Greeting and Blessing from the Balcony - Pope Benedict XVI

São Paulo: Address, Monastery of São Bento, 9 May

Pope Benedict XVI

After the Arrival Ceremony at São Paulo-Guarulhos Internation Airport, Brazil, the Holy Father travelled 20 km. by helicopter to Campo de Marte Airport, São Paulo. The city has a total population of 19 million. the Pope was met by various Authorities, including the Mayor of São Paulo, who presented him with the keys to the city, and the President of the Municipal Board, who conferred honorary citizenship upon him.

The Pontiff then went by popemobile to the Benedictine Monastery of São Bento (St Benedict), São Paulo, founded 400 years ago by Benedictine Fr Mauro Teixeira: the church's foundation stone was laid in 1650. Today, the complex of buildings includes the prestigious St Benedict's College, founded in 1903, and the monastery and the Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption. The Pope spent two nights here.

Upon his arrival in the early evening, the Pontiff appeared briefly on the monastery balcony, from which he greeted and blessed the crowds. The following is a translation from Portuguese of the Holy Father's Greeting to those present.

Dear Friends,

Your affectionate welcome is heart-warming for the Pope! Thank you for waiting here to greet me.

These days, for all of you and for the Church, will be full of emotion and joy.

The Church is in festal mode! In every corner of the world people are praying for the fruits of this journey, the first Pastoral Journey to Brazil and to Latin America that Providence has granted me to carry out as the Successor of Peter.

The canonization of Frei Galvão and the inauguration of the Fifth Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean will be milestones in the history of the Church. I am counting on you and on your prayers! Thank you!

Taken from:
L'Osservatore Romano
Weekly Edition in English
16 May 2007, page 2

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