Pope's Thank You Note to Madrid Cardinal

Says He Holds WYD Organizers in His Heart

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VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 29, 2011 (Zenit.org). Here is a translation of an Aug. 22 thank you note, which Benedict XVI sent to Madrid’s Cardinal Antonio Rouco Varela, after World Youth Day was held in his city. The Spanish Episcopal Conference published the letter today.

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To Venerable Brother

Antonio María Cardinal Rouco Varela

Metropolitan Archbishop of Madrid

President of the Spanish Episcopal Conference

On returning to Rome after the unforgettable days of my pastoral visit to Madrid for the 26th World Youth Day, I would like to express to Your Eminence my most cordial gratitude for your innumerable demonstrations of hospitality and the continuous care that you gave me during my recent stay in Spain.

I beg Your Eminence to transmit my heartfelt gratitude also to the suffragan bishops, to the auxiliary bishops, to the clergy, to the religious communities and the other collaborators in that beloved particular Church of Madrid, as well as to the national, autonomous and municipal authorities, to the security forces, to the health personnel and to the countless volunteers who worked so energetically in this great event for youth.

Likewise, be so kind as to express to the members of the Spanish Episcopal Conference my affection for their determined support of this important ecclesial event, and manifest likewise my closeness to the presbyters and representatives of consecrated life for their generous involvement in this significant meeting. May each and every one of those who made possible this celebration of faith that we experienced together — cooperating in it in different ways and giving the best of themselves in its preparation, development and successful completion — know that they are joyfully in my heart.

I gladly correspond to the great deference I experienced throughout my apostolic journey, imploring God that He enrich all the children of those noble lands with an abundance of gifts of love and mercy, that will serve particularly the new generations to remain rooted and built up in Christ, firm in the faith and ready to proclaim to all the joy implied in living the Gospel fully, making it known with courage to those around us.

With these sentiments, and while entrusting Your Eminence, the bishops, priests, seminarians, religious and faithful of Madrid and the whole of Spain to the intercession of Our Lady of Almudena, I impart to you from my heart a special Apostolic Blessing, pledge of abundant divine gifts.

Benedict XVI

Vatican, August 22, 2011

[Translation by ZENIT]
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