S. John Paul II Homil. 988

988 3. Throughout your history various Christian inspirations — Latin, Constantinopolitan and Slavic — combined with the distinctive genius of your peoples. This precious religious heritage was safeguarded by your Eastern communities, together with their brothers and sisters of the Romanian Orthodox Church.

Your ancestors wanted to re-establish visible union with the Church of Rome. In the Clausula Unionis they stated among other things: “We, the aforementioned, are one with our whole tradition: the ecclesiastical rites, the Divine Liturgy, the fasts and our calendar are to be preserved intact”. That union is almost 300 years old: I consider it providential and highly significant that the celebrations of the third centenary will coincide with the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000.

In that union were echoed centuries of the Romanian people's history and culture. It contributed significantly to this history and culture, as is shown by the school founded in Blaj, which Eminescu did not by chance salute as the “little Rome”. Your commitment, dear brothers and sisters of the Greek-Catholic Church, is one of fidelity to your history and tradition. Persons like Teofil Szeremi and Anghel Atanasie Popa, who strenuously defended their cultural identity from whoever tried to ensnare it, showing how catholicity and national culture not only can coexist, but can enrich each other by opening themselves to a universality which broadens horizons and enables them to avoid being self-contained and self-absorbed. At the foot of the splendid iconostasis in your cathedral repose has finally been given to the remains of venerable Bishop Inochentie Micu Klein, another person who with generosity and courage loved and defended his catholicity, strongly tied to his Romanian identity. Proof of this fruitful synthesis is the fact that in your Church the beautiful Romanian language entered the liturgy, and Greek-Catholic Romanians worked for the intellectual renewal and strengthening of their own national identity.

4. This heritage also drew vital nourishment from the riches of the Byzantine liturgy and tradition which you share with our brothers and sisters of the Orthodox Church. You are called to give this heritage new life and to renew it where necessary, taking your inspiration from the sensibilities of those who wanted union with Rome and from what the Catholic Church expects of you. Fidelity to your tradition, so rich and composite, must be continually renewed today, when new areas of freedom are given to you, so that your Church, by returning to her roots and by openness to the Spirit's call, may be more and more herself and, precisely because of this multifaceted identity, contribute to the growth of the universal Chruch.

An exhilarating task awaits you: to rekindle hope in the hearts of the faithful belonging to your resurgent Church. Devote time and attention to the laity, particularly to the young, who are the Church's future: teach them to meet Christ in liturgical prayer, restored to its beauty and solemnity after the constraints of secrecy, in diligent meditation on Sacred Scripture, in assimilation of the Fathers, theologians and mystics. Teach young people to strive for difficult goals, as befits the children of martyrs. Teach them to reject the facile illusions of consumerism; to stay in their land so that together they can build a future of peace and prosperity; to be open to Europe and the world; to serve the poor, who are the icon of Christ; to prepare themselves to be Christian professionals in order to imbue civil society with honesty and solidarity; not to distrust politics but to make their presence felt with that spirit of service it particularly needs.

Work for qualified theological instruction, knowing full well that future priests are the guides who will lead their communities into the new millennium. Join forces and train your teachers and educators, providing them with roots in your particular identity and in the universal scope of the Church. Care for religious life and work for the rebirth of monasticism, which is so closely connected with the very essence of the Eastern Churches.

5. “Above all these”, I say to you with St Paul, “put on love” (
Col 3,14). Even before being deprived of the priceless gift of freedom and of life itself, you suffered from not feeling loved, from being forced underground, with painful isolation from national and international life. Above all, a painful wound was inflicted on your relations with your brothers and sisters of the Orthodox Church, despite the fact that you shared with many of them the sufferings of bearing witness to Christ amid persecution. Even if communion between Catholics and the Orthodox is still incomplete, “I add that this communion is already perfect in what we all consider the highest point of the life of grace, martyria unto death, the truest communion possible with Christ who shed his Blood, and by that sacrifice brings near those who once were far off (cf. Eph Ep 2,13)” (Encyclical Letter Ut unum sint, n. 84).

