VATICAN CITY, MAY 11, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Here are translations of the telegrams Benedict XVI sent today to the heads of state of Italy, France and Spain, as he was traveling by plane to Portugal.
Today the Pope began his 4-day visit to the country to mark the 10th anniversary of the beatification of Jacinta and Francisco Marto, who were two of the witnesses of Our Lady of Fatima’s apparitions in 1917.
* * *[Message to Italian head of state]
To His Excellency
The Honorable Giorgio Napolitano
President of the Italian Republic
The Quirinale Palace
On leaving Italian soil to go to Portugal I am happy to address to you, Mr. President, my deferential greeting, and while I set out to meet with the Catholic community, the authorities and the people of that noble country, as well as pilgrims, especially the sick who from all over the world go to the Marian Shrine of Fatima to find light and hope, I invoke the Lord’s blessing on the entire Italian nation, in particular on all those who are suffering in body and in spirit.
BENEDICTUS PP XVI
[Message to French head of state]
Your Excellence Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy
President of the French Republic
As I fly over the territory of the French Republic going on an apostolic journey to Portugal, I am happy to greet your Excellence and to express to you my deferential wishes for your person and for your compatriots. On all the inhabitants of France I invoke a heartfelt abundance of the Lord’s blessings.
BENEDICTUS PP. XVI
[Message to Spanish head of state]
To His Majesty Juan Carlos I, King of Spain
On flying over the Spanish territory to begin my pastoral visit to Portugal, I am pleased to send a cordial greeting to your Majesty and to the Queen, reiterating my closeness and affection for the Spanish people for whom I implore from the Almighty abundant gifts that will make them progress in the spiritual and human values that fertilize their rich history, wishing them at the same time prosperity, peaceful coexistence and solidarity.
BENEDICTUS PP XVI
[Translation by ZENIT]