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Pope St John Paul II's words after his election, at his inauguration

St John Paul II's first radiomessage 'Urbi et Orbi'    
Sistine Chapel, Tuesday 17 Octboer 1978 - in English, French, German, Italian, Latin, Portuguese & Spanish

"Our Venerable Brothers, beloved children of Holy Church, and all men of goodwill who listen to us!

One expression only, among so many others, comes immediately to my lips at this moment, as after my election to the See of the Blessed Peter, I present myself to you. The expression which, in evident contrast with my obvious limitations as a human person, highlights the immense burden and office committed to me, is this: "O the depth... of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!" (Rom 11, 33). In fact, who could have foreseen, after the death of Pope Paul VI whom we always remember, the premature decease of his most amiable successor, John Paul I? How could we have been able to foresee that this formidable heritage would have been placed on my shoulders? For this reason, it is necessary for me to meditate upon the mysterious design of the provident and good God, not indeed in order to understand but, rather, that I may worship and pray. Truly I feel the need to repeat the words of the psalmist who, raising his eyes aloft, exclaimed: "From whence does my help come? My help comes from the Lord" (Ps 120, 1-2).

These totally unforseen events, happening in so brief a time, and the inadequacy with which I can respond to that invitation impel me to turn to the Lord and to trust completely to him. But they also prevent me from outlining a programme for my Pontificate which would be the fruit of long reflection and of precise elaboration. But to make up for this, there is to hand a certain compensation, as it were, which is itself a sign of the strengthening presence of God.

It is less than a month since all of us, both inside and outside these historic walls of the Sistine Chapel, heard Pope John Paul speaking at the very beginning of his ministry, from which one might have hoped much. Both on account of the memory that is yet fresh in the mind of each one of us and on account of the wise reminders and exhortations contained in the allocution, I consider that I cannot overlook it. That same address, as in the circumstances in which it was given, is truly apposite and clearly maintains its validity here and now at the start of this new pontifical ministry to which I am bound and which, before God and the Church, I cannot avoid.

I wish, therefore, to clarify some basic points which I consider to be of special importance. Hence — as I propose and as, with the help of God, I confidently trust — I shall continue these not merely with earnestness and attention but I shall also further them with constant pressure, so that ecclesial life, truly lived, may correspond to them. First of all, I wish to point out the unceasing importance of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, and I accept the definite duty of assiduously bringing it into affect. Indeed, is not that universal Council a kind of milestone as it were, an event of the utmost importance in the almost two thousand year history of the Church, and consequently in the religious and cultural history of the world?

However, as the Council is not limited to the documents alone, neither is it completed by the ways applying it which were devised in these post-conciliar years. Therefore I rightly consider that I am bound by the primary duty of most diligently furthering the implementation of the decrees and directive norms of that same Universal Synod. This indeed I shall do in a way that is at once prudent and stimulating. I shall strive, in particular, that first of all an appropriate mentality may flourish. Namely, it is necessary that, above all, outlooks must be at one with the Council so that in practice those things may be done that were ordered by it, and that those things which lie hidden in it or — as is usually said — are "implicit" may become explicit in the light of the experiments made since then and the demands of changing circumstances. Briefly, it is necessary that the fertile seeds which the Fathers of the Ecumenical Synod, nourished by the word of God, sowed in good ground (cf Mt 13, 8, 23) — that is, the important teachings and pastoral deliberations should be brought to maturity in that way which is characteristic of movement and life.