For Christians these are days of forgiveness and reconciliation. Without this witness the world will not believe: how can we credibly speak of God who is Love if there is no respite from conflict? Heal the wounds of the past with love. May your shared suffering not lead to separation but accomplish the miracle of reconciliation. Is this not the marvel that the world expects from believers? You too, dear brothers and sisters, are called to make your valuable contribution to the ecumenical dialogue in truth and in charity, according to the directives of the Second Vatican Council and the Church's Magisterium.

6. I have just come from this city's Catholic cemetery: on the graves of the few known martyrs and of the many whose mortal remains did not even receive the honour of Christian burial, I prayed for you all, and I called upon your martyrs and confessors of the faith to intercede for you with our Father in heaven. In particular, I called upon the Bishops to continue being your Pastors from heaven: Vasile Aftenie and Ioan Balan, Valeriu Traian Frentiu, Ioan Suciu, Tit Liviu Chinezu and Alexandru Rusu. Your martyrology begins with the concelebration in spirit of these Bishops who mingled their blood with that of the Eucharistic sacrifice they celebrated each day. I also called upon Cardinal Iuliu Hossu, who preferred to stay with his people until death, refusing to go to Rome to receive the Cardinal's biretta from the Pope because this would have meant leaving his beloved land.

On your journey to Christ, the source of true freedom, may they accompany you with Mary, the holy Mother of God. I commend you to her in the words you sang to her with trusting abandonment at the time of persecution: “Do not desert us, O Mother, exhausted on the way, because we are the children of your tears”.



Podul Izvor Park in Bucharest

Sunday, 9 May 1999

“Christ is risen!”.

1. “Great are the works of the Lord!”.

The responsorial psalm of today's liturgy is a song of glory to the Lord for the works he has done. It is a song of praise and thanksgiving for creation, the masterpiece of divine goodness and for the wonders the Lord has accomplished for his people in freeing them from slavery in Egypt and bringing them across the Red Sea.

What can we say then of the even more extraordinary work of the Incarnation of the Word, which fulfilled the original plan of human salvation? The heavenly Father's design is in fact fulfilled by the Death and Resurrection of Jesus and concerns people of every race and every age. Christ — St Peter recalls in the second reading — “died for sins ... the righteous for the unrighteous ... being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit” (
1P 3,18). Christ crucified has risen: this is the great Easter message that every believer is called to proclaim and witness to courageously.

Before leaving this earth, the Redeemer announces to the disciples the coming of the Paraclete: “I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you” (Jn 14,16-17). Since then the Spirit has given life to the Church and made her a sign and instrument of salvation for all humanity. He works in the hearts of Christians and makes them aware of the gift and mission entrusted to them by the risen Lord. The Spirit spurred the Apostles to travel all the paths of the then-known world to proclaim the Gospel. This is the way the Gospel message reached and was spread here in Romania, through the heroic witness of confessors of the faith and of martyrs, yesterday and in our century.

Considering the Church's history in Romania, we can truly say with hearts full of gratitude: “Great are the works of the Lord!”.

2. “Great are the works of the Lord!”. The psalmist's exclamation rises spontaneously in my heart during this visit, which gives me the opportunity to see with my own eyes the wonders God has accomplished through you down the centuries and especially in recent years.

Until recently it would have been unthinkable that the Bishop of Rome could visit his brothers and sisters in faith living in Romania. Today, after a long winter of suffering and persecution, we can at last exchange the embrace of peace and together praise the Lord. I greet you all with deep affection, dear brothers and sisters. I extend a respectful and cordial greeting to His Beatitude who, in a much appreciated act of charity, has wished to pray with us at this Eucharistic celebration. I am deeply touched by his presence and brotherhood. I offer him my gratitude, as I thank our Lord Jesus Christ for everything.

With renewed joy I greet you, dear and venerable Brothers in the Episcopate, with a special thought for the Pastor of this Archdiocese, Archbishop Ioan Robu, whom I warmly thank for the words he addressed to me at the beginning of Mass, and to the Metropolitan of F(l-abreve)g(l-abreve)ra(l-scedilla) and Alba Iulia, Archbishop Lucian Mure(l-scedilla)an, President of the Episcopal Conference. I spiritually embrace each and every Latin-rite Catholic and those of the Byzantine-Romanian rite, who are equally dear to my heart. I greet the priests, the religious and the laity who are dedicated to the apostolate. I greet the young people and the families, the sick and all who are suffering in body or spirit.

