«Regina Coeli» at the end of the Sity Mission of Rome 5-23-1999
S. John Paul II
Saint Peter, May 23, 1999 *
« Let us invoke the Holy Spirit together to make the Mission of the City Rome fruitful and to bear fruit the expectations of the whole Church ». In the «Regina Coeli» of the Solemnity of Pentecost, on Sunday May 23, John Paul II has remembered the solemn Vigil that on Saturday afternoon ended the City Mission and the great meeting of last year with the Church Movements and the New Communities. These are the Pope’s words: »
« 1. The solemnity of Pentecost makes us relive the extraordinary experience that the apostles had fifty days after the resurrection of Christ. With Pentecost the Easter season culminates, and this culmination consists precisely in the gift of the Holy Spirit, according to the promise of Jesus. Today we contemplate the transformation of the Lord’s disciples: from fearful followers they become intrepid witnesses who boldly announce to all peoples the good news. While they were gathered in prayer, inside the Upper Room, in the company of Mary, the Spirit of truth sends them to make the whole world a Upper Room of love and unity. Those two dimensions, prayer and the apostolate, communion and mission, are indispensable for the life of the Church at all times and places.
2. We prepared for this great feast yesterday afternoon here, in St. Peter’s Square, with a solemn vigil, with which the City Mission of Rome was concluded. What an extraordinary spiritual experience! We were reminded of last year’s great encounter with the ecclesial movements and new communities, which constitute a true gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church at the end of the millennium, and one of the new signs that emerged from the Second Vatican Council. Last year’s meeting has produced great fruits. Indeed, initiatives aimed at nurturing a sense of communion in the movements and communities have multiplied, with the aim of increasing collaboration among them, and also in the individual Churches and in the parishes. Let us thank the Lord for this promising spring of the Church, rich in hope. I am sure that the next congress, organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, on the theme: “The ecclesial movements and the new communities in the pastoral care of the bishops”, will contribute to promoting their further development. The secularized world forces all Christians to intensify their missionary drive, basing it on a radical experience of faith in Christ, an experience made of prayer, unity and proclamation.
3. Let us invoke the Holy Spirit together,so that it may make fruitful the city mission of Rome and give fruit to the expectations of the whole Church. Missionary commitment has no deadlines and is the responsibility of all membersof the Christian community. Today, as in the beginning, the Church knowswho, to face the challenges of the New Evangelization, needs to meet in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus and our Mother. Let us ask the Virgin to pray with us and for us to the Heavenly Father, that He may pour out upon all believers the Holy Ghost and renew the wonders of Pentecost ».
(*) Cfr. «L’Osservatore Romano», 24-25 May 1999.