Bookmark and Share

The Value of Continence Is Found in Love

79 (of 129) - Catechesis by John Paul II on the Theology of the Body
General Audience, Wednesday 21 April 1982 - in Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

"1. Let us continue our reflections on Christ's words about continence for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.

It is impossible to understand fully the significance and the nature of continence if the last phrase of Christ's statement, "for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven," is not complete in its adequate, concrete and objective content. We have previously said that this phrase expresses the motive, or in a certain sense places in relief, the subjective purpose of Christ's call to continence. However, the expression in itself has an objective character. It indicates an objective reality for which individual persons, men and women, can "make themselves" eunuchs (as Christ says). The reality of the Kingdom in Christ's statement according to Matthew (19:11-12) is defined in a precise, but at the same time general way, so as to be able to include all the determinations and particular meanings that are proper to it.

2. The Kingdom of Heaven means the Kingdom of God, which Christ preached in its final, that is, eschatological, completion. Christ preached this kingdom in its temporal realization or establishment, and at the same time he foretold it in its eschatological completion. The temporal establishment of the Kingdom of God is at the same time its beginning and its preparation for definitive fulfillment. Christ calls to this kingdom and in a certain sense invites everyone to it (cf. the parable of the wedding banquet in Mt 22:1-14). If he calls some to continence "for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven," it follows from the content of that expression that he calls them to participate in a singular way in the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth, through which the definitive phase of the Kingdom of Heaven is begun and prepared.

3. In this sense we have said that this call bears in itself the particular sign of the dynamism of the mystery of the redemption of the body. Therefore, as we have already mentioned, continence for the sake of the Kingdom of God manifests the renunciation of one's self, taking up one's cross every day, and following Christ (cf. Lk 9:23). This can reach the point of implying the renunciation of marriage and a family of one's own. All this arises from the conviction that in this way it is possible to contribute more greatly to the realization of the Kingdom of God in its earthly dimension with the prospect of eschatological completion. In his statement according to Matthew (19:11-12), Christ said generically that the voluntary renunciation of marriage has this purpose, but he did not say so specifically. In his first statement on this subject, he still did not specify through what concrete obligation this voluntary continence is necessary and even indispensable for the realization of the Kingdom of God on earth and for its preparation for future fulfillment. We will hear something further on this point from Paul of Tarsus (1 Cor) and the rest will be completed by the life of the Church in her historical development, borne by the current of authentic Tradition.

4. In Christ's statement on continence for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven, we do not find any more detailed indication about how to understand that kingdom—with regard to its earthly realization and its definitive completion—in its specific and exceptional relation with those who voluntarily "make themselves eunuchs" for it.

Neither is it said through which particular aspect of the reality that constitutes the Kingdom are those associated to it who freely are made "eunuchs." In fact, we know that the Kingdom of Heaven is for everybody. Those who "marry and are given in marriage" also are in a relation with it on earth (and in heaven). For everybody it is the Lord's vineyard in which they must work here on earth, and subsequently it is the Father's house in which they must be in eternity. Therefore, what is that kingdom for those who choose voluntary continence in view of it?

5. For now, we do not find any answer to this question in Christ's statement as reported by Matthew (19:11-12). It seems that this is in keeping with the character of the whole statement. Christ answered his disciples in such a way as not to keep in line with their thought and their evaluation, which contained, at least indirectly, a utilitarian attitude regarding marriage ("If this is the is better not to marry": Mt 19:10). The Master explicitly evaded these general lines of the problem. Therefore, speaking about continence for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven, he did not indicate in this way why the renunciation of marriage is worthwhile, so that the "it is better" would not be understood by his disciples in any utilitarian sense. He said only that this continence is at times required, if not indispensable, for the Kingdom of God. With this he pointed out that continence, in the kingdom which Christ preached and to which he calls, constitutes a particular value in itself. Those who voluntarily choose it must do so with regard to that value it has, and not as a result of any other calculation whatever.

6. This essential tone of Christ's answer, which refers directly to continence itself "for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven," can also be referred indirectly to the previous problem of marriage (cf. Mt 19:3-9). Therefore, considering his statement as a whole, according to Christ's basic intention, the answer would be as follows. If anyone chooses marriage, he must choose it just as it was instituted by the Creator "from the beginning." He must seek in it those values that correspond to God's plan. If on the other hand anyone decides to pursue continence for the Kingdom of Heaven, he must seek in it the values proper to such a vocation. In other words, one must act in conformity with his chosen vocation.