From this capital, I wish to embrace all of Romania and all its inhabitants: I assure everyone, near and far, of my affection and my prayer. It is a great spiritual joy for me to be in Romania and to give thanks to God with you for the marvellous works he has accomplished, which the liturgy of the Easter season invites us to recall with joy and gratitude.

990 3. As this century comes to an end and we can already glimpse the dawn of the third millennium, we look back to years past in order to discern the signs of divine mercy that always accompany the steps of those who trust in God.

How can we forget the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, which opened a new era in the Church's history, instilling in her new energy? Thanks to the Constitution Lumen gentium, the Church has acquired a deeper awareness of being the People of God on the way to the fulfilment of the kingdom. We sense the mystery of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church and see the value of her mission in a particular way here in Romania, where Christians of the Eastern and Western traditions live side by side. They are striving for unity, anxious to respond to Christ's command, and thus they long for dialogue, reciprocal understanding and mutual help. This longing for fraternal cooperation, supported by prayer and inspired by mutual respect and esteem should always be fostered and encouraged, because only peace builds, while discord destroys.

In the name of this great ecumenical inspiration, I address all believers in Christ who live in Romania. I am here among you, spurred solely by the desire for genuine unity and the will to fulfil the Petrine ministry which the Lord has entrusted to me among my brothers and sisters in the faith. I give thanks to God that I can fulfil this ministry. I fervently hope and pray that full fraternal communion among all believers in Christ in East and West will be achieved as soon as possible. The Divine Master prayed for this unity, enlivened by love, in the Upper Room on the eve of his Passion and Death.

4. This Christian unity is first of all the work of the Holy Spirit, to whom we must constantly pray. On the day of Pentecost, the Apostles, who until that moment had been uneasy and fearful, were filled with courage and apostolic zeal. They were not afraid to proclaim Christ crucified and risen; they were not afraid to demonstrate their fidelity to the Gospel by their words and their lives, even when this meant persecution and death. Many in fact paid for this fidelity with martyrdom. The Church, guided by the Spirit, thus spread to every region in the world.

If misunderstandings and, unfortunately, painful separations have sometimes occurred within the one and undivided Mystical Body of Christ, the awareness of what unites all believers and their common call to unity has remained stronger than any division. At the end of the second millennium, paths that had diverged are drawing closer together and we are witnessing an intensification of the ecumenical movement to achieve the full unity of believers. Signs of this continual progress towards unity can be seen in your country, Romania, whose culture, language and history bear vivid marks of the Latin and Eastern traditions. My fondest hope is that Jesus' prayer in the Upper Room: “Father, that they may all be one” (cf. Jn
Jn 17,21), will always be on your lips and never cease to beat in your hearts.

5. “He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him” (Jn 14,21).

These words of Jesus, entrusted to the disciples on the eve of his Passion, echo for us today as a pressing invitation to continue on this path of fidelity and love. To love Christ! This is our life's ultimate goal: to love him in the everyday situations of life so that the Father's love will be manifested to the world; to love him with all our strength so that his plan of salvation will be fulfilled and believers will attain full communion in him. May this ardent desire never die in our heart!

Dear Catholics of Romania, I know well how you suffered during the years of the harsh communist regime; I also know how courageously you have persevered in your fidelity to Christ and his Gospel. Now as we stand on the threshold of the third millennium, be not afraid: open the doors of your heart to Christ the Saviour. He loves you and is close to you; he calls you to a renewed commitment to evangelization. Faith is a gift from God and a heritage of incomparable value to be preserved and spread. In defending and fostering common values, always be open to active cooperation with all the ethnic, social and religious groups that make up your country. May your every decision be motivated by hope and love.

May Mary, Mother of the Redeemer, guide and protect you, so that you can write new pages of holiness and generous Christian witness in the history of Romania.

Amen! “Christ is risen!”.




Sunday, 16 May 1999

991 1. “I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Resp. Ps. ).

