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Saturday, 20 June 1964


We are very happy to welcome this representative group from Southern Rhodesia to the Vatican. It was not very long ago that We had the satisfying experience of visiting this great continent of Africa, and We were pleased to see the striking advances made on all fronts.

During these past few weeks you have been traveling to various countries in Asia and Europe, and without doubt you have been studious in observing many things which will be of advantage to your peoples when you return to your country. Africa is a huge continent, and its peoples have been making steady progress as they assume their rightful place in the family of nations. We are confident that your nation will make worthy contributions in the future, and We assure you that We shall pray that the benefits of this modern age will be of great profit to your people.

However We wish to take this opportunity to recall to you that one of the most important developments should center around the essential value of man. He is created by God and he is a member of the huge family of mankind. We are all brothers before God whose children we are. The Catholic Church has always had a genuine interest in your continent and has sent dedicated men and women to assist the peoples to prepare themselves for their responsibilities. Our interest, particularly in education, has been to train exemplary citizens, ready and willing to make their contribution to their nation, ever religiously faithful to their responsibilities as citizens. The Catholic Church is always ready to continue its work particularly in the relations that exist between peoples.

We wish you well in your work for your nation and for your people. May yours be the peace that Christ came to establish among all men, and may your place among nations be an honored one. In pledge of this wish, We invoke Almighty God to grant Southern Rhodesia an abundance of heavenly blessings especially at this most important time of its development.


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