7. The Kingdom of Heaven is certainly the definitive fulfillment of the aspirations of all men, to whom Christ addressed his message. It is the fullness of the good that the human heart desires beyond the limits of all that can be his lot in this earthly life. It is the maximum fullness of God's bounty toward man. In his conversation with the Sadducees (cf. Mt 22:24-30; Mk 12:18-27; Lk 20:27-40), which we have previously analyzed, we find other details about that kingdom, or rather about that other world. There are still more in the whole New Testament. Therefore, it seems that to clarify what the Kingdom of Heaven is for those who choose voluntary continence for its sake, the revelation of the nuptial relationship of Christ with the Church has a particular significance. Among the other texts, however, a decisive one is that from Ephesians 5:25ff. It will be especially well to rely on this when we consider the question of the sacramentality of marriage.

That text is equally valid both for the theology of marriage and for the theology of continence for the sake of the kingdom, that is, the theology of virginity or celibacy. It seems that in that text we find almost concretized what Christ had said to his disciples, inviting them to voluntary continence for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.

8. In this analysis it has already been sufficiently emphasized that Christ's words—with all their great conciseness—are fundamental, full of essential content and also characterized by a certain severity. There is no doubt that Christ put out his call to continence in the perspective of the other world. But in this call he put the emphasis on everything which expresses the temporal realism of the decision for such continence, a decision bound with the will to share in the redeeming work of Christ.

So, therefore, in the light of Christ's respective words reported by Matthew (19:11-12), the depth and the gravity of the decision to live in continence for the sake of the Kingdom emerge above all, and the importance of the renunciation that such a decision implies finds its expression.

Undoubtedly, throughout all this, through the gravity and depth of the decision, through the severity and the responsibility that it bears with it, love appears and shines through, love as the readiness to give the exclusive gift of oneself for the sake of the Kingdom of God. However, in Christ's words this love seems to be veiled by what is put in the foreground instead. Christ did not conceal from his disciples the fact that the choice of continence for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven is—viewed in the light of temporal categories—a renunciation. That way of speaking to his disciples, which clearly expresses the truth of his teaching and of the demands contained in it, is significant through the whole Gospel. It is precisely this that confers on it, among other things, so convincing a mark and power.

9. It is natural for the human heart to accept demands, even difficult ones, in the name of love for an ideal, and above all in the name of love for a person (love, in fact, is by its very nature directed toward a person). Therefore, in the call to continence for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven, first the disciples themselves, and then the whole living Tradition of the Church, will soon discover the love that is referred to Christ himself as the Spouse of the Church, the Spouse of souls, to whom He has given himself to the very limit, in the Paschal and Eucharistic Mystery.

In this way, continence for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven, the choice of virginity or celibacy for one's whole life, has become, in the experience of Christ's disciples and followers, the act of a particular response of love for the divine Spouse, and therefore has acquired the significance of an act of nuptial love, that is, a nuptial giving of oneself for the purpose of reciprocating in a particular way the nuptial love of the Redeemer: a giving of oneself understood as renunciation, but made above all out of love."

After the catechesis, Papa Giovanni Paolo II greeted the pilgrims in various languages:

Ai fedeli di lingua francese

Chers Frères et Sœurs,

J’ai continué, en italien, à parler de la continence totale “pour le Royaume des cieux”, c’est-à-dire pour le Royaume de Dieu, prêché par Jésus, instauré ici-bas et accompli dans l’au-delà. Certes, ce Royaume est pour tous, mariés ou célibataires; selon l’état de vie qu’il a choisi, chacun doit chercher les valeurs qui y correspondent dans le plan de Dieu. Mais le célibat est une façon singulière de participer à l’instauration du règne de Dieu sur la terre. Le Christ ne précise pas pourquoi, lorsqu’il répond à la réflexion intéressée des apôtres à propos du mariage, sans doute parce qu’il ne veut pas se placer sur ce terrain du calcul utilitaire. Le célibat volontaire a sa valeur en lui-même. Mais ses paroles concises s’éclairent si on se réfère aux lettres de saint Paul et à l’expérience séculaire de l’Eglise. Le Christ y est présenté comme l’Epoux divin de l’Eglise, l’Epoux des amês, auxquelles il s’est donné jusqu’au bout. La donation complète de soi-même dans le célibat pour le Royaume s’inscrit dans ce contexte nuptial: elle répond à cet amour du Rédempteur, fait participer à son œuvre de rédemption, d’une façon spéciale. Elle comporte ici-bas un renoncement; mais elle est faite surtout par amour.

