VISIT OF HIS HOLINESS POPE PAUL VI
TO THE UNITED NATIONS
ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER PAUL VI
Kennedy Airport, New York
Monday 4 October 1965
We reply without delay to the greetings presented to Us by the distinguished Representatives of the United Nations, and We express Our sincere thanks for the invitation extended to Us to address that great Assembly. We are thus given the honour and the good fortune of meeting that greatest of all international organizations. It gives Us particular pleasure to mark in this way the twentieth anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, and to express Our best wishes for its permanency and its development .
Our encouragement and support have, We believe, a special meaning. This is because We come from Rome, that city which, first of all in the history of our civilization, promoted and represented the political union of peoples under the rule of law, and consequently in liberty, in culture and in peace.
We come from Rome, where there is located the central seat of that religious society, not founded on temporal power, which is the Catholic Church. We are happy to note the natural sympathy existing between these two universalities, and to bear to your terrestrial city of peace the greetings and good wishes of our spiritual city of peace. One is a peace which rises from the earth, the other a peace which descends from heaven; and their meeting is most marvelous: Justice and peace have kissed one another. May God grant that this be for mankind’s greater good.
We also wish to reply without delay to the greetings offered Us by this great country in the person of the President’s representative, a country so free, so strong, so industrious, so full of wonders, this country of America, the America of the States, where We have so very many brothers, sons and friends in the faith, and where a populous nation founds its very modern civilization upon the brotherhood of its citizens.
Greetings to you, America! The first Pope to set foot upon your land blesses you with all His heart. He renews, as it were, the gesture of your discoverer, Christopher Columbus, when he planted the Cross of Christ in this blessed soil. May the cross of blessing which We now trace over your skies and your land preserve those gifts which Christ gave you and guarantees to you: Peace, concord, freedom, justice - and above all the vision of life in the hope of immortality. God bless this land of yours!
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