This general purpose of fidelity to the Second Vatican Council and express will, in so far as I am concerned, of bringing it into effect, can cover various sections: missionary and ecumenical affairs, discipline, and suitable administration. But there is one section to which greater attention will have to be given, and that is the ecclesiological section. Venerable Brethren and beloved sons of the Catholic world, it is necessary for us to take once again into our hands the "Magna Charta" of the Council, that is, the Dogmatic Constitution "Lumen Gentium", so that with renewed and invigorating zeal we may meditate on the nature and function of the Church, its way of being and acting. This should be done not merely in order that the vital communion in Christ of all who believe and hope in him should be accomplished, but also in order to contribute to bringing about a fuller and closer unity of the whole human family. John XXIII was accustomed to repeat the following words: "The Church of Christ is the light of the nations." For the Church — his words were repeated by the Council — is the universal sacrament of salvation and unity for the human race. (cf Lumen Gentium, 1; 48; Ad Gentes, 1).

The mystery of salvation which finds its centre in the Church and is actualized through the Church; the dynamism which on account of that same mystery animates the People of God; the special bond, that is, collegiality, which "with Peter and under Peter" binds together the sacred Pastors; all these are major elements on which we have not yet sufficiently reflected. We must do so in order to decide in face of human needs, whether these be permanent or passing, what the Church should adopt as its mode of presence and its course of action. Wherefore, the assent to be given to this document of the Council, seen in the light of Tradition and embodying the dogmatic formulae issued over a century ago by the First Vatican Council, will be to us Pastors and to the faithful a decisive indication and a rousing stimulus, so that — we say it again — we may walk in the paths of life and of history.

In order that we may become better informed and more vigilant in undertaking our duty, I particularly urge a deeper reflection on the implications of the collegial bond. By collegiality the Bishops are closely linked with the Successor of the blessed Peter, and all collaborate in order to fulfil the high offices committed to them: offices of enlightening the whole People of God with the light of the Gospel, of sanctifying them with the means of grace, of guiding them with pastoral skill. Undoubtedly, this collegiality extends to the appropriate development of institutes — some new, some updated — by which is procured the greatest unity in outlook, intent, and activity in the work of building up the body of Christ, which is the Church (cf Eph 4, 12; Col 1, 24). In this regard. I make special mention of the Synod of Bishops, set up before the end of the Council by that very talented man, Paul VI (cf Apostolic Letter, given "motu proprio", Apostolica Sollicitudo; AAS LVII, 1965, pp. 775-780).

But besides these things, which remind us of the Council, there is the duty in general of being faithful to the task I have accepted and to which I myself am bound before all others. I, who am called to hold the Supreme Office in the Church, must manifest this fidelity with all my might and for this reason I must be a shining example both in my thinking and in my actions. This indeed must be done because I preserve intact the deposit of faith, because I make entirely my own the commands of Christ who, after Peter was made the rock on which the Church was built, gave him the keys of the kingdom of heaven (cf Mt 16, 18-19), who bade him strengthen his brethren (cf Lk 22, 32), and to feed the sheep and the lambs of his flock as a proof of his love (cf Jn 21, 15-17). I am entirely convinced that in no inquiry, which may take place today into the "ministry of Peter" as it is called — so that what is proper and peculiar to it may be studied in greater depth every day — can these three important passages of the holy gospel be omitted. For it is a question of the various parts of the office, which are bound up with the very nature of the Church so that its internal unity may be preserved and its spiritual mission placed in safe hands. These parts were not only committed to Saint Peter but also to his lawful successors. I am also convinced that this high office must always be related to love as the source from which it is nourished and as it were the climate in which it can be expanded. This love is as it were a necessary reply to the question of Jesus "Do you love me?" So I am pleased to repeat these words of Saint Paul "The love of Christ constraineth me" (2 Cor 5, 14), because I want my ministry to be from the outset a ministry of love, and want to show and declare this in every possible way.

In this matter I will strive to follow the meritorious examples of my immediate predecessors. Who does not remember the words of Paul VI who preached "the civilization of love" and almost a month before his death declared in a prophetic way: "I have kept the faith" (cf Homily on Feast of SS. Peter and Paul 1978), not indeed to praise himself but after fifteen years full of apostolic ministry to examine his conscience more strictly?

