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Wednesday, 15 November 1978


Dear young men,

I willingly acceded to the desire expressed to me by your Superiors to meet you, the Cadets of the Fire Brigade Schools in Rome, in this Courtyard of St Damasus in order to address to you, however briefly, my word of satisfaction and approval of what you are and what you do.

— You are enthusiastic and generous young men who wish to testify to the new Pope, as your elder companions did in past years with my venerated Predecessor, Pope Paul VI, your faith in God and your confidence in the Church. For this reason I thank you and express to you all my sympathy and solidarity.

— You do training, in discipline of the body and of the spirit, in order to render the community a precious service for the defence and safety of the citizens, even at the risk of serious dangers. Well, know how to unite with the exercise of human virtues, characteristic of your future profession, the noble and ennobling ideal which makes you see Christ himself in your brother in danger or in need (cf. Mt 25:31-46).

I also hope that, on returning to your homes, at the end of your training, you will be able to fulfil all these good intentions of yours in private and in public life: in the formation of your future family, of which you already dream, and in your integration into society as worthy, upright citizens, lovers of progress, justice, peace and mutual respect.

With these wishes, I greet and thank again the commanding Officers, the Head Chaplain and all of you dear young men, who are the hope of the Church and of society, and I impart to you all my Blessing, which I wish to extend to your friends, your relatives and the dear members of your family.


© Copyright 1978 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


© Copyright - Libreria Editrice Vaticana