Pontiff Bids Farewell to Portugal

Hopes His Visit Reignites Spiritual, Apostolic Zeal

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PORTO, Portugal, MAY 14, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Upon taking leave of Portugal, Benedict XVI expressed his hope that his first visit to the nation would serve to set in motion a renewed “spiritual and apostolic zeal.”

The Pope said this today at the farewell ceremony held at the International Airport of Porto, marking the end of his four-day trip to the country. The trip, which was his 15th international trip, and his ninth in Europe, had as its theme “Together We Walk in Hope, Wisdom and Mission.”

In his farewell address, the Pontiff extended his greetings to all Portuguese, “whether Catholic or not, to the men and women who live here, whether they were born here or elsewhere.

“May you live in increasing harmony with one another,” the Holy Father added, “a pre-requisite for genuine cohesion and the only way to address the challenges before you with shared responsibility. May this glorious nation continue to manifest greatness of spirit, a profound sense of God and an openness to solidarity, governed by principles and values imbued with Christian humanism.”

Benedict XVI said that while he was in Fatima, at the place where Mary had appeared to three shepherd children in 1917, he “prayed for the whole world, asking that the future may see an increase in fraternity and solidarity, greater mutual respect and renewed trust and confidence in God, our heavenly Father.”

“I hope that my visit may become an incentive for renewed spiritual and apostolic zeal,” continued the Pope. “May the Gospel be accepted in its entirety and witnessed with passion by every disciple of Christ, so that it may show itself to be a leaven of authentic renewal for the whole of society!”

He then added, “Let us continue to walk in hope!”

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On ZENIT’s Web site:

Full text: www.zenit.org/article-29264?l=english

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