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Monday, 16 November 1964 


Venerable Brothers and beloved sons,

It is with particular joy that We bless and inaugurate this new seat of the Scots College in Rome. Founded by Our Predecessor Pope Clement the Eighth, it has migrated from Via del Tritone to Via Felice, from Via Quattro Fontane to this new location on the ancient Via Cassia. For nearly four centuries, however, its aim and mission have remained unaltered: the preparation and provision of priests for Scotland, as determined by Our Predecessor and namesake, Pope Paul the Fifth.

Under Scottish and Italian Fathers of the Society of Jesus, and for the past century and a half under Scottish diocesan priests, the College has been a fruitful provider of missioners and pastors, and a centre of Scottish life in the Eternal City. We pray that its beneficent activities may continue, ever more efficaciously and successfully, in this new building with its handsome facilities and adornment.

The Right Reverend Rector has beautifully said just now that «The rebuilding of this College is a proof of the fidelity of the Catholic Scots to the Pope, a sign of their desire to remain closely united to the Holy See».

We welcome these devoted sentiments, and accept with pleasure the promise they express. We, however, can affirm, in Our turn, that this centuries-old College, now built anew, presents itself as a proof of the fidelity of the Pope to the Catholic Scots, a sign of His esteem, of His confidence, of His interest, of His love for your dear and noble land.

We had the good fortune of visiting Scotland briefly, thirty years ago; and We have cherished an indelible memory, not only of its natural beauties and industrious cities and towns, but especially of the goodness of its inhabitants, and of the strong, sincere religious piety of the Scottish Catholics. We gladly take this occasion to send to your Dioceses and to all the Catholic communities of Scotland Our affectionate greetings and Our best wishes. Indeed, We extend Our prayerful wishes to all of Scotland, to its people, ever distinguished by deep religious feeling, and to its authorities.

Beloved sons, chosen by your Bishops to study in Apostolic Rome, We urge you to employ well the time you spend here. Study and pray; pray to your national Patron, Saint Andrew, who - with John the Evangelist - was the first to follow Christ, and who then told his brother, Simon: «"We have found the Messias". And he led him to Jesus» (Jn. i. 41-42). So you must follow Jesus in your own lives, and, returning to your beloved fatherland, work to bring others to Christ, leading them on by your word and example. In this regard, We rejoice that relations between Catholics and non-Catholics in Scotland are ever more cordial and friendly, and We bless the closer union in charity and love between all followers of Jesus Christ.

In His Name, We bestow from Our heart upon all of you here present, upon your families and loved ones at home, and upon all the Scottish people, Our paternal Apostolic Blessing.


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