Speeches 1970 - Monday, 18 May 1970

Dear sons and daughters from Ceylon,

Our first greeting is to Our venerable Brother, Cardinal Cooray; to him and to all of you We express Our sincere joy at having you with us.

You have come a great distance and We are grateful for the sentiments which have prompted you to come. We pray that your visit to the land of Jesus and your pilgrimage to the shrines of His Mother will bring forth fruits of grace in your souls.

As We greet you, We think also of your families and your beloved country. Our prayer is contant for all of you; We are close to you in your hopes and aspirations, in your problems and in your joys. We wish you deep peace in Christ Jesus.

With special affection We impart to you Our Apostolic Blessing.


Monday, 25 May 1970

Mister Ambassador,

We extend to you Our warmest welcome as you present Us with Letters of Credence which accredit you as your country’s first Ambassador to the Holy See. We welcome you in your personal capacity and We welcome you as representative of that country so dear to Our heart: Mauritius.
We very much appreciate the kind thoughts you have expressed about Our Church, and your acknowledgment of its work in Mauritius, not only in the educational and social spheres, but also in inspiring a life of understanding and brotherhood among your beloved people. Your words, Mister Ambassador, show a deep awareness of the higher ideals of human life and the right approach to them if peace and wellbeing are to be attained whether at home or abroad. You have spoken of the great leader Gandhi; but even if you had not mentioned his name, he would have come to Our mind as you expressed your own thoughts on brotherhood, understanding and love.
We heard with satisfaction those words of yours which emphasised what can be achieved when Church and Government work in close cooperation; and We are very grateful also for your tribute to the missionary zeal of the Roman Catholic Church in the history of Mauritius, and its deep effect on the spiritual life of the country.

The bond between Mauritius and the Catholic Church has always been firm and strong, founded as it was on selfless service and affection for the people shown by those who spread the word of God, brotherhood and charity. This bond is sealed, and will be even further strengthened, by this appointment of Your Excellency as first Ambassador to the Holy See, and by the appointments of your own Bishop Margéot as Bishop of Port Louis and Archbishop Cecchini as Pro-Nuncio to Mauritius.
We extend to you Our very best wishes for the fulfilment of your mission and assure you that you will find Us always ready to be of assistance, especially in whatever concerns the good and well-being of Mauritius and its harmonious development in peace and prosperity. It is with a full heart that We invoke upon you, your family and the people of your beloved country, the richest blessings from heaven.

*AAS 72 (1970) p.453.

Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. VIII, p.541-542.

L’Attività della Santa Sede 1970, p. 249.

L'Osservatore Romano, 25-26.5.1970 p.1.

ORa n. 23 p.3.

June 1970


Thursday, 11 June 1970

Dear Friends from South Africa,

You have come back to Italy which has so many memories for you. And on this occasion you who are ex-servicemen from the last world war - now accompanied by your dear families-have asked to pay Us a visit. We are most happy to receive you, happy to welcome you all and extend to you the hospitality of this audience, We hope that you also are happy to be here.

Your presence among us inspires us to make just two simple observations. The first one is to tell you of Our deep affection for you and for your families and for all those who dwell within the vast boundaries of your nation. We pray for you often and are pleased to be able to tell you so in person this morning.

But because your visit is of necessity marked by the traces of the past, marked indeed by the memories of a war, We feel compelled also to manifest Our deeply felt sentiments in this regard. Our immediate thought is for your beloved dead, those whom you have come to honour by your visit. We join you in prayerful and affectionate commemoration of them as they lie interred in the soil of a nation other than their own, in the hope of resurrection.

At the same time Our meditation is concetrated on the malice of war and on the great blessing which is peace. Like yourselves We know the disastrous reality which is war. Still We have an undying hope for tomorrow. Christianity has a dimension beyond the present and because of this We too share the vision of Isaiah as We look forward to that day peoples “will hammer their swords into ploughshares, their spears into sickles. Nation will not lift sword against nation, there will be no more training for war” (Is 2,4).