These words of the responsorial psalm echo the touching testimonies that have preceded this Eucharistic celebration, illustrating with the power of lived experience the guiding theme of this world meeting: “reconciliation in charity”. In every situation, even the most tragic, the Christian makes his own the invocations of the psalmist: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? ... My heart says to you, ‘Your face, O Lord, I seek. Hide not your face from me’ ” (
Ps 26,1 Ps 8-9). They instil courage, nourish hope and spur us to spend all our energy so that the Lord's face may shine like light in our lives. To seek the face of God, therefore, means to long for full communion with him; it means to love him above all and with all one's strength. The most concrete way to meet him, however, is to love human beings, in whose face shines the Creator's.

A few moments ago several testimonies were given in this square, showing the marvels that God accomplishes through the generous service of the many men and women who make their lives a gift to others, a gift which continues to be given even when it is not accepted. These brothers and sisters, along with many other volunteers in every corner of the earth, show by their example that loving one's neighbour is the way to find God and to make him known even in this world of ours which is so distracted and indifferent.

2. “I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living”.

Sustained by the Word of God, the Church constantly proclaims the goodness of the Lord. Where there is hatred, she proclaims love and forgiveness; where there is war, reconciliation and peace; where there is loneliness, acceptance and solidarity. In every corner of the earth, she prolongs Christ's prayer which re-echoes in today's Gospel: “That they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (Jn 17,3). Today, more than ever, man needs to know God in order to entrust to him, in an attitude of confident abandonment, the weakness of his wounded nature. He notices, often without realizing it, the need to experience the divine love by which he is reborn to new life.

Through the various apostolates that bring it into contact with old and new forms of poverty, both spiritual and material, every ecclesial community is called to foster this encounter with “the only true God” and with the One whom he has sent, Jesus Christ. Every community is moved and prompted by the awareness that helping others does not consist merely in offering them material aid and support, but above all in leading them, by the witness of their own availability, to experience the divine goodness, which is revealed with particular force in the human mediation of fraternal charity.

3. I am very pleased today to welcome you, dear brothers and sisters, who have come in such large numbers for the Day of Charity organized by the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”. I am very happy to celebrate the Eucharist with you and for you, remembering all the “witnesses of charity” who in every part of the world dedicate themselves to eliminating the injustice and poverty which unfortunately still exist in so many obvious and hidden forms. I am thinking here of the countless faces of volunteer service, of those whose work is inspired by the Gospel: religious institutes and associations of Christian charity, organizations for human development and missionary service, groups involved in the civil sphere, and organizations for social, educational and cultural work. Your activities embrace every area of human life and your actions reach countless people in trouble. I express my esteem and gratitude to each of you.

I thank Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes and the staff of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”, who organized this meeting. It is taking place during the year of immediate preparation for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, the year dedicated to the heavenly Father, rich in goodness and mercy. I thank those who gave their testimonies and all who have wanted to take part in this highly significant gathering.

I would also like to encourage each of you to continue your noble mission to which you are committed as sons and daughters of the Church wherever human beings live and suffer in situations of hardship. To everyone you meet bring the comfort of Christian solidarity; vigorously proclaim and bear witness to Christ, the Redeemer of man. He is the hope that illumines humanity's way. Be spurred and supported by the witness of the saints, particularly that of St Vincent de Paul, patron of all charitable associations.

4. It is consoling to note the increase in the number of volunteer services which bring together people of various backgrounds, cultures and religions in humanitarian activities. I feel a spontaneous desire in my heart to thank the Lord for this growing movement of concern for the human person, of generous philanthropy and of shared solidarity. Christians are called to make their own specific contribution to this vast humanitarian effort. They know that in Sacred Scripture the call to love our neighbour is linked with the command to love God with all our heart, soul and strength (cf. Mk Mc 12,29-31).

How could we fail to emphasize this divine source of service to our brothers and sisters? Yes, love of neighbour conforms to Christ's mandate and example only if it is joined to the love of God. Jesus who gives his life for sinners is the living sign of God's goodness; at the same time, through their generous self-giving Christians enable the brothers and sisters they meet to experience the merciful and provident love of the heavenly Father.