But what can we say of John Paul I? It seems to us that only yesterday he emerged from this assembly of ours to put on the papal robes — not a light weight. But what warmth of charity, nay, what "an abundant outpouring of love" — which came forth from him in the few days of his ministry and which in his last Sunday address before the Angelus he desired should come upon the world. This is also confirmed by his wise instructions to the faithful who were present at his public audiences on faith, hope and love.

Beloved brothers in the Episcopate and dear children, fidelity, as is clear, implies not a wavering obedience to the Magisterium of Peter especially in what pertains to doctrine. The "objective" importance of this Magisterium must always be kept in mind and even safeguarded because of the attacks which in our time are being levelled here and there against certain truths of the Catholic faith. Fidelity too implies the observance of the liturgical norms laid down by ecclesiastical Authority and therefore has nothing to do with the practice either of introducing innovations of one's own accord and without approval or of obstinately refusing to carry out what has been lawfully laid down and introduced into the sacred rites. Fidelity also concerns the great discipline of the Church of which my immediate predecessor spoke. This discipline is not of such a kind that it depresses or, as they say, degrades. It seeks to safeguard the right ordering of the mystical body of Christ with the result that all the members of which it is composed united together perform their duties in a normal and natural way. Moreover, fidelity signifies the fulfilment of the demands of the priestly and religious vocation in such a way that what has freely been promised to God will always be carried out in so far as the life is understood in a stable supernatural way.

Finally, in so far as the faithful are concerned — as the word itself signifies — fidelity of its very nature must be a duty in keeping with their condition as Christians. They show it with ready and sincere hearts and give proof of it either by obeying the sacred Pastors whom the Holy Spirit has placed to rule the Church of God (cf Acts 20, 28), or by collaborating in those plans and works for which they have been called.

Nor at this point must we forget the Brethren of other Churches and Christian confessions. For the cause of ecumenism is so lofty and such a sensitive issue that I may not keep silent about it. How often do we meditate together on the last wish of Christ who asked the Father for the gift of unity for the disciples (cf Jn 17, 21-23)? Who does not remember how much Saint Paul stressed "the unity of the spirit" from which the followers of Christ might have the same love, being of one accord, of one mind" (cf Phil 2, 2, 5-8)? Therefore one can hardly credit that a deplorable division still exists among Christians. This is a cause of embarrassment and perhaps of scandal to others. And so we wish to proceed along the road which has happily been opened and to encourage whatever can serve to remove the obstacles, desirous as we are, that through common effort full communion may eventually be achieved.

I turn also to all men who as children of almighty God are our brothers whom we must love and serve, to make known to them without any sense of boasting but with sincere humility my intention to really devote myself to the continual and special cause of peace, of development and justice among nations. In this matter I have no desire to interfere in politics or to take part in the management of temporal affairs. For just as the Church cannot be confined to a certain earthly pattern, so I in my approach to the urgent questions of men and peoples, are led solely by religious and moral motives. Following him who gave that perfect way to his followers, so that they might be the "salt of the earth" and the "light of the world" (Mt 5, 13-16), I wish to strive to strengthen the spiritual foundations on which human society must be based. I feel that this duty is all the more urgent the longer that discords and dissensions last which, in not a few parts of the world, provide material for struggles and conflicts and even give rise to the more serious danger of frightful calamities.

Therefore it will be my constant care to direct my attention to questions of this kind and to deal with them by timely action forgetful of my own interests and motivated by the spirit of the Gospel. One may at this point at least share the grave concern which the College of Cardinals during the interregnum expressed concerning the dear land of Lebanon and its people. For it we all greatly desire peace with freedom. At the same time I wish to extend my hand to all peoples and all men at this moment and to open my heart to all who are oppressed, as they say, by any injustice or discrimination with regard to either economic or social affairs, or even to political matters, or even to freedom of conscience and the freedom to practice their religion which is their due. I must aim at this: that all forms of injustice, which exist today, should be given consideration by all in common and should be really eradicated from the world, so that all men may be able to live a life worthy of man. This also belongs to the mission of the Church which has been explained in the Second Vatican Council, not only in the dogmatic constitution Lumen Gentium but also in the pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes.

