Farewell address of the Holy Father at the International Airport of
São Paulo/Guarulhos, Sunday, 13 May 2007.
Mr. Vice President,
As I take leave of this blessed land of Brazil, a hymn of gratitude
to the Most High rises up in my soul. He has granted me an intense
and unforgettable stay in your country, with my gaze fixed on the
Senhora Aparecida who, from her shrine, has presided over the
beginnings of the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin
America and the Caribbean.
The signs of enthusiasm and the deep piety of this people of the
Land of the Holy Cross will remain for ever impressed in my memory.
Together with so many pilgrims from the length and breadth of the
Continent of Hope, they have given whole-hearted proof of their
faith in Christ and their love for the Successor of Peter. I pray
that the Lord will assist religious and civil leaders to give
renewed impulse to the initiatives that are awaited by all for the
common good of the great Latin American family.
With deep gratitude, I extend my farewell greetings to His
Excellency, the President of the Republic, to the Government of this
Nation and of the State of Sno Paulo, as well as to the other
Brazilian Authorities who have offered me so many gestures of
courtesy during these days.
I am also grateful to the consular Authorities whose diligent work
facilitated in no small measure the participation of the different
Nations in these days of reflection, prayer and commitment for the
common good of all taking part in this great event.
With particular fraternal esteem and profound gratitude, I greet the
Members of the College of Cardinals present, and my brothers in the
Episcopate, as well as the priests, deacons, religious men and women
and the organizers of the Conference. You have all contributed to
the splendour of these days, filling those taking part with joy and
hope — gaudium et spes! — for the Christian family and for its
mission in society.
Be assured: I carry you all with me in my heart, and from the depths
of my heart I impart a blessing to you, which I extend to all the
peoples of Latin America and the world.
Thank you very much!
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