After the greeting of FIES’ President, Monsignor Giovanni Scanavino, the Pope gave the following address to those present, which we translate below.
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Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I meet with you gladly on the occasion of your anniversary. I greet the President, I greet him and also thank him for his words. I greet the Counselors, the Delegates and all those present.
This important anniversary gives you the propitious occasion for an evaluation, to rethink your history, to recall its origins and to read the new signs of the times. Therefore, it is good to recall the objective of the Federation, which is “to make the Spiritual Exercises known, understood as a intense experience of God, in a climate of listening to the Word directed to an ever more total conversion and donation to Christ and to the Church” (Article 2).
The theme you chose for your Assembly: “Enamored of spiritual beauty to spread the fragrance of Christ” (cf. 2 Corinthians 2:14), expresses the conviction proposed by the Spiritual Exercises, which means to invite to an experience of God, of His love and of His beauty. He who lives the Exercises in a genuine way experiences the attraction, the fascination of God, and returns renewed, transfigured to ordinary life, to the ministry, to daily relations, bearing within him the perfume of Christ.
The men and women of today need to encounter God, to know Him “not
Dear friends, a good course of Spiritual Exercises contributes to renew one who participates in them in unconditional adherence to Christ, and helps to understand that prayer is the irreplaceable means of union with Him crucified: pone me iuxta te! I thank you for the precious service that you render the Church, so that the practice of the Spiritual Exercises is spread, supported and appreciated. May Our Lady assist you always in this work. For my part, I ask you to pray for me, and I invoke upon you all an abundance of heavenly blessings.[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]