|On Sunday afternoon, 6 June
2010, the Holy Father visited the Maronite Cathedral of Our Lady
of Graces in Nicosia, where he gave the following address.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I am very pleased to make this visit to the Cathedral of Our
Lady of Graces. I thank Archbishop Youssef Soueif for his kind
words of welcome on behalf of the Maronite community in Cyprus,
and I cordially greet all of you with the words of the Apostle:
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus
Christ” (1 Cor 1:3)!
As I visit this building, in my heart I make a spiritual
pilgrimage to every Maronite church of the island. Be assured
that, moved by a father’s care, I am close to all the faithful
of those ancient communities.
This Cathedral church in some way represents the very long
and sometimes turbulent
history of the Maronite community in Cyprus. Maronites came to
these shores at various times throughout the centuries and were
often hard-pressed to remain faithful to their distinct
Christian heritage. Nevertheless, in spite of their faith being
tested like gold in a fire (cf. 1 Pet 1:7), they remained
constant in the faith of their fathers, a faith which has now
been passed on to you, the Maronite Cypriots of today. I urge
you to treasure this great inheritance, this precious gift.
This Cathedral building also reminds us of an important
spiritual truth. Saint Peter tells us that we Christians are the
living stones which are being “built into a spiritual house, to
be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable
to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Pet 2:4-5). Together with
Christians throughout the world, we are part of that great
temple which is the Mystical Body of Christ. Our spiritual
worship, offered in many tongues, in many places and in a
beautiful variety of liturgies, is an expression of the one
voice of the People of God, united in praise and thanksgiving to
him and in enduring communion with each other. This communion,
which we hold so dear, impels us to carry the Good News of our
new life in Christ to all mankind.
Ιδου η πρόκλησις που σας αφήνω σήμερα: εγώ προσεύχουμαι ώστε
η εκκλησία σας, με ενότητα μαζύ με τους ποιημένες σας και με τον
Επίσκοπον Ρώμης, να αυξάνεται εις την αγιοσύνη, εις την πίστην
του Ευαγγελίου και εις την αγάπη γιά τον Κύριον και για τον
Commending you and your families, and especially your beloved
children to the intercession of Saint Maron, I willingly impart
to all of you my Apostolic Blessing.
the charge I leave with you today: I pray that your
Church, in union with all your pastors and with the
Bishop of Rome, may grow in holiness, in fidelity to the
Gospel and in love for the Lord and for one another.
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