992 Certainly, the highest expression of divine charity is forgiveness, which is born of love for one's enemy. In this regard Jesus says that there is no particular merit in loving our friends and those who do good to us (cf. Mt Mt 5,46-47). True merit is found in loving one's enemy. But who would have the strength to reach such a lofty height, if he were not sustained by the love of God? At this moment we see before our eyes the noble figures of heroic servants of love, who in our century offered their lives for their brethren by dying in fulfilment of Christ's greatest commandment. As we welcome their teaching, we are invited to follow in their footsteps, knowing that Christians express their love of Jesus in self-giving to others, because whatever they do to the least of their brethren, they do to the Lord himself (cf. Mt Mt 25,31-46).

5. “All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary, the Mother of Jesus ...” (Ac 1,14).

The icon of volunteer service is certainly that of the Good Samaritan, who promptly tended the wounds of the unknown traveler who had fallen among thieves as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho (cf. Lk Lc 10,30-37). Next to this image, on which we must continually reflect, the liturgy today offers us another: in the Upper Room the Apostles and Mary pray together as they wait to receive the Holy Spirit.

Action presupposes contemplation: it springs from the latter and is nourished by it. Love cannot be given to one's brothers and sisters unless it has first been drawn from the genuine source of divine charity, and this happens only in prolonged moments of prayer, of listening to the Word of God, of adoring the Eucharist, the source and summit of the Christian life. Prayer and active involvement form a vital, inseparable and fruitful combination.

Dear brothers and sisters, may these two “icons of love” inspire all your actions and your whole life. May Mary, the Virgin who listens, obtain from the Holy Spirit the gift of charity for each of you. May she make you all artisans of the culture of solidarity and builders of the civilization of love. Amen!


St. Peter's Square

Saturday, 22 May 1999

1. "Open the door to Christ your Saviour": this invitation, which echoed loud and clear for three years in preparation for the Great Jubilee, has characterized our City Mission.

Let us thank God for this extraordinary event, which has been an act of love for the city and for each of its residents. In the Christian communities the City Mission has encouraged a journey of intense spirituality, nourished by prayer and by listening to the Word of God. It has also fostered the growth of that ecclesial communion which the Roman Synod indicated as an indispensable condition of the new evangelization.

The entire diocesan community, in its various ministries, vocations and charisms, has joined forces to make its own contribution of prayer, proclamation, witness and service. Together we have shared the experience of being the "People of God on mission".

I feel it my duty to thank those who in various ways took part in this important pastoral programme. First of all, His Eminence the Cardinal Vicar, who has zealously guided the Mission in close collaboration with the Auxiliary Bishops, whom I cordially greet. Here I would like to mention the other prelates who offered their appreciated cooperation, including the late Bishop Clemente Riva.

993 My thoughts turn gratefully to you, dear missionaries, priests, religious and especially lay people, who have been the first to benefit from the grace of the Mission. Your generous efforts in preparing yourselves and in bringing the Gospel to homes and to the other areas of the city have opened new ways of evangelization and Christian presence in the daily texture of our people's lives. The Holy Spirit has guided you step by step, inspired you with the right words for proclaiming Christ and supported you in the inevitable moments of difficulty.

Let us thank the Lord for all he has done, showing in every situation the signs of his mercy and love. The Great Jubilee, now close at hand, spurs us to continue this missionary effort with the same enthusiasm, so that the results achieved by the Mission can be consolidated and extended. In this way we will be able to show the face of our open and welcoming Church, renewed in faith and rich in works of charity, to the many pilgrims who will come to Rome next year.

2. For this to happen, our missionary work, so well begun, must be consolidated and developed. The individuals and families we have already visited in their homes and workplaces must be given ongoing support, and we must reach out to those who for various reasons could not be contacted in these years.

May the annual visit to families and the centres for listening to the Gospel, which must become more widespread, thus be the soul of parish ministry, thanks to the collaboration of ecclesial associations, movements and groups. May the celebration of the Word of God enhance the faith journey of parish communities, especially during the principal seasons of the liturgical year. May the sign of charity towards the poor and suffering accompany the proclamation of the Lord, showing his living presence through the daily witness of fraternal love.

We must strengthen communion among Christians who are involved in the fields of work and study, of care-giving and entertainment, where the Gospel has been preached in a practical way. The seed of Gospel newness, sown by the Mission, must grow and bear fruit everywhere, even where it has not been possible yet to organize suitable missionary programmes. For this reason our witness is more urgent than ever. No situation, in fact, is impervious to the Gospel; on the contrary, the risen Christ is already mysteriously present there through his Holy Spirit.

