Vatican City (Fides Service) – “I am happy to meet you the day after the canonisation of three luminous witnesses of missionary commitment, particularly dear to you, Saint Daniele Comboni, Saint Arnold Janssen and Saint Jozef Freinademetz” said Pope John Paul II to thousands of pilgrims who came to Rome for the canonisation and whom he greeted in St Peter’s Square in the morning of Monday, 6 October.
Greeting the respective missionary families, Comboni fathers, sisters and laity the Pope said “May God render fruitful every initiative you undertake to spread the Gospel of hope. May he bless your efforts in the field of human development, especially for youth. In this regard I wish you every success with the project for a Catholic University in Sudan, a land dear to Comboni. I am certain that this important cultural institution will render a qualified service for the entire Sudanese society”.
Addressing those who had come to venerate Saint Arnold Janssen and Saint Jozef Freinademetz, the Pope greeted the members of the three religious families of Divine Word, priests and nuns, active and contemplative, and he said: “Arnold Janssen was an ardent animator of the Church’s mission in central Europe. He showed great courage opening a missionary house in Steyl in Holland when the Church was living a difficult time because of the so-called Kulturkampf. Travelling new, unexplored paths to spread the Gospel he drew around him many collaborators, priests, religious man and women and laity who now carry on his apostolic work”.
Lastly the Pope greeted pilgrims from the diocese of Bozen-Brixen many of them Ladin speakers. “I greet you warmly, dear Ladin pilgrims, may Saint Jozef Freinademetz be for you an example of fidelity to Christ and his Gospel. Divine Providence, through the Society of the Divine Word, sent him to China where he stayed until his death.
SL (Fides Service 6/10/2003 EM lines 29 Words: 382)