Brothers, dear sons and daughters, the recent happenings of the Church and of the world are for us all a healthy warning: how will my pontificate be? What is the destiny the Lord has assigned to his Church in the next years? What road will mankind take in this period of time as it approaches the year 2000? To these bold questions the only answer is: "God knows" (cf Cor 12, 2-3).

The course of my life which has brought me unexpectedly to the supreme responsibility and office of apostolic Service is of little interest. My person — I ought to say —  should disappear when confronted with the weighty office I must fill. And so a speech must be changed into an appeal. After praying to the Lord, I feel the need of your prayers to gain that indispensable, heavenly strength that will make it possible for me to take up the work of my predecessors from the point where they left off.

After acknowledging their cherished memory, I offer to each one of you, my Venerable Brothers, whom I remember with gratitude, our greeting. I extend a greeting which is both trusting and encouraging to all our brothers in the Episcopate, who in different parts of the world have the care of individual churches, the chosen sections of the People of God (cf Christus Dominus, 11) and who are co-workers with us in the work of universal salvation. Behind them, I behold the order of priesthood, the band of missionaries, the companies of Religious men and women.

At the same time I earnestly hope that their numbers will grow, echoing in my mind those words of the Saviour "The harvest is great, the labourers are few" (Mt 9, 37-38; Lk 10, 2). I behold also the Christian families and communities, the many associations dedicated to the apostolate, the faithful who even if they are not known to me individually, are not anonymous, not strangers, nor even in a lower place, for they are included in the glorious company of the Church of Christ. Among them I look with particular affection on the weak, the poor, the sick, and those afflicted with sorrow.

Now, at the beginning of my universal pastoral ministry, I wish to open to them my heart. Do not you, brothers and sisters, share by your sufferings in the passion of our Redeemer, and in a certain way complete it? (cf Col 1, 24). The unworthy successor of St Peter, who proposes to explore "the unsearchable riches of Christ" (Eph 3:8), has the greatest need of your help, your prayers, your devotedness or "sacrifice", and this he most humbly asks of you.

I also wish, most beloved Brothers and sons who hear me, because of my undying love for the land of my birth, to greet in a very special way all the citizens of Poland, "ever faithful", and the bishops, priests, and people of the Church of Krakow. United in this greeting by an indissoluble bond are memories, affections, the sweet love of the fatherland, and hope. In this grave hour which gives rise to trepidation, I cannot do other than turn my mind with filial devotion to the Virgin Mary, who always lives and acts as a Mother in the mystery of Christ, and repeat the words "Totus tuus" (all thine) which I inscribed in my heart and on my coat of arms 20 years ago on the day of my episcopal ordination. I cannot but invoke Saints Peter and Paul and all the Saints and Blesseds of the universal Church.

In this same hour I greet everyone, the old, those in the prime of life, adolescents, children, babes newly born, with that ardent sentiment of fatherhood which is already welling up from my heart. I express the sincere wish that all "may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ", as the Prince of the Apostles desired (2 Pet 3, 18). And to all I impart my first Apostolic Blessing, that it may procure not only for them but for the whole human family an abundance of the gifts of the Father who is in heaven. Amen."

St John Paul II's homily at Mass for the Inauguration of his Pontificate    
St Peter's Square, Sunday 22 Octboer 1978 - in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

"1. "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Mt 16, 16).

These words were spoken by Simon, son of Jonah, in the district of Caesarea Philippi. Yes, he spoke them with his own tongue, with a deeply lived and experienced conviction — but it is not in him that they find their source, their origin: "... because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven" (Mt 16, 17). They were the words of Faith.

