Pope's Message on Anniversary of UK Trip

"Bear Joyful Witness to the Truth of the Gospel"

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VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 21, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Here is the message Benedict XVI sent through Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, his secretary of state, on the occasion of the Mass Sunday in London at Westminster Cathedral marking the first anniversary of the Pontiff's visit to England and Scotland. The Pope's trip took place from Sept. 16-19.

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The Holy Father was pleased to learn that on Sept. 18, 2011, a solemn Mass of Thanksgiving will be celebrated in Westminster Cathedral to mark the anniversary of his Apostolic Visit to the United Kingdom. He sends cordial greetings to the bishops, clergy, religious and lay faithful gathered for the occasion, as well as to the distinguished civil authorities present.

His Holiness recalls with deep gratitude the warmth of the welcome given by Her Majesty The Queen and her Government, and he again expresses his appreciation to all those who contributed to the happy outcome of his Visit. He trusts that this moment of thanksgiving will serve as a renewed summons to take up the challenge which he issued a year ago in this very place: to bear joyful witness to the truth of the Gospel "which liberates our minds and enlightens our efforts to live wisely and well, both as individuals and as members of society." In a special way, he encourages the seminarians to keep their eyes fixed on Jesus Christ, to devote themselves wholeheartedly to their intellectual and spiritual formation, and to be steadfast heralds of the new evangelization.

Commending you to the intercession of the Blessed John Henry Newman, the Holy Father is pleased to impart his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of grace and peace in Jesus Christ our Lord.

© Copyright 2011 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana