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Monday, October 24, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 24 OCT 2011 (VIS) - This morning in the Clementine Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father received members of the John Paul II Foundation, who are currently celebrating their institution's thirtieth anniversary.

Speaking English, Benedict XVI addressed a special greeting to Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, former secretary of Blessed John Paul II, and to the promoters and the current president of the foundation. He then went on to recall how its goal is to conserve and develop the spiritual heritage of John Paul II in order to transmit it to future generations. Through its "Centre for the Documentation and Study of the Pontificate of John Paul II", the foundation "not only collects archives, bibliographical material and museum items, but also promotes publications, exhibitions, congresses and other scientific and cultural events, in order to disseminate the teaching and the pastoral and humanitarian activity of the Blessed Pontiff".

Pope Benedict also laid emphasis on "one task of great human and cultural value, explicitly desired by John Paul II and undertaken by the foundation: that of assisting the 'formation of the clergy and the laity, especially those from the countries of Central and Eastern Europe'. Every year, students arrive in Lublin, Warsaw and Krakow from countries which, in former times, suffered the ideological oppression of the communist regime, in order to pursue studies in the various branches of science, so as to live new experiences, to encounter different spiritual traditions, and to broaden their cultural horizons. Then they return to their own countries, enriching the various sectors of social, economic, cultural, political and ecclesial life. More than 900 graduates is a precious gift for those nations. ... I hope that this work will continue, develop and bear abundant fruits".

The Holy Father concluded by noting that one primary accomplishment of the foundation has been the "spiritual union of thousands of people in various continents, who not only support it materially but constitute the Circles of Friends, communities of formation based on the teaching and the example of Blessed John Paul II. ... They discern the needs of the present, they look to the future with solicitude and confidence, and they commit themselves to imbue the world more deeply with the spirit of solidarity and fraternity. Let us thank the Lord for the gift of the Holy Spirit Who unites, enlightens and inspires you".
AC/ VIS 20111024 (410)

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