"Divine charity has added another five names to the long list of saints and blesseds which extends through two millennia from generation to generation", the Holy Father said on Monday, 10 April, to pilgrims who had come from all over the world for the previous day's beatification of Fr Mariano de Jesús Euse Hoyos, Francis Xavier Seelos, Anna Rosa Gattorno, Mary Elisabeth Hesselblad and Mariam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyan. Here is a translation of the Pope's address, which was given in Italian, Spanish and English.
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
1. I am pleased once again to meet you who have come from various parts of the world for the beatification of Mariano de Jesús Euse Hoyos, Francis Xavier Seelos, Anna Rosa Gattorno, Mary Elisabeth Hesselblad and Mariam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyan. I greet you all with affection: Bishops, priests, sisters, religious and numerous lay faithful.
As we continue the joy of yesterday's celebration, we have the opportunity to turn our gaze to the new blesseds with greater veneration, in order to reflect on certain aspects of their witness.
2. I wish to extend a very cordial greeting to all the pilgrims who have come to take part in the beatification of the Colombian priest, Mariano de Jesús Euse Hoyos. I greet the Colombian Cardinals, Bishops, priests and faithful, who give thanks to God for the marvels he has wrought through Fr Marianito.
A priest deeply dedicated to his mission, he was always guided by a solid faith rooted in life and committed to his neighbour. He was merciful and attentive to everyone, especially the poor and needy. His fame endures among you and is an example to imitate, especially at this crucial moment in the history of your beloved homeland.
I would like the radiant figure of Bl. Mariano Euse to be seen by all Colombian society as "a gift of peace" within the context of this Jubilee Year. Colombia will achieve peace if it always and everywhere respects the sacred and inviolable right to life. Peace, a gift of God, is also a task for man. For this reason all Colombians, without exception, must join forces in building it by rejecting all forms of violence and combatting poverty, hunger, unemployment, armed conflict, kidnapping, drug trafficking and harm to nature. May Fr Marianito's example help you to be ever more conscious that peace and integral, harmonious development must always go hand in hand.
3. I gladly welcome the Bishops from the United States and Germany, as well as the members of the Redemptorist Congregation and all the pilgrims present for the beatification of Fr Francis Xavier Seelos. In his priestly ministry and missionary apostolate, Fr Francis Xavier was careful to discern the spiritual needs of the communities he served, and his dedication to preaching and the celebration of the sacraments brought many back to Christ.
In this Great Jubilee Year, may Bl. Francis Xavier's example inspire more young people to respond with generosity to Christ's call to take on the task of evangelization in the priesthood and religious life.
4. In a society like today's, often anxious for material goods and tempted to forget God, the Supreme Good, Bl. Anna Rosa Gattorno offers the challenge of a life totally spent for him and for her youngest and poorest brethren. The sorrows and sacrifices that marked her marriage and motherhood soon called her to embrace the crucified Jesus with a remarkably intense faith and love in order to follow him with her whole being. The Institute of the "Daughters of St Anne, mother of Mary Immaculate", which she founded, is the fruit of her exemplary synthesis of abandonment to Providence and tireless commitment to neighbour. At the time of her death in 1900, Mother Rosa left 3,500 sisters in various countries around the world.
She always drew her strength from daily Eucharistic communion and impassioned union with the crucified and glorious Christ. The new blessed makes a strong appeal to us all to love, defend and promote life, showing us the depth and tenderness of God's love for every creature.
5. It gives me great pleasure to welcome the Sisters of the Order of the Most Holy Saviour, and the pilgrims from Sweden and from other countries present for the beatification of Sr Mary Elisabeth Hesselblad. In particular I extend a warm welcome to the Lutheran faithful who have come for this event. Bl. Elisabeth teaches us to turn to the saving Cross of Christ, the source of strength in times of trial. Her ecumenical commitment, practical charity and deep spirituality are a model for all Christ's followers, especially for those living the consecrated life. Through Bl. Elisabeth's intercession, may the cause of Christian unity continue to make progress, and may her work and charism remind the Christians of Europe of the unique evangelical roots of their culture and civilization.
6. I extend warm greetings to the Bishops from India, to the members of the Congregation of the Holy Family, as well as to the priests, religious and faithful who rejoice in the beatification of Sr Mariam Thresia Mankidiyan. Bl. Mariam Thresia dedicated herself generously to the practice of the evangelical counsels and an intense life of prayer, which did not spare her suffering, sustained her in her many charitable works and willingness to seek out those who were lost. Through her intercession, may the Church in India be blessed with an increase of vocations to the religious life, imbued with her spirit of prayer and charity.
7. Dear brothers and sisters, divine charity has added another five names to the long list of saints and blesseds which extends through two millennia from generation to generation. As we admire and venerate them, let us imitate their faith, so that the grace of Christ the Redeemer can achieve his sanctifying work in each of us. When you return to your countries and communities, be witnesses of the great things you have seen and heard.
I affectionately impart my Blessing to you and willingly extend it to all your relatives and loved ones.
(ŠL'Osservatore Romano - 19 April 2000)