VATICAN CITY, FEB. 7, 2005 (Zenit.org).- From his hospital bed, John Paul II sent a message to the seminarians of his diocese to assure them that “you are for me a cause for consolation.”
The Pope’s brief message was read Saturday by Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute of the Vatican Secretariat of State, to students of the Major Roman Seminary, gathered in Paul VI Hall to celebrate the day of their patroness, Mary, Mother of Confidence.
The Holy Father usually participates in this annual meeting with future priests. This year he has been unable to do so because of his hospitalization due to respiratory problems. But he followed the ceremony via television from his room in the Gemelli Polyclinic.
“You are for me a motive of consolation, because you represent a privileged sign of the Lord’s love for his beloved Church which is in Rome,” affirmed the Pope in the message he entrusted to Archbishop Sandri.
During the meeting, the choir and orchestra of the Diocese of Rome performed the musical oratorio “Mane Nobiscum Domine,” composed and directed by Monsignor Marco Frisina.
The papal message was then read. It concluded by addressing those youths who are trying to discern their vocation, as well as “the little acolytes and the parish youth groups.”
“Dear young men,” he urged, “the Lord passes and calls; be ready to collaborate with him.”