* * *

Je salue avec une joie particulière les pèlerins français venus de la Région apostolique du Centre. Et je félicite leurs évêques, que j’avais le bonheur d’accueillir récemment en visite “ad limina”, d’avoir entraîné six cent cinquante de leurs diocésains au cœur même de cette grande famille qu’est l’Eglise du Christ. Je demande au Seigneur ressuscité que pasteurs et fidèles de Bourges, de Blois, de Moulins, de Nevers, d’Orléans, de Sens et de Tours continuent de construire - dans la joie et l’espérance - des communautés chrétiennes, peut-être modestes quant au nombre mais remarquables par leur ferveur et leur rayonnement évangéliques. J’accorde mon affectueuse Bénédiction aux diocésains ici présents, mais également à toutes les paroisses et institutions chrétiennes de cette région du Centre et à leurs responsables.

* * *

Au très beau groupe de collégiens et lycéens de Strasbourg, à leurs professeurs et à leurs parents, j’adresse mes félicitations pour leur fidélité à venir chaque année au centre de la catholicité. Je les encourage de tout cœur à vivre les découvertes qu’ils ont faites - en préparant et en accomplissant leur pèlerinage - sur “l’Eglise en prière dans le monde d’aujourd’hui”. Avec ma paternelle Bénédiction Apostolique.

* * *

Je remercie également le groupe des Représentants militaires des pays adhérant à l’Alliance Atlantique de leur aimable visite. Et je forme les meilleurs souhaits pour leurs personnes et pour les membres de leurs familles qui les accompagnent, en y joignant encore des vœux ardents pour la paix du monde.

A tous les pèlerins de langue française ici présents, je souhaite la grâce pascale du renouveau de leur foi et de leur charité, et j’accorde de grand cœur ma Bénédiction Apostolique.

Ai fedeli di lingua inglese

I am very happy to greet the “Cantores Minores” from Helsinki in Finland. You express the vitality of your young lives in song. The discipline of your art will undoubtedly enable you to absorb better the many beauties of this Eternal City. May you have many glad memories of your visit. And when you return to your country, tell your young friends that the Pope sends them his affection.

* * *

There is also present a Youth Choir from Natal in South Africa. I have heard that you have been giving concerts in Loreto. May the memory of the Holy Family of Nazareth accompany you always and be a source of inspiration to you in your lives.

* * *

I extend a very special greeting to the participants in the Garda Síochána na hÉireann Pilgrimage on the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of their peace-keeping force. Guardians of the Peace of Ireland! We already know each other. You served me well during my memorable visit to your beautiful and beloved country. You are celebrating sixty years of delicated service to your country, in a tradition of “vigilance, diligence, zeal and dutiful courage”. In the contemporary world the task of the Police within society is certainly not an easy one. It requires a sense of vocation, of committed dedication to the safety and well-being of your fellow-citizens. It requires that you recognize and consider yourselves as an important and effective moral force for good at work in your society. May your faith in Jesus Christ and your attachment to the Church bring you the strength and encouragement you need. My greeting goes to the Chief-Commissioner, the Senior Officers and men, to Bishop Comiskey and to the other chaplains, to your families and friends here present, as well as to all those you represent at home in Ireland. Moladh go deo le Dia!

* * *

Dear brothers and sisters,

We have been reflecting on Christ’s words about continence for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven. In order to understand fully the meaning of this continence - this celibacy or virginity - it is indeed necessary to understand Christ’s phrase: “for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven”. These words express the subjective aspect. The Kingdom of heaven means the Kingdom of God both in its temporal dimension and in its final realization.

The vocation to continence involves a renunciation of marriage and one’s own family. Christ does not answer all the questions about how continence is related to the Kingdom of heaven, but he does state that it has a special value in itself. This value is found above all in love; it is love that inspires people to accept celibacy or virginity. It is a love for a person, love for Christ, who is the Bridegroom of the Church. Renunciation, yes. But renunciation motivated by love.

Ai fedeli di lingua tedesca

Liebe Brüder und Schwestern!

In Österlicher Freude begrüße ich euch zur heutigen Audienz. Der Osterjubel der Kirche gründet nicht nur im Sieg Christi über den Tod, sondern zugleich auch in der bleibenden Gegenwart des auferstandenen Herrn in unserer Mitte. Versuchen wir - wie seine Jünger zwischen Auferstehung und Himmelfahrt - ihm überall dort zu begegnen und auf sein Wort zu hören, wo er sich uns hier und heute offenbaren und mitteilen möchte.