At the same time We know that this peace is brought about only through justice. The motto of Our Venerable Predecessor, Pope Pius XII, is still valid: Opus iustitiae pax. Peace is indeed the work of justice.

We hope that you, dear friends, will make your personal contribution to the reign of justice in your country and in the world. Through this you will hasten the day of that blessed vision, the day of peace. We hope that this may be your commitment today and always. In the words of another prophet We would remind you: “This is what the Lord asks of you: only this, to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God” (Mi 6,8).

With affection We invoke upon you all choicest blessing from God.


Saturday, 20 June 1970

We are very happy today to have the visit of Bishop Webster and of the group which comes to us from the Caribbean. To all of you, dear sons and daughters, We extend Our most cordial welcome.

We are grateful for your visit and thank you for coming to Us. We take the occasion to express to you and through you to your families and to all the beloved people of your Islands our affection in the Lord. Through you We send Our greeting into your homes; it goes to your loved ones, to the aged, to your children, to the youth, to the sick, to the workers and to all those who would have liked to be here this morning: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2Co 13,13).

With Our special Apostolic Blessing.


Thursday, 26 June 1970

Mister Ambassador,

It is with twofold pleasure that we accept the Letters of Credence which you bring us from the President of Ireland. For not only are We welcoming in you the representative at the Holy See of your beloved country and of her esteemed leaders, but We are also wishing you a happy return to the post you have already filled with such distinction.

Ireland is indeed exercising on a worldwide scale its influence for good. In great numbers and with ever greater zeal its missionaries have gone throughout the earth to preach the good news of salvation. For the advancement of education and health aid has been given unsparingly by its people. And in the councils of nations its representatives have played their full part to promote the great cause of peace and concord in the world.

We pray that Ireland’s light may long shine in the sight of men. May God, who is bestowing in growing measure material blessings upon the Irish people, preserve and increase his spiritual gifts: through holiness of life, through fraternal care for each other’s welfare, and through harmonious cooperation and concord, may they show themselves fully worthy of all that is best in their glorious traditions.

To Your Excellency We gladly renew Our welcome and assure you of Our fullest cooperation in the performance of your mission.

We would also ask you to convey to His Excellency the President our gratitude for his good wishes and assure him of our prayers for his welfare and for that of all the people of Ireland. To all we affectionately impart Our Apostolic Blessing.

*AAS 62 (1970), p.524

Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. VIII, p.681

L'Osservatore Romano, 27.6.1970, p.1

L’Attività della Santa Sede 1970, p.303

ORa n.27 p.11.

July 1970


Saturday, 11 July 1970

Mister Ambassador,

It is with the greatest pleasure that We welcome you here, as you present the Letters of Credence accrediting you to the Holy See as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Malawi.

We are deeply grateful for your kind words conveying to Us the sentiments of your President, and for the appreciation of Our efforts for stability and peace in the world.

Your gracious expressions of the gratitude of your country for all that the Catholic Church is able to achieve for Malawi, in all the various spheres, touch Our heart. The achievements you mention are made possible by the firm bond which exists between Malawi and the Catholic Church and by their close cooperation. We are very happy to hear what Your Excellency says concerning even closer and better relations.

We believe that in Your Excellency the Holy See has a sincere friend with whom it can continue its work for happiness and peace.

Please convey to your President Our special greetings and the sincerest best wishes for his continuing welfare. Please assure him and the Government that the Catholic Church will always be ready to give whatever assistance it can towards the spiritual and social progress of the people of Malawi-so dear to Us.

We promise Our prayers for Your Excellency in your new task, for your family and all in your beloved country that abundant blessings of peace and prosperity may grace your land.

*AAS 62 (1970), p.527.

Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. VIII, p.710.

L’Attività della Santa Sede 1970, p.319.

L'Osservatore Romano, 12.7.1970, p.2.

ORa n.30 p.4.



Saturday, 11 July 1970

It is truly a special pleasure for Us today receive the members of the American Justinian Society of Jurists who are participating in their Roman Seminar. Your worthy Association, composed in great part of Italo-American judges, has wished to hold its study meetings in Rome; they are aimed at the promotion of better administration of justice and at the intellectual and moral formation of its members. This is indeed the purpose of the organization itself.