These words mark the beginning of Peter's mission in the history of salvation, in the history of the People of God. From that moment, from that confession of Faith, the sacred history of salvation and of the People of God was bound to take on a new dimension: to express itself in the historical dimension of the Church. This ecclesial dimension of the history of the People of God takes its origin, in fact is born, from these words of faith, and is linked to the man who uttered them: "You are Peter — the rock — and on you, as on a rock, I will build my Church."

2. On this day and in this place these same words must again be uttered and listened to: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Yes, brothers and sons and daughters, these words first of all.

Their content reveals to our eyes the mystery of the living God, the mystery to which the Son has brought us close. Nobody, in fact, has brought the living God as close to men and revealed him as he alone did. In our knowledge of God, in our journey towards God, we are totally linked to the power of these words: "He who sees me sees the Father." He who is infinite, inscrutable, ineffable, has come close to us in Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary in the stable at Bethlehem.

All of you who already have the inestimable good fortune to believe,
all of you who are still seeking God,
and also you who are tormented by doubt:
please listen once again, today in this sacred place, to the words uttered by Simon Peter. In those words is the faith of the Church. In those same words is the new truth, indeed, the ultimate and definitive truth about man: the son of the living God — "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

3. Today the new Bishop of Rome solemnly begins his ministry and the mission of Peter. In this city, in fact, Peter completed and fulfilled the mission entrusted to him by the Lord.

The Lord addressed him with these words: "...when you were young you put on your own belt and walked where you liked; but when you grow old you will stretch out your hands and somebody else will put a belt round you and take you where you would rather not go" (Jn 21, 18).

Peter came to Rome!

What else but obedience to the inspiration received from the Lord guided him and brought him to this city, the heart of the Empire? Perhaps the fisherman of Galilee did not want to come here. Perhaps he would have preferred to stay there, on the shores of the Lake of Genesareth, with his boat and his nets. But guided by the Lord, obedient to his inspiration, he came here!

According to an ancient tradition (given magnificent literary expression in a novel by Henryk Sienkiewicz), Peter wanted to leave Rome during Nero's persecution. But the Lord intervened: he went to meet him. Peter spoke to him and asked: "Quo vadis, Domine?" (Where are you going, Lord?). And the Lord answered him at once: "I am going to Rome to be crucified for the second time." Peter went back to Rome and stayed here until his crucifixion.

Yes, brothers and sons and daughters, Rome is the See of Peter. Down the centuries new bishops continually succeeded him in this See. Today a new bishop comes to the Chair of Peter in Rome, a bishop full of trepidation, conscious of his unworthiness. And how could one not tremble before the greatness of this call and before the universal mission of this See of Rome!

To the See of Peter in Rome there succeeds today a bishop who is not a Roman. A bishop who is a son of Poland. But from this moment he too becomes a Roman. Yes — a Roman. He is a Roman also because he is the son of a nation whose history, from its first dawning, and whose thousand-year-old traditions are marked by a living, strong, unbroken and deeply felt link with the See of Peter, a nation which has ever remained faithful to this See of Rome. Inscrutable is the design of Divine Providence!

4. In past centuries, when the Successor of Peter took possession of his See, the triregnum or tiara was placed on his head. The last Pope to be crowned was Paul VI in 1963, but after the solemn coronation ceremony he never used the tiara again and left his successors free to decide in this regard.

Pope John Paul I, whose memory is so vivid in our hearts, did not wish to have the tiara; nor does his successor wish it today. This is not the time to return to a ceremony and an object considered, wrongly, to be a symbol of the temporal power of the Popes.

Our time calls us, urges us, obliges us to gaze on the Lord and immerse ourselves in humble and devout meditation on the mystery of the supreme power of Christ himself.

He who was born of the Virgin Mary, the carpenter's Son - as he was thought to be -, the Son of the living God, as Peter confessed, came to make us all "a kingdom of priests".

