Women's Vocation Tied to Love, Says John Paul II

Believes Their Genius Assures a Sensitivity for All People

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 16, 2004 (Zenit.org).- In an age when women participate more in areas of public life, it is important that they have a keen awareness of their fundamental vocation: to fulfill themselves through love, says John Paul II.



"The dignity of woman is intimately related to the love she receives because of her femininity and also because of the love that she gives in turn," the Pope said he received in audience the participants of a national congress, organized by the Italian Feminine Center, on the topic "Women Before the Hopes of the World." The congress in Rome ends Sunday.

"It is important that woman keep alive the awareness of this fundamental vocation," the Holy Father said. "She fulfills herself only by giving love, with her singular 'genius' that assures sensitivity" for human beings in all circumstances.

Indeed, "the moral and spiritual strength" of woman "springs from the awareness that 'God entrusts the human being to her in a special way,'" the Holy Father stressed, quoting his apostolic letter "Mulieris Dignitatem."

"This is above all the mission of every woman also in the third millennium," the Pope added.

"Live it fully and do not be discouraged by the difficulties and obstacles that you may meet on the way," he said to those present. "On the contrary, always trusting in divine help, realize it with joy, expressing the feminine 'genius' that characterizes you."

Finally, John Paul II appealed to women "to witness in every place the Gospel of life and hope."