This morning, Pope Francis paid a visit to the Secretariat of State, located in what is known as the Third Loggia of the Apostolic Palace. Almost 300 people composed of both religious and lay personnel work in the Holy See’s administrative arm which is headed by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State.
According to Vatican Radio, Cardinal Bertone welcomed the Holy Father on behalf of his staff for the Pope’s “exceptional visit to the headquarters of the Secretariat of State.”
“Here is the great family of your closest collaborators; the Secretariat of State that is, in fact, the real papal secretariat in the two sections: the General Affairs and the Section for Relations with States, with superiors and with all those responsible for the different sectors, with all employees. So you also see a variety of vocations that are represented here,” Cardinal Bertone said.
“We are grateful for your visit,” he continued, “we are excited by the momentum that you have given to the Petrine ministry and we hope that it will pervade, that it will animate us too in carrying out our mission not only with diligence, but above all with love and dedication for the good of the Church.”
“We ask you for your blessing and pledge our devotion, our loyalty and our daily prayer,” the Vatican Secretary of State concluded.
Pope Francis thanked Cardinal Bertone for his greeting, as well as thanking the entire staff for welcoming him to the Secretariat of State. The Holy Father wished to visit to express his appreciation to the Secretariat of State, reminding them that tomorrow will mark the one month anniversary of his election to the See of Peter.
“Why am I here today? To thank you, because I know that these days – tomorrow marks one month – you have worked a lot more, many hours more, and that you are not paid for this, because you have worked with your heart and this can only be repaid with a “thank you” but a “thank you” from the heart, no?” the Pope said.
“So I wanted to come to greet you and thank you personally for all this work you have done. Thank you very much, from my heart. Thank you.”
According to a communique released by the Holy See, Pope Francis greeted each of the staff members individually after imparting his blessing. “The meeting lasted about 50 minutes,” the communique stated.