You count among your ranks 450 judges and jurists who preside over the administration of justice in your land. This is a number worthy of consideration just as the united action that you intend to perform is likewise impressive. You may be assured of a word of approbation and encouragement on Our part, since the goal that you have set yourselves to accomplish, for the good of humanity in the triumph of justice, is indeed high and noble and corresponds to the desires of this Apostolic See.

For your Association you have chosen the name “Justinian”. This is an entire program in itself. It was Justinian who promoted the codification of Roman Law. Successive generations have profitted by the juridical monument which he left to posterity and have found inspiration in the norms and statutes fixed by the great jurists to whom he entrusted the work that subsequently entered into history under his name. You know that the Justinian legislation rests on the idea which has been passed down the centuries: the concept of natural law. This was defined by Gaius as that law which is dictated by natural reason itself and is thus universal in its normative content and differs from positive law which is particular and supplementary. Natural law may also be called “rational”, if this term is preferred.

Choosing Justinian as your inspiration you have expressed your faith in the existence of what Our Predecessor Pope Pius XII called a natural order of justice, the source of imperative norms for life in society and the necessary presupposition for every positive legislation. This latter must be in accordance with the natural order of justice and in it find inspiration.

This choice is in harmony with the juridical tradition of your country: it is an indisputable principle of your nation that man is endowed with natural and inalienable rights which the State must recognize and efficaciously guard, just as the defense of liberty is a rule of life-about this there is no doubt in your minds-for in that defense are summed up all the basic rights of man since without liberty none of them can be exercised. But these principles of social life would not make sense if there did not exist the natural order of justice upon which they are founded and from which they receive their binding force. If the State is bound to recognize some fundamental rights, they are not dependent on its sovereign will. These rights emerge not from the positive order it creates, but from the deeper stratum of law which conforms to human rationality.

You have come to Rome for your Congress and it is in Rome that you mill find the historical origin of that glorious and undying concept of law. The Justinian collection has not done anything else but bring together into a system the laws, the principles and the interpretations of existing law by the great jurists. This city has been justly defined as the “mother of law”. She has had many other glories in her history but imperishable is this one: to have given to the peoples of her empire a collection of laws into which she has incorporated the precepts of justice, moderating in turn their rigor with the principle of equity. This is a patrimony which has not been lost in time; rather it has become a leaven in the civilization of western peoples whose juridical systems have still today a common basis because they have been fashioned after the institutes of Roman Law.

But Rome became also the dynamic center of Christianity. It is the city where Peter set up his See and from which the new message announced by Christ spread to the whole world. Here there took place the symbiosis between Roman Law and that new vision of life founded on justice, in the sense both of interior and personal sanctification and of the virtue which prescribes to give to each what is his. This latter received a transcendent basis as an order established by the Supreme Maker and written in the heart of man-to use the expression of Saint Paul.

The order of justice which you are called upon to apply keeping its positive completions in mind and also looking upon it from the vantage point of its first origin, presents itself to you as a law which is both divine and human. Cicero frequently called it this without, however, touching upon the inmost reason for this appellation. It was only with the coming of Christianity that this obtained its full significance.

From that you can conclude how noble and lofty is your mission and how delicate it is to administer justice with that combination of rigor and understanding for the human person, with which one manages to avoid turning justice into summa iniuria. If you reflect that while exercising one of the powers of the State, you are also representatives of the Supreme Legislator, then you will easily link up with law that balancing spirit of equity and, above all, of love for every human person. Thus you will more easily be able to follow the moral dictates of your conscience as you exercise that mandate of yours which is so necessary for peace and social tranquillity.

We hope that these principles will be present always to you and that they will be a guide to the activities of your Association.