Im Hauptthema der wöchentlichen Generalaudienzen bemühen wir uns seit längerem um ein vertieftes Verständnis der Ehelosigkeit ”um des Himmelreiches willen“. Himmelreich meint das ”Reich Gottes“, dessen Anbruch in der Zeit Christus verkündet hat und das in der Eschatologie seine endgültige Vollendung erreichen wird. Zu diesem Reich Gottes sind alle Menschen gerufen. Wenn jemand dazu persönlich berufen wird, um dieses Reiches willen auf die Ehe zu verzichten, so ist er eingeladen, in besonderer Weise an dessen Verwirklichung schon in dieser Weltzeit mitzuwirken. Christus ermahnt und ermutigt ihn, sich durch den Verzicht auf die Ehe noch entschiedener als die anderen zu verleugnen, täglich sein Kreuz auf sich zu nehmen und ihm nachzufolgen. Das damit verbundene Opfer trägt seinen Wert in sich selbst. Es wird beseelt und getragen von der Liebe, die in vorbehaltloser Selbsthingabe für das Reich Gottes ganz über sich verfügen läßt. Der Verzicht auf die Ehe geschieht aus Liebe zu Christus, dem Bräutigam der Kirche und der Seelen, und ist selbst ein Akt bräutlicher Liebe.

Zum schluß grüße und beglückwünsche ich noch besonders herzlich die Gruppe der Priester des Erzbistums Köln, die den 30. Jahrestag ihrer Priesterweihe feiern. Möge die stete Nähe des auferstandenen Herrn, den ihr beim Brechen des eucharistischen Brotes täglich erkennen dürf, euer priesterliches Leben und Wirken reich befruchten und euch zu unerschrockenen Zeugen für seine und unsere Auferstehung machen. Mit besten österlichen Wünschen erteile ich euch und allen hier anwesenden Pilgern von Herzen meinen besonderen Apostolischen Segen.

Ai fedeli di espressione spagnola

Amadísimos hermanos y hermanas,

A todos y cada uno de los aquí presentes de lengua española, procedentes de varios Países, saludo personalmente y aseguro que me alegra su venida a esta Audiencia.

Continuamos nuestra reflexión acerca de la continencia por el reino de los cielos, ese reino que Cristo predicaba en su establecimiento temporal y que era a la vez una preparación al cumplimiento definitivo en la otra vida.

Todos son llamados a dicho reino y a trabajar por su instauración en la tierra; pero algunos son invitados a hacerlo de tal forma que renuncien a formarse una familia propia en vistas de ese reino. Porque tal entrega tiene un gran valor en sí misma, por coherencia con la vocación elegida y no por otros cálculos.

Cristo no deja de indicar que la consagración a esa causa es una renuncia, que supone disponibilidad para entregarse exclusivamente al reino de Dios. Ese darse a Cristo, esposo de la Iglesia y de las almas, es el modo de devolverle el amor total que El les manifestó antes como Redentor. La continencia es pues una donación de sí mismo, una renuncia hecha por amor.

Ai pellegrini di lingua portoghese

Uma sudação afectuosa aos peregrinos e ouvintes de língua portuguesa! Em especial aos Grupos provenientes do Rio de Janeiro e São Paulo, Brasil.

No clima do Mistério Pascal, para todos desejo que perdurem a alegria e a paz de Cristo ressuscitado!

Continuando a reflectir sobre a continência por amor do reino dos Céus, sabemos que ele é para todos, casados ou não: todos são chamados a trabalhar na vinha do Senhor. Quando Cristo fala da continência perfeita por amor do reino dos Céus não indica em que consiste este reino, nem determina como trabalhar nele. Diz apenas que a continência perfeita às vezes é exigida, mas não indispensável para o reino dos Céus. Deve ser escolhida não por cálculo, como uma coisa pessoalmente vantajosa, mas pelo valor que possui em si mesma, de acordo com o plano de Deus.

O reino dos Céus constitui a plena realização das aspirações de todos os homens. Para aqueles que optam pela continência perfeita, a descoberta de relação esponsal de Cristo com a Igreja adquire uma dimensão particular. Cristo põe esta vocação na perspectiva do “outro mundo”, situando-a, porém no tempo, numa participação mais plena na sua obra redentora.

