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Sunday, 25 February 1973


Dear sons and daughters of Australia
dearly beloved in Jesus Christ

On this final day of the International Eucharistic Congress, a day especially dedicated to peace in the world, we are happy to send our greetings to you from the Vatican. Though very many miles separate us at this moment, we are glad to be able to speak to you and to assure you that we have been praying with you and for you during these days of grace. Most especially we have prayed that the general theme of the Congress -“Love one another as I have loved you”- would become very real in your hearts, that you would see ever more clearly how you are loved by the Saviour and how, loving him in return, you must love one another. If these days have brought this grace, then they have been wonderful days indeed, days which have given glory to God, refreshment to your spirit and new substance to man’s hope for peace in this world.

If men were truly to pattern their love for each other upon Christ’s love for them as shown in the Eucharist, where would there be room for hatred? Where could there be violence and social injustice? How could indignity, discrimination, and lack of respect possibly be part of men’s lives? The pattern is clear enough: Jesus has loved us and continues to love us with a love that is complete, understanding, sacrificing, ennobling, a simple love which knows no bounds and sets no limits. We earnestly hope that the Eucharistic Congress has taught well the lesson of love. We hope that men and women the world over have seen and heard the challenge of the Congress, and that they will put it into practice in their lives, since this challenge carries within it the key to peace. We have said that peace is possible. Peace is possible because love is possible; and we know that love is possible because we have been given an example by the Eucharistic Lord.

This then has been our wish for you, and for the World. We thank God for the many graces given and we pray that he will reward all those who have cooperated in promoting the Congress and all those who have taken part in it. To all of you-beloved Australian people and all who have come from around the World to render homage to Jesus Christ-we gladly impart our Apostolic Blessing. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit .


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