Friday, 31 July 1970

Your visit as Our special Representative to the World Exposition at Osaka offers Us the welcome occasion to express Our warm good wishes and heartfelt greetings to the beloved people of Japan.
The Japanese Nation presents to the world the admirable spectacle of a people preserving its traditional heritage as well as looking for means of ever greater advance in all sectors. Surely this would not be possible without the atmosphere of freedom prevailing in the country. At the same time, Japan has ever since the end of the tragic Pacific War remained firmly dedicated to the principle of peacefulness in international relations.

The spirit of freedom and peace, so essential to all authentic Christianity, together with the proverbial industriousness of the Japanese people, may explain to a great extent the economic prosperity of the country and its technological progress, of which the present World Exposition presents such overwhelming evidence.

We heartily wish that the well-being of this nation may continue and increase and that the moral principles of its people may be strengthened ever more in their hearts. We pray for them to have in abundance divine enlightenment, that the national wealth may be shared in the name of social justice by as many of the people as possible, and that the great nation may wisely and generously use its skill and resources to assist in the name of international justice many less fortunate countries in the world.

With this hope in Our heart We invoke upon the noble people of Japan the choicest blessings of the Most High.

From the Vatican, June 8, 1970


August 1970


Thursday, 13 August 1970

Dear Friends in Christ,

It is an honor for Us to receive today our Methodist friends and extend to you all a special welcome and greeting in the Lord.

Your presence here brings many thoughts to Our mind and suggests to Us a number of considerations. You have come here, We know, after visiting the land where Jesus was born, where he lived and died and rose again. We are sure that the memories of Christian beginnings are vivid in your minds. You have seen the places where the Good News of salvation was first announced and whence it began to spread to the world through the power of the Holy Spirit and the preaching of the Apostles.

We take the happy occasion of Our encounter with you at this moment to recall the historical teachings of the Lord Jesus. It is from him that we have learned the meaning of Christian love and brotherhood. It is from him that we have learned the value of Christian unity and how necessary it is to pursue it in patience, in humility and in hope.

For this reason We would like to mention once again a profound conviction of the Second Vatican Council: “There can be no true ecumenism worthy of the name without interior conversion. For it is from newness of attitudes of mind, from self-denial and unstinted love, that desires of unity take their rise . . .» (Unitatis redintegratio UR 7). And We would like to think that in our fraternal encounter of today the Spirit of Christ is present and inspiring us to pursue our goals in accordance with the Lord’s desire: “That they may all be one” (Jn 17,21).

At this time we wish to express our prayerful good wishes for the work of the third meeting of the Mixed Commission of Catholics and Methodists shortly to take place in the United States. We pray that God may bless that encounter as well as ours today.

Upon all of you, dear Friends, We invoke the special graces of the Spirit.


Thursday, 13 August 1970

Mister Minister,

It is with very great pleasure that We welcome you here today in your official capacity as you present the Letters whereby Her Britannic Majesty accredits you as Her Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Holy See.We deeply appreciate the kind message you have brought from Her Majesty, for whom We have a special regard.

The aims of Our Pontificate, which you have so generously described, are really the goals of all right Christian living, and it is to ideals such as these that the spiritual in man wishes to aspire.

We are happy to hear from you of the aims of Her Majesty’s Government-especially those which ultimately conduce to peace and fraternity, within the context of the rule of law, and those which concern social progress and development.

We note that negotiations are proceeding for the wider membership of the European Communities. A United Europe can be a source of strength and stability-not only for Europe itself but also for the rest of the world: it need not be a community preoccupied only with its own problems, but can be a strong and prosperous base extending its help to those parts of the world which are less prosperous.

We know of the friendly cooperation which exists between your Government and the Roman Catholic Church in many spheres of activity, and We wish to give assurance that the Church will always be ready to assist in those matters which specially concern her, such as education and spiritual care.

The close relationship between the Established Church of the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church is a matter which gives hope in these times when responsible religious leadership can be so important to the true happiness and destiny of a nation.

To Your Excellency We offer a word of personal welcome. Your invaluable experience in varied fields of diplomacy and responsibility has not escaped Our notice. It gives Us full confidence that your pledge to work for the maintenance and strengthening of the links of understanding and friendship with the Holy See will be fulfilled: to that end the Holy See will give you the closest collaboration. You have Our best wishes for the happy discharge of your task.