Que vossa vida seja sempre iluminada pela idéia do reino dos Céus, com a minha Bênção Apostólica.

Ai fedeli italiani

Fratelli e sorelle carissimi dell’arcidiocesi di Otranto!

Il 5 ottobre del 1980 son venuto pellegrino nella vostra illustre città per venerare i beati Martiri che, cinque secoli fa, furono uccisi per non aver voluto rinnegare il Cristo. Oggi, una numerosa e qualificata rappresentanza della vostra arcidiocesi è qui presente al fine di manifestarmi la propria riconoscenza per quella mia visita pastorale.

Sono sinceramente lieto di rivedervi e di salutarvi con cordiale affetto. E mi piace ricordare il vostro Arcivescovo Monsignor Vincenzo Franco; e con lui, Monsignor Nicola Riezzo, fino ad un anno fa vostro Pastore, il quale organizzò con grande amore e con degno decoro quella solenne celebrazione; saluto anche il Sindaco di Otranto con la Giunta Comunale; i Sindaci delle varie Città dell’ambito della vostra arcidiocesi; i sacerdoti, i religiosi, le religiose, i seminaristi, i giovani e i ragazzi.

È tutta la vostra Comunità che ha voluto in maniera pubblica proclamare oggi, qui, presso la tomba del Principe degli apostoli quella fede cristiana che illumina le vostre menti, riscalda i vostri cuori ed orienta la vostra vita quotidiana.

Sull’esempio luminoso dei vostri gloriosi Martiri la vostra vita sia sempre in coerente sintonia col messaggio evangelico, che ha permeato e continua a permeare, la storia della vostra terra.

La mia benedizione apostolica vi sia di conforto e di sostegno.

* * *

Desidero, poi, rivolgere un particolare saluto al pellegrini delle diocesi di Termoli e Larino che assieme alle autorità civili, sono pure qui convenuti sotto la guida del loro Vescovo.


le vostre contrade, nel corso dei secoli hanno saputo ospitare genti di razze e culture diverse, diventando segno di quella accoglienza allo straniero come al fratello, che il Signore chiede ai suoi discepoli.

So che il Vescovo sta per iniziare la Visita Pastorale. Vi esorto ad accoglierlo con la fiducia dei figli verso il padre, e ad impegnarvi per un salutare rinnovamento della vita cristiana delle vostre comunità diocesane.

Benedico ora volentieri la prima pietra della nuova Chiesa intitolata a san Pietro apostolo, che sarà costruita a Termoli, e di cuore benedico tutti voi ed i vostri cari.

* * *

Un particolare saluto vada ora ai partecipanti al Corso per architetti, ingegneri e liturgisti, promosso dalla Pontificia Commissione per l’Arte Sacra in Italia. Nell’esprimere il mio compiacimento per l’opportuna iniziativa, porgo ai convenuti l’augurio di fruttuoso lavoro e a tutti imparto di cuore la mia apostolica benedizione.

* * *

Saluto ora i 200 Fratelli appartenenti a diverse Comunità religiose i quali sono convenuti a Roma per prendere parte ad un Convegno sulla vocazione religiosa del Fratello negli Istituti clericali. Carissimi, vi esprimo il mio apprezzamento per la preziosa collaborazione che voi offrite e, soprattutto, per lo spirito soprannaturale col quale date testimonianza della vostra fede.

* * *

Saluto pure con affetto la delegazione del Comune di Legnano, che è presente col Parroco ed il Sindaco. Carissimi, vi esorto a mantener fede ai valori civici e religiosi, in cui si sono distinti i vostri antenati e benedico di cuore voi e tutti i vostri cari.

* * *

Estendo il mio saluto anche al pellegrinaggio proveniente da Levada, parrocchia della diocesi di Treviso, che celebra quest’anno il millennio della sua fondazione.

Ad essi ed a tutta la popolazione di Levada va la mia apostolica benedizione.

* * *

Saluto ora i giovani presenti a questa Udienza perché, forti nella fede, lieti nella speranza e generosi nel quotidiano impegno della carità, sappiano testimoniare Cristo risorto con l’entusiasmo che, in questo momento, ne caratterizza la presenza tanto numerosa. Li accompagni la mia benedizione.

* * *

Particolarmente numeroso oggi è il gruppo degli ammalati, fra i quali i partecipanti al pellegrinaggio dell’UNITALSI della diocesi di Macerata, accompagnato dal Vescovo.