3. Such an extensive missionary outreach calls for a programme of formation and catechesis directed to all the People of God, to make them more vividly aware of their missionary vocation and to prepare them to give an account of their faith in Christ always and everywhere.

It is the task of parishes, religious communities, associations, movements and groups to provide this formation by offering journeys of faith, prayer and Christian experience filled with theological, spiritual and cultural substance.

Dear priests, this task is entrusted first of all to you: be wise leaders and diligent teachers of faith in your communities.

Dear men and women religious, you have contributed so much to the Mission: continue to support it with your prayer, your holiness of life and your own charisms in the varied apostolic fields in which you are involved.

Dear lay people, you are called to undertake a great, permanent missionary movement in the city and in every area of its life. In families, in the vast, complex world of work and culture, in the schools and universities, in health care, the mass media and leisure activities, do not fail to make your contribution so that the Gospel message can have an impact on all society.

And could we forget the contribution to the City Mission that the sick have made and are called to renew by the offering of their own suffering, and cloistered religious by their constant prayer?

994 My gratitude goes to each and every one for their very useful spiritual help.

4. As we look at these three years of the City Mission, it is easy to see that the Word of God has been widely sown. If this divine seed is not to be wasted but is to sink deep roots and bear fruit in daily life and pastoral ministry, a specific reflection must be fostered which will involve all sectors of the Church and result in a special convention. I am thinking of a great meeting which will serve to trace out, on the basis of the City Mission experience, the broad outline of a permanent commitment to evangelization and missionary activity.

To be the Church on mission: this is the great challenge in the years ahead for Rome and for the whole world. I entrust this task to you, dear priests, religious, lay people and, in a special way, to you, the movements and new communities, as I recall the meeting we had a year ago, on the Vigil of Pentecost, in this square. We must docilely open ourselves to the Spirit's action, accepting with gratitude and obedience the gifts he continually bestows for the benefit of the entire Church. This evening Christ says again to each of you: "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation" (
Mc 16,15).

Dear friends, the Gospel that Christ has entrusted to us is the Gospel of peace! How could we keep it just for ourselves, especially at a time when oppression and warfare are sowing destruction and death in the neighbouring region of the Balkans? The Spirit prompts us to proclaim and work for peace in justice and reconciliation. With this in mind, I would like the Church in Rome to raise a unanimous prayer for peace on the forthcoming feast of Corpus Christi. Therefore, I invite you all - clergy, religious and faithful - to join me on Thursday evening, 3 June, at St John Lateran to participate in the Mass and procession for Corpus Christi, in which we will together implore the gift of peace in the Balkans. May the feast of the Holy Body and Blood of Christ be marked this year by intense prayer for peace.

5. Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.

Come, Holy Spirit! The invocation which echoes in the liturgy of this Pentecost Vigil fills us with joy and hope.

Holy Spirit, author and soul of the Mission, raise up in the Church of Rome many missionaries among young people, adults and families, and instil in all of them the inextinguishable fire of your love.

Spirit, "Light of hearts", point out the new ways for the City and Universal Mission in the third millennium which is about to begin. You, "of comforters the best", sustain the discouraged, confirm the enthusiasm of those who have experienced the joy of evangelization, strengthen in all the faithful the desire and courage to be a Gospel missionary each day where they live and work.

You, "the soul's most welcome guest", open the hearts of every person, family, religious and parish community, so that they will generously welcome poor pilgrims who will be participating in the Jubilee events. This will really be one of the most beautiful fruits of the City Mission: the concrete expression of that Roman charity, the fruit of faith, which has always accompanied the celebration of Holy Years.

Mary Most Holy, since Pentecost you have kept watch with the Church as she prays for the Holy Spirit: remain with us at the centre of our extraordinary Upper Room. To you, whom we venerate as Our Lady of Divine Love, we entrust the fruits of the City Mission, so that through your intercession the Diocese of Rome may offer the world a convinced witness to Christ our Saviour.

S. John Paul II Homil. 988