Roman Students Congratulate Pope on Anniversary

Some 1,200 Sign Note Affirming Their Gratitude

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By Carmen Elena Villa

ROME, APRIL 20, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Close to 1,200 students from Roman universities signed a letter congratulating Benedict XVI for the fifth anniversary of his election to the See of Peter, which he celebrated Monday.

The letter will be given to the Holy Father by Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar general of the Diocese of Rome, after Wednesday's general audience.
 
The initiative stems from "the desire of young university students to manifest their sentiment of gratitude" for these five years, Monsignor Lorenzo Leuzzi, director of university pastoral ministry for the Vicariate of Rome, told ZENIT.
 
The students thanked the Pope for having given them the task of being "workers of intellectual charity."
 
"We'd never heard such a significant proposal for our university experience!" says the letter addressed to the Pontiff. "With you we have learned that study is service, it is life to promote and build the civilization of love."
 
As participants from the majority of the universities of Rome, both public and private, religious and pontifical, they thanked God for having permitted the election of Benedict XVI. They said through his teachings, this Pope has allowed the elaboration of "a renewed synthesis between faith and reason, capable of attesting to the historical fruitfulness of the Gospel, the true force promoting the authentic integral development of man."
 
"In these years we have received with joy and enthusiasm your magisterial and pastoral indications, which have given us believers and the whole university community new perspectives of cultural commitment for the rebirth of the specific vocation of the university institution," the students affirmed.
 
They said they've understood that "the university experience cannot be reduced to simple professional formation and that the transmission of learning cannot be translated into mere communication of information."
 
They added that they have discovered how the university world "needs seekers of truth, capable of instilling joy and passion for research in the whole university community."