A voi, cari ammalati, rivolgo l’augurio: il Signore risorto sia con voi!

Il Signore vi benedica, insieme con i vostri familiari e con quanti, con amore e dedizione, vi assistono nelle vostre necessità.

* * *

Un saluto infine alle coppie di giovani sposi, con l’augurio, accompagnato dal mio ricordo al Signore, perché sappiano costruire giorno per giorno la loro comunità familiare, così che sia davvero una piccola Chiesa domestica.

La preghiera alla Madonna di Jasna Góra

W okresie wielkanocnym Kosciół w Polsce obchodzi święta swych głównych Patronów.

Najprzód w tych dniach miesiąca kwietnia: Święty Wojciech, potem w maju - Święty Stanisław. Obaj skupieni wokół Matki Bożej z Jasnej Góry, którą jako Królowę Polski czcimy w dniu 3 maja.

Pragnę moją jubileuszową modlitwę, którą tutaj odmawiam co środę, połączyć w sposób szczególny z tą modlitwą którą odmawiają moi Rodacy na rocznicę swoich Świętych Patronów.

Pragnę w niej zawrzeć wszystkie cierpienia i nadzieje, którymi żyją ich serca w Roku Pańskim 1982.

Minęło już tysiąc lat od Chrztu Mieszka, zbliża się tysiąc lat od tej daty, gdy przyszedł do nas Biskup Wojciech z Pragi - i z Rzymu, biskup misjonarz - aby dać Chrystusowi ostateczne świadectwo, ponosząc śmierć z rąk pogan niedaleko ujścia do Bałtyku.


Ojczyzna otwarła się szeroko na to świadectwo. Przy relikwiach Męczennika wyrosła pierwsza polska metropolia w Gnieźnie.

Ukształtował się zrąb dziejów Narodu i Państwa. W sercach ludzkich umocniła się Ewangelia prawdy i wolności. I nadal trwa. Człowiek nie może żyć bez prawdy i wolności! I Naród też. I Państwo.

Taki też jest sens tych trudnych miesięcy i dni, jakie przeżywam wspólnie z wami, drodzy Rodacy, u stóp Pani Jasnogórskiej, na szlakach dziejowych Świętego Wojciecha.

Cena prawdy i wolności należy do dziedzictwa Wielkanocy. Wpisała się raz na zawsze w Krzyż i Zmartwychstanie Chrystusa.

Chrystus mówi: ufajcie! Jam zwyciężył świat.

Questo il testo della preghiera del Papa in una nostra traduzione italiana.

Nel periodo della Pasqua la Chiesa in Polonia celebra le feste dei suoi principali patroni.

In questi giorni del mese di aprile: san Wojciech (sant’Adalberto), e poi, nel mese di maggio, san Stanislao. Ambedue sono riuniti intorno alla Madre di Dio a Jasna Góra, che il 3 maggio veneriamo come Regina della Polonia.

Desidero unire la mia preghiera del giubileo, che recito qui oggi mercoledì, in modo particolare alla preghiera che recitano i miei connazionali nell’anniversario dei loro santi patroni.

Desidero racchiudere in essa tutte le speranze e le sofferenze dei loro cuori nell’Anno del Signore 1982.

Sono passati ormai mille anni dal Battesimo di Mieszko, si avvicinano i mille anni dalla data in cui è venuto a noi il Vescovo Vojciech (Adalberto) da Praga e da Roma, per dare a Cristo la testimonianza definitiva subendo la morte dalle mani dei pagani, vicino alla foce del Baltico.

Vescovo e Martire!

La patria si è aperta largamente a questa testimonianza. Presso le reliquie del Martire è cresciuta la prima metropoli polacca di Gniezno. Si è formata la struttura portante della storia della Nazione e dello Stato.

Nei cuori degli uomini si è rafforzato il Vangelo della verità e della libertà. E continua a permanere. L’uomo non può vivere senza verità e libertà. Né la Nazione. Né lo Stato.

Tale è anche il senso di questi difficili mesi e giorni che vivo insieme con voi, cari connazionali, ai piedi della Signora di Jasna Góra, sulle storiche vie di san Wojciech (Adalberto).

Il prezzo della verità e della libertà dell’uomo appartiene al retaggio della Pasqua. Questo prezzo si è iscritto una volta per sempre nella Croce e Risurrezione di Cristo.

Cristo dice: abbiate fiducia, io ho vinto il mondo!

© Copyright - Libreria Editrice Vaticana