Papal Message to Plenary Assembly of the Council of European Bishops Conferences

“The Christian Message is Sown and Takes Root Effectively Where it is Lived Authentically”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 28, 2012 ( is a translation of the Holy Father Benedict XVI’s message — signed by cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State –, to the participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE), being held at St. Gallen, Switzerland from September 27-30, and sent to the president of the CCEE, Cardinal Peter Erdo, and read yesterday at the opening of their works.

* * *

Lord Cardinal,

Imminent now is the annual Plenary Assembly of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences, which will take place in that city to commemorate the 1400th anniversary of Saint Gallo’s arrival there. For this occasion, the Supreme Pontiff expresses to the participants his cordial greeting and best wishes, assuring them in particular of his remembrance in prayer. He is pleased by the happy convergence between the place of meeting, headquarters of the CCEE’s Secretariat, and the above-mentioned occasion, which invites to reflect on the perennial task of evangelization and its present renewed urgency.

Saint Gallo, disciple of the great abbot Saint Columbanus, together with him and other disciples, came from Ireland to the Continent. After an illness constrained him to stay in the region of Arbon, he decided to dedicate himself to the solitary life. Very soon, however, his fame for holiness drew many around him, and a monastic community was born that became in turn a propelling center of further missions among numerous peoples.

Saint Gallo’s experience, like that of so many other protagonists of evangelization in European lands and in the whole world, teaches that the Christian message is sown and takes root effectively where it is lived authentically and eloquently by a community, so that preaching is sustained by the testimony of fraternal charity and animated by common prayer.

Hence, on the eve of the Synodal Assembly on the New Evangelization, the memory of Saint Gallo and his work will stimulate the Plenary of that Council to look with faith and hope — with the look of Christ the Lord – to the great “harvest” which is the peoples of Europe, in the wake of Vatican II Ecumenical Council and of the teachings of the Supreme Pontiffs that have implemented it. Appropriate, in particular, will be to take up the masterful lesson of the Servant of God Paul VI in Evangelii nuntiandi and the consignment of Blessed John Paul II in Novo millennio ineunte, of course in the light of the teaching of the Holy Father Benedict XVI and in the prospect of the forthcoming Year of Faith.

On invoking upon the CCEE’s Assembly the protection of the Mother of God and of the Church, His Holiness imparts to Your Eminence and to the other Brothers in the Episcopate, as well as to all the collaborators, his heartfelt and implored Apostolic Blessing.

I also add my personal good wishes for a serene and profitable session and I take advantage of the circumstance to confirm my distinct deference.

To your Most Reverent Eminence

Devotedly in the Lord,

Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone

Secretary of State

[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation