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 Castel Gandolfo - Domenica, 4 agosto 1957


During your brief stay in Rome, come from the Seventh World Congress on Rehabilitation in London, you have wished to receive Our blessing on yourselves and your work. Or let Us give it a more definite and fitting title: your apostolate of charity, truly an apostolate deserving the admiration of all men and which, We are certain, is most pleasing to Him, Whom St. Peter recalls as One Who went about doing good (cfr. Act. 10, 38).

Man is born into Society, as a vital member, to make his contribution, each according to his powers, towards the advancement of the common good. Some, and their number is not small, are heavily handicapped by various physical disabilities, most often come upon them quite apart from their own responsibility, and thus the possible field of their activity is severely narrowed. But it were a grave mistake, as well as a sad lack of Christian charity, for Society simply to discount their contribution. On the contrary, it is for the community to show a special interest in developing their limited abilities and, as far as is possible, placing them where with dignity and uninhibited self-confidence they may gain a livelihood and share the joys of a normal human life.

Your international society is a federation of more than thirty voluntary national organizations dedicated to the rehabilitation of these disabled citizens. The service you render is one that touches every human heart; and while We pray that God may continue to bless and prosper the work, We would use this occasion also once again to express the ardent affection of Our paternal heart for those whom you serve. Be of good courage; sustain your resolution to play your part in making this world a fitter place for God's creatures to dwell in, the while you lift up your eyes to heaven, knowing full well that the God of all love and mercies knows your condition, will measure His de mands by your restricted powers, and that the valiant cheer fulness, with which you accept the restriction and use the powers will have its own reward, when with ineffable joy you posses. Him forever.

It has been pleasant to spend these few minutes with you gentlemen and ladies; and with grateful affection We impart to you, to your dear ones and to all whom your federation serves Our Apostolic Blessing.

*Discorsi e Radiomessaggi di Sua Santità Pio XII, XIX,
 Diciannovesimo anno di Pontificato, 2 marzo 1957-1° marzo 1958, pp. 329-330
 Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana


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