Please convey to Her Majesty Our special greetings. We pray that she, her family and her people will have abundant blessings from God, and that peace and prosperity will grace her beloved nation.

*ORa n.34 p.6.


Tuesday, 25 August 1970

Dear Brother in Christ,

Over fifty years ago you left your homeland with the first group of Maryknoll Missionaries to go and serve the beloved Chinese people. It was from the Church of Christ that you received your mission to preach the Gospel in his name.

Today you have returned from your mission-more painful than you perhaps expected. It is the Pope who receives you back and who thanks you in the name of Christ for all that you have done and suffered.

You have been a witness-authentic and simple-in joy and in sorrow, then in suffering and humiliation, and finally, in separation from the people whom you loved so much. For all of this we thank you also on behalf of the entire Church of Christ.

We cannot let the occasion pass without commenting on the mystery of Christian suffering which has been yours. Apart from the responsibility of men that is involved sometimes in suffering, we are convinced that it has great value. You have surely meditated long and often on the teaching of Saint Peter: “The merit, in the sight of God, is in bearing it patiently when you are punished after doing your duty. This, in fact, is what you were called to do, because Christ suffered for you and left an example for you to follow the way he took” (1 Petr. 2: 19 and 21).

You have indeed followed nobly in his footsteps. We know that your sufferings have not been in vain but that they are like seeds of Christian virtue that will grow up in God’s good time. The extent of their value is known only to the Lord. We are confident also that the example of your effective and persevering love will help to show to the world and especially to the young the greatness of the missionary calling.

We want to tell you today that our joy is great to have you with us. We assure you of Our special and deepest affection in the Christ who called you and sustained you in your trials. With fraternal love We give you once again Our Apostolic Blessing.



Saturday, 29 August 1970

Mister Ambassador,

It is a pleasure for Us today to receive you, as you present your Letters of Credence in the name of His Excellency President Ferdinand E. Marcos.

You have graciously stated that you do not feel like a stranger among Us. We are happy on Our part to confirm your impression and extend to you a warm welcome. We see in you the worthy spokesman of your President and the authoritative representative of your Nation.

We are likewise happy on this occasion to renew publicly Our affection for your people whom We hope soon to have the joy of visiting, if such is willed to be by the Providence of God.

At this time We cannot help but note that special vocation that belongs to your Country: to give a collective Christian witness in the great and ancient East. We appreciate this unique role that is proper to the Philippines and it is Our fervent hope that the years to come will see it develop and add even greater lustre to your traditions.

For the Filipino People We wish also that increased material well-being and prosperity consonant with human dignity. We assure Your Excellency of Our deep interest in your mission on behalf of your homeland and We give you willingly Our cooperation to facilitate the noble purpose of your task.

Upon you, your family and the beloved Philippines We bestow most cordially Our Apostolic Blessing.

*AAS 62 (1970), p.597-598.

Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. VIII, p.815.

L’Attività della Santa Sede 1970, p.371.

L'Osservatore Romano 30.8.1970, p.1;

ORa n.37 p.2.

September 1970


Tuesday, 1\2st\0 September 1970

Mister Ambassador,

We warmly welcome you as you present the Letters of Credence by which you are accredited to the Holy See as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Zambia.

We are grateful for your kind words about Our efforts for world peace, and We assure you that it will continue to be Our constant task to try to influence men to live in brotherhood and fraternal charity. Where peace is in the heart there is no room for thoughts of conquest or recrimination.

Your Excellency wisely mentions frustration as a cause of conflicts between men: we must ever keep in mind that frustration arises out of disorder and that to avoid such disorder it is necessary to respect a correct hierarchy of values. Zambia is a Country which is in process of development for the well-being of its people. As you well know, such development must be integral, that is, it must be a development of the whole man both as an individual and as a member of the community: it must take into account and satisfy all those exigencies which have been placed in him by the Creator. A development which is restricted to the betterment of the material conditions of life and which does not lead, through economic and social progress, to the raising of the mind and heart of man to the Infinite would not be true development, but rather it would be an element of disorder.

