VATICAN CITY, NOV. 30, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address John Paul II gave today when he received the Legionaries of Christ and members of the Regnum Christi Movement in audience, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the priestly ordination of their founder, Father Marcial Maciel.
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Dear Brothers and Sisters!
1. I am happy to meet with all of you, in the climate of joy and gratitude to the Lord for the 60th anniversary of the priestly ordination of Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder and superior general of your young and meritorious religious family.
First of all, I express my affectionate greeting to dear Father Maciel, together with my most cordial wishes for a priestly ministry filled with gifts of the Holy Spirit. I greet the superiors of the institute, in particular the vicar general, whom I thank for the words he addressed to me on behalf of all. I also greet you, dear priests and seminarians of the Legionaries of Christ, the dear members of the Regnum Christi Movement, and all those who have participated in the jubilee celebrations of these days.
2. The happy anniversary that gathers all of you around the founder, in addition to inviting you to recall the gifts that he has received from the Lord in these 60 years of priestly ministry, constitutes at the same time the occasion to confirm the commitments that, as Legionaries of Christ, you assumed at the service of the Gospel. In particular, when meeting today with the Successor of Peter, you wish to renew the commitment of your total fidelity to the Church and to him whom Providence willed to be its Pastor.
In this significant meeting, I am pleased to repeat to you all that I said at the end of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000: “There is a need today more than ever for a confident proclamation of the Gospel which, casting aside all crippling fears, announces with intellectual depth and with courage the truth about God, about man, and about the world” (Address to the Legionaries of Christ and to the members of the Regnum Christi Movement, No. 4, in L’Osservatore Romano, Jan. 5, 2001, p. 5).
3. To fulfill this exacting mission, it is indispensable to cultivate a constant intimacy with Christ, seeking to follow and imitate him with docility. In this way, you will always be ready to respond to the most authentic and profound expectations of the men and women of our time.
May the Year of the Eucharist, which began in October, be for you a propitious occasion to grow in Eucharistic love, source and summit of the whole Christian life. This supreme mystery is Christ’s gift par excellence to the Church, for it is “the gift of himself, of his person in his sacred humanity, as well as the gift of his saving work” (“Ecclesia de Eucharistia,” No. 11).
4. Remain united around the Eucharist! Faithful to the charism that distinguishes you, continue your evangelizing mission nourishing yourselves of Christ and making yourselves his intrepid witnesses.
May your holy protectors accompany you; above all, may Mary Most Holy, Our Lady Help of Christians, be your guide and support.
With these sentiments and wishes, I impart from my heart to dear Father Maciel and to all of you here present a special apostolic blessing, which I am pleased to extend to members of your religious family and to all those you meet in your daily apostolate.
[Translation by ZENIT]