your beautiful country We were able to witness first-hand its beauties and to meet personally with your good people. Our schedule, though limited to a few days, was a very crowded one, and this was as We wanted because it provided the opportunity of seeing as many as We could. We saw the fervor of your people, and We admired the respect for religion which was everywhere in evidence. Their hospitality and warm welcome moved Us deeply, and We wanted so much to return the warmth of the affection and regard. Therefore We take this occasion to express once again publicly Our sincere thanks to His Excellency, the President of the Republic of India, to the Central Government of your country, to the civil authorities of the State and City Governments, and to His Eminence, Our Beloved Son, Cardinal Gracias, and his faithful, for the warm reception accorded to Us. Do you wonder then that We have a special affection for your motherland and her citizens?

You are here in Rome preparing yourselves for future service in India, and We recommend that you apply yourselves without stint to your task. Your country and your Church need you. The contribution that will be yours will be a most precious one, and for this dedication and devotion will be needed. India is a country in progress, and it is seeking to make giant steps in its development. Do not permit that any advance cause the loss of your valuable heritage of spiritual values or that it be put to one side. India is a religious nation, and her role for world peace and understanding is an important one. In fulfilling her responsibilities, she will succeed more effectively if she demonstrates to the whole world her deep religious life.

We shall pray for you and for your studies. We shall call down abundant blessings for your country, and We shall watch with loving care the advances in your motherland. In pledge of this, We will now impart to you, to your dear ones at home, and to Our beloved India, Our special Benediction.