Pope's Greetings to World's Priests

«Serve God and Your People With Holiness and Courage»

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 11, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Here are translations of several of the greetings Benedict XVI gave today at the end of the Mass in St. Peter’s Square to close the Year for Priests, on the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

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[In Italian:] 
At the end of this extraordinary concelebration, I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Congregation for Clergy, for the work carried out during the Year for Priests and for having organized this conclusive day. A special thought of gratitude goes to the esteemed cardinals and bishops who wished to be present, in particular all those who came from afar.
 [In French:] 
Dear French-speaking priests, you have a particular proximity with St. John Mary Vianney. I hope it will become a veritable spiritual complicity. May his sure example inspire you so that the gift that you made of yourselves to the Lord will bear good fruit! I renew my confidence in you and encourage you to progress on the paths of holiness. May the Lord keep you all in his very loving heart!

[In English:] 
I now wish to greet all the English-speaking priests present at today’s celebration! My dear brothers, as I thank you for your love of Christ and of his bride the Church, I ask you again solemnly to be faithful to your promises. Serve God and your people with holiness and courage, and always conform your lives to the mystery of the Lord’s cross. May God bless your apostolic labors abundantly!
  [In Spanish:] 
I cordially greet the Spanish-speaking priests, and ask God that this celebration may become a vigorous stimulus to continue living your priesthood with joy, humility and hope, being daring messengers of the Gospel, faithful ministers of the Sacraments and eloquent witnesses of charity. With the sentiments of Christ, Good Shepherd, I invite you to continue aspiring every day to sanctity, knowing that there is no greater happiness in this world than spending one’s life for the glory of God and the good of souls.
 [In Portuguese:] 
Dear priests of countries of official Portuguese language, I thank God for what you are and what you do, reminding all that nothing will ever replace the ministry of priests in the life of the Church. Following the example and under the patronage of the Holy Cure of Ars, persevere in the friendship of God and let your hands and your lips continue to be the hands and lips of Christ, only Redeemer of humanity. Well done!
 [In Polish] 
«Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life» (Psalm 23/22:6). With these words of the Psalm I greet the Polish priests. Dear Brothers, Christ has chosen you, has called you, has filled you with goodness and fidelity. Accept this gift every day with a sincere heart and take it with love to those to whom you have been sent. Be holy and lead others to holiness in Christ. May God bless you!
 [In Italian]

Finally I address my cordial greeting to the priests of Rome and of Italy, as well as to the prelates, the priests and the seminarians of all the Rites of the Eastern Catholic Churches. I know, finally, that in all parts of the world very many celebratory and spiritual meetings have been held with great and fruitful participation. Hence, I wish to thank Bishops, priests and organizers and I hope that all will continue with renewed impulse the path of sanctification in this sacred ministry that the Lord has entrusted to you. I bless you all from my heart!

[Translation by ZENIT]
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