The Second Vatican Council has reminded us of the mystery of this power and of the fact that Christ's mission as Priest, Prophet-Teacher and King continues in the Church. Everyone, the whole People of God, shares in this threefold mission. Perhaps in the past, the tiara, this triple crown, was placed on the Pope's head in order to express by that symbol the Lord's plan for his Church, namely that all the hierarchical order of Christ's Church, all "sacred power" exercised in the Church, is nothing other than service, service with a single purpose: to ensure that the whole People of God shares in this threefold mission of Christ and always remains under the power of the Lord; a power that has its source not in the powers of this world but in the mystery of the Cross and Resurrection.

The absolute and yet sweet and gentle power of the Lord responds to the whole depths of the human person, to his loftiest aspirations of intellect, will and heart. It does not speak the language of force but expresses itself in charity and truth.

The new Successor of Peter in the See of Rome, today makes a fervent, humble and trusting prayer: "Christ, make me become and remain the servant of your unique power, the servant of your sweet power, the servant of your power that knows no eventide. Make me be a servant. Indeed, the servant of your servants."

5. Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to welcome Christ and accept his power.

Help the Pope and all those who wish to serve Christ and with Christ's power to serve the human person and the whole of humanity.

Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors for Christ. To his saving power open the boundaries of States, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development. Do not be afraid. Christ knows "what is in man". He alone knows it.

So often today man does not know what is within him, in the depths of his mind and heart. So often he is uncertain about the meaning of his life on this earth. He is assailed by doubt, a doubt which turns into despair. We ask you therefore, we beg you with humility and trust, let Christ speak to man. He alone has words of life, yes, of eternal life.

Precisely today the whole Church is celebrating "World Mission Day"; that is, she is praying, meditating and acting in order that Christ's words of life may reach all people and be received by them as a message of hope, salvation, and total liberation.

6. I thank all of you here present who have wished to participate in this solemn inauguration of the ministry of the new Successor of Peter.

I heartily thank the Heads of State, the Representatives of the Authorities, and the Government Delegations for so honouring me with their presence.

Thank you, Eminent Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church.
I thank you, my beloved Brothers in the Episcopate.
Thank you, Priests.
To you, Sisters and Brothers, Religious of the Orders and Congregations, I give my thanks.
Thank you, people of Rome.
Thanks to the pilgrims who have come here from all over the world.
Thanks to all of you who are linked with this Sacred Ceremony by radio and television.

7. Do Was sie zwracam umilowani moi Rodacy, Pielgrzymi z Polski, Bracia Biskupi z Waszym Wspanialym Prymasem na czele, Kaplani, Siostry i Bracia polskich Zakonów – do Was, Przedstawiciele Polonii z calego swiata.

A cóz powiedziec do Was, którzy tu przybyliscie z mojego Krakowa, od stolicy sw. Stanislawa, ktorego bylem niegodnym nastepca przez lat czternascie. Coz powiedziec? Wszystko co bym mogl powiedziec bedzie blade w stosunku do tego, co czuje w tej chwili mofe serce. A takze w stosunku do tego, co czuja Wasze serca.

Wiec oszczedzmy slów. Niech pozostanie tylko wielkie milczenie przed Bogiem, ktore jest sama modlitwa.

Prosze Was! Badzcie ze mna! Na Jasnej Gorze i wszedzie! Nie przestawajcie byc z Papiezem, który dzis prosi slowami poety “Matko Boza, co Jasnej bronisz Czestochowy i w Ostrej swiecisz Bramie”!i do Was kieruie te slowa w takiej niezwyklej chwili.

È stato questo un appello ed un invito alla preghiera per il nuovo Papa, appello espresso in lingua polacca. Con lo stesso appello mi rivolgo a tutti i figli ed a tutte le figlie della Chiesa Cattolica. Ricordatemi oggi e sempre nella vostra preghiera.

Aux catholiques des pays de langue française, j’exprime toute mon affection et tout mon dévouement! Et je me permets de compter sur votre soutien filial et sans réserve! Puissiez-vous progresser dans la foi! A ceux qui ne partagent pas cette foi, j’adresse aussi mon salut respectueux et cordial. J’espère que leurs sentiments de bienveillance faciliteront la mission spirituelle qui m’incombe et qui n’est pas sans retentissements sur le bonheur et la paix du monde!

