FAREWELL MEETING OF THE HOLY FATHER PAUL VI
WITH HIS HOLINESS PATRIARCH AMBA SHENOUDA III
Thursday 10, May 1973
Dear Brother in Christ,
After a week of meetings, visits and conversations, during which Your Holiness and the distinguished members of your delegation have come to a more intimate knowledge of the Church and the people of Rome, we meet personally once again.
We wish to express our heartfelt thanks for your visit which has enabled us to know more profoundly yourself and the Church of the teaching of Saint Mark. We have been able to see even more clearly how God is calling us to a more perfect unity in Him, for the glory of His name and for the service of all men who have been redeemed by the blood of His incarnate Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. With humility, but with confidence, we renew our resolution to strive to fulfil that calling, mindful of the exhortation of Saint Paul: «If there is any encouragement in Christ, any incentive of love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind» (Phil 2, 1-2).
We also see in the visit of Your Holiness a significant step towards strengthening the foundations of the relations between the Church of Rome and the Church of Alexandria. We look forward to a growth in these relations, always based on our total commitment to that living Christian faith which has been handed down to us through the Apostles and the Fathers, and to the exigencies of Christian love. May our commitment always be that of the great Saint Athanasius, the sixteenth centenary of whose death the Church of Rome celebrated during your visit.
As you return to your See and to your country, may we ask Your Holiness to convey our greetings to the faithful of your own Church and to all the people of your country, whom we love very much. How great a privilege it would be if it were ever possible for us to meet them personally.
May God accompany Your Holiness on your journey and may He always be close to us with the inspiration of His Holy Spirit in our endeavours for the building up of His Kingdom.
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