We are indeed happy at the relations of cordiality and friendship which exist between this Apostolic See and the Republic of Zambia. Consoling too is the progress of the Church in your land -witnessed to by the many educational, medical and charitable works which she promotes. We are grateful for the co-operation given to the Church in the fulfilment of her mission, and We give assurance that she will always be at hand offering willing collaboration for the further spiritual and social advancement of your beloved people.

We are confident that you will fulfil your intention to develop even further the good relationship between your Country and the Holy See: be assured that the Holy See will extend to Your Excellency full cooperation to this end.

Please convey to your President and to the Government and people of Zambia Our heartfelt thanks for their greetings, and Our prayerful good wishes for progress, health and prosperity in peace. We hold in special affection your Country of Zambia and We pray that it may be graced with abundant blessings from the Almighty.

We offer to you personally Our very best wishes for the successful accomplishment of your mission.

*AAS 62 (1970), p.598-599.

Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. VIII, p.821-822.

L’Attività della Santa Sede 1970, p.377-378.

L'Osservatore Romano 2.9.1970, p.1.

ORa n.37 p.3.


Wednesday, 2 September 1970

Chers Messieurs,

Nous sommes heureux de vous souhaiter la bienvenue dans notre demeure d’été, à Castel Gandolfo. Vous savez en effet combien il nous tient à coeur, à chaque fois que l’occasion nous est donnée, de redire combien nous déplorons les horreurs de la guerre qui ensanglante votre pacifique pays, combien aussi nous souhaitons que la paix revienne sur cette terre marquée, hélas, par tant de deuils et de larmes. Que le Tout-Puissant veuille écouter nos prières et incliner le coe ur de tous les responsables vers une heureuse et rapide solution de ce conflit, dans la concorde, dans l’indépendance, dans la liberté, dans la prospérité de tout le pays, dans la fidélité enfin à ses traditions humaines qui sont l’honneur de sa civilisation.

A toutes ces intentions nous faisons monter instante notre prière vers le Dieu Très-Haut, dont nous implorons la paternelle Bénédiction sur ses fils du Vietnam dans l’épreuve.

Ad ex combattenti degli Stati Uniti

We are happy to greet and welcome the delegates of the American Veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

Me are grateful for your kind thoughtfulness in our regard and are pleased to have your visit.
While we know that the basis of your fraternity is anchored in the past and associated with the reality of war, nevertheless, we are convinced that your mission is one that looks to the future. We would encourage you to pursue your high ideals, accepting the challenge today of building in justice and in love a better world for tomorrow.

Upon you and your families We invoke the abundant blessings of God.


Saturday, 6 September 1970


We bid a heartfelt and respectful welcome to each and every one of you who have come to Rome from various countries of Europe and America to take part in the international congress of toxicology which is entitled “Roman International Poison Days” and which has been organized by the Association “Centro nazionale contro le intossicazioni” under the patronage of the Italian Minister for Health. We greet in a particular way Professor Piero Mazzoni, who has earned Our esteem and who is so competently presiding over the meeting.

Your visit is a response to a question We ask Ourself and a desire We feel within Us. The question is: What title have We to speak before a congress which is dealing with scientific matters outside Our competence? And this is your reply: We have come to the Pope, because we recognize in him a man who is dedicated, if any man is, to the service of his fellow men, the “servus servorum Dei”; our scientific problems come within his competence and call for his assistance when they touch on human life under moral and spiritual aspects. And such indeed are certain of the problems you deal with in toxicology.

The desire-one that has been Ours for some time-was that We too should have an occasion to say a word, both frank, loving and at the same time severe, about the fearful spread of certain poisons which join to their destructive power the attraction of inebriating emotions, and today form one of the most serious and threatening evils of our generation. We refer to drugs.

Therefore, while this meeting offers Us the opportunity to pay Our tribute of praise to your science, it encourages Us to add to your scientific conclusions the support of Our ethical and religious convictions.

Speeches 1970 - Monday, 18 May 1970