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Nuncio’s Words after Communion Eucharistic Celebration

Nuncio’s Words after CommunionEucharistic Celebration in Thanksgiving for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and His Excellency Most Rev. Giuseppe Pinto at the Beginning of His Mission as Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines Manila Cathedral, 19 August 2011, 6:00 p.m.

I greet with affection and with esteem His Eminence Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, Archbishop of Manila, who have welcomed and presented me to you as Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines.

I am most grateful for his thoughtful initiative of organizing this liturgical celebration, in this historical cathedral, dedicated to Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception.

I feel honored by the presence of His Eminence Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Archbishop-Emeritus of Cebu, and of His Eminence Jose Cardinal Sanchez, Prefect-Emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy.  I also wish to thank my brother Bishops, members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, who came from far places in order to be here this evening.

Likewise, I am very glad to see my distinguished colleagues in the Diplomatic Corps, the priests, the religious men and women, and all of you, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, who took part in this Eucharistic Celebration.  Maráming Salámat po!

I come to you as an envoy of the Successor of Peter, Pope Benedict XVI.  I am fully aware of how you, the Filipino people, love him, that you are familiar with his teachings, and that you pray for him.

On the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of his priestly ordination, the Holy Father received so many greetings from this Country.  He was aware of how, on the feast of the Sacred Heart last June, many dioceses in the Philippines organized sixty hours of prayer for him and for the sanctification of all the priests.

For this, he thanks all of you from the bottom of his heart, and he wishes to reciprocate your kind gesture of communion and ecclesial fidelity.

It is indeed a great privilege for me to come to this Country; aware of how much the Christian Faith has shaped its history, its culture, and its values.

Now, I am here among you in order to take the first steps of my mission.  I will need your help.  I have already received this from your, or better still, our Bishops.  I will work in communion with them, supporting them in their episcopal ministry.
My dear brother Bishops, Priests, Religious, and Lay Faithful; the Apostolic Nunciature is always at your service, ready to help you as you continue to strive to transform our society into an authentic Christian Community, by living according to truth in charity.
As I was preparing for my mission here, I went to St. Peter’s Basilica and visited the altar where the image of St. Lorenzo Ruiz is to be found.  Afterwards, I stopped by the tomb of Blessed John Paul II.  San Lorenzo is your first kababáyan saint, while Blessed John Paul II loved the Filipinos so much.  I asked their intercessions that I might be a good Nuncio to you.
Dear friends, I also hope to be remembered in your prayers. You are a “people in love with Mary”, pueblo amante de Maria. Please ask the Blessed Mother to assist me as I strive to devotedly fulfill the task that the Holy Father has given me.  Be confident that I will be praying for you too.
Finally, I have the pleasure of conveying to you the affections of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.  Be sure that he prays for you and that he shares in your joys and in your fears.
Invoking upon each and everyone the maternal intercessions of Mary, the Queen of Heaven, the Holy Father cordially imparts his apostolic blessing, which extends to your families, especially the children, the elderly, and the sick.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.