To all of you who speak English I offer in the name of Christ a cordial greeting. I count on the support of your prayers and your good will in carrying out my mission of service to the Church and mankind. May Christ give you his grace and his peace, overturning the barriers of division and making all things one in him.

Einen herzlichen Gruss richte ich an die hier anwesenden Vertreter und alle Menschen aus den Ländern deutscher Sprache. Verschiedene Male – und erst kürzlich durch meinen Besuch in der Bundersrepublik Deutschland – hatte ich Gelegenheit, das segensreiche Wirken der Kirche und Ihrer Gläubigen persönlich kennen und Schätzen zu lernen. Lassen Sie Ihren opferbereiten Einsatz für Christus auch weiterhin fruchtbar werden für die grossen Anliegen und Note der Kirche in aller Welt. Darum bitte ich Sie und empfehle meinen neuen apostolischen Dienst auch Ihrem besonderen Gebet.

Mi pensamiento se dirige ahora hacia el mundo de la lengua española, una porción tan considerable de la Iglesia de Cristo. A vosotros, Hermanos e hijos queridos, llegue en este momento solemne el afectuoso saludo del nuevo Papa. Unidos por los vínculos de una común fe católica, sed fieles a vuestra tradición cristiana, hecha vida en un clima cada vez más justo y solidario, mantened vuestra conocida cercanía al Vicario de Cristo y cultivad intensamente la devoción a nuestra Madre, María Santísima.

Irmaos e Filhos de língua portuguesa: como “servo dos servos de Deus”, eu vos saúdo afectuosamente no Senhor. Abenoando-vos, confio na caridade da vossa oraao, e na vossa fidelidade para viverdes sempre a mensagem deste dia e deste rito: “Tu és o Cristo, o Filho de Deus vivo!”.

[Omissis, testo in lingua russa]

"I open my heart to all my Brothers of the Christian Churches and Communities, and I greet in particular you who are here present, in anticipation of our coming personal meeting; but for the moment I express to you my sincere appreciation for your having wished to attend this solemn ceremony.

And I also appeal to all men — to every man (and with what veneration the apostle of Christ must utter this word: "man"!)
— pray for me!
— help me to be able to serve you! Amen."

St John Paul II's words at the Angelus in St Peter's Square
Sunday 22 Octboer 1978 - in French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

"I would like to resume the magnificent habit of my Predecessors and recite with you, dear brothers and sisters, the "Angelus Domini".

The solemn inauguration Mass of my ministry as Successor of Peter has just finished. To live this historical moment intensely, we had to make the profession of faith in common, which we recite every day in the Creed of the Apostles: "I believe in the Holy Catholic Church", and in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed: "I believe in the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church".

All together we became aware of this wonderful truth about the Church, which the Second Vatican Council explained in two documents: in the dogmatic constitution Lumen Gentium and in the pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes on the Church in the contemporary world.

Now, we must go even deeper. We must arrive at this moment in the history of the world, when the Word is made Flesh. When the Son of God becomes Man. The history of salvation reaches its climax and at the same time, begins anew in its definitive form when the Virgin of Nazareth accepts the announcement of the Angel and pronounces the words: "Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum": let what you have said be done to me (Lk 1, 38).

At that moment the Church is almost conceived. We return therefore to the beginning of the mystery. And in it we embrace once again all the content of today's solemnity. In it we embrace the whole past of Christianity and of the Church which, here in Rome, has found its center. In it we seek to embrace the whole future of the pontificate, of the People of God and of the whole human family, because the family takes its beginning from the will of the Father, but is always conceived under the heart of the Mother.

With this faith and with this hope we pray ....


JPII's impromptu words afterwards to the young people present:

"You are the future of the world, the hope of the Church. You are my hope."