Rome 14-18 may 2000

The greeting of Pope John Paul II to the priests present at the Prayer Vigil in St. Peter’s Square on the afternoon of Wednesday 17th. May 2000.

The Church in the Twentieth Century is rich in its holy priests. Let us follow in their footsteps.

Dear Priests,

At the end of your third Jubilee day, I am pleased to extend a cordial greeting to you, anticipating in some way the joy of tomorrow's meeting and celebration.

Today you are listening to the testimony of the saints. I am delighted at this because it renews the experience of the living Christ. Indeed, if the Great Jubilee commemorates the Incarnation of the Word in history, the saints are those brothers and sisters who form a sort of extension of this mystery by virtue of their great docility to the Holy Spirit..

In the long line of chosen souls who span the two millennia of the Christian era, there are numerous priests who in every generation made the holiness of Christ the Good Shepherd present among the People of God. The Church has also been blessed in the 20th century with holy priests — martyrs and confessors. Dear friends, let us follow in their footsteps, because the effectiveness of our ministry depends on this. This is the thought — and wish — that I leave you, as we prepare tomorrow to offer together our priestly thanksgivving.