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Thursday, 4 November 2004


I give a very cordial welcome to everyone: the pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Gdansk, the Diocese of Tarnów and from my native Wadowice and other areas. I thank Archbishop Tadeusz [Goclowski] for the wishes and kind expressions offered in the name of all those who are assembled here. I am thankful in particular for the prayers they raise to God regarding the intentions flowing from my service on the Chair of St Peter.

You are gathered here in memory of St Charles Borromeo. Yesterday, 420 years have passed since his death. He was a zealous Bishop, a Church reformer after the Council of Trent, a great supporter of the poor. His piety was founded on love for the Cross of Christ and on the mystery of his death and Resurrection. He expressed this love in the care for the devout celebration of the Eucharist and in the adoration of Christ present in the Eucharist.

I recall this at the beginning of this Year of the Eucharist, so that the example of St Charles may inspire all of us as we live in this particular time. May he inflame within us a love for the Saviour, who wanted to remain with us under the species of bread and wine.

I once again offer you thanks for your visit. Take my greetings to your Dioceses, parishes and homes. God bless you! Praised be Jesus Christ!    

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