To Archbishop Juame Pujol Balcells
of Tarragona, Spain
Through Cardinal Julián Herranz, who, as a sign of nearness and esteem, is representing me as Special Envoy, I am pleased to send my cordial greeting to you, to the priests, to the men and women religious and to the faithful of this beloved particular Church, as I join in the act of thanksgiving to the Lord for the Jubilee Year that is concluding, and with which it has been thought fit to celebrate the 1,750th anniversary of the martyrdom of St Fructuosus, Bishop of this ancient see and of his deacons St Augurius and St Eulogius.
The commemoration of these martyrs brings us to think of a community that, having received the Gospel message from the Apostles at the dawn of Christianity, knew how to profess, live and celebrate its faith without fear, even in a climate of misunderstanding and hostility. The witness of those who shed their blood for Christ continues to enlighten and strengthen the Church's faith, since it unequivocally demonstrates that the sense and the fullness of our existence, the reason for the greatest hope and the most intimate joy, is the relationship with God, source of life (cf. Spe salvi, n. 27).
With this Jubilee Year, the ecclesial community of Tarragona, together with those united to them, have had a privileged opportunity to appreciate the treasure they hold and that must reappear today to shine in order to give greater splendour and depth to the Christian life in persons, in families and in social relations. Therefore, I pray the Lord that this event may intensify and give a new impetus to apostolic action. May it help everyone to experience the joy and the responsibility of being living members of the Body of Christ, that is the Church, with the same vigour and the same fidelity as those who are honoured as the Patron Saints of this Archdiocese.
With these sentiments and invoking the maternal protection of the Most Holy Virgin Mary on the Pastors and on all the faithful of Tarragona, I warmly impart to you a special Apostolic Blessing, that I am pleased to extend to all those participating in the concluding celebrations of the Jubilee Year.
From the Vatican, 19 January 2009
BENEDICTUS PP. XVI
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