At the conclusion of the Mass in Lisbon, the Holy Father spoke in
commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the founding of Christ the King
Shrine in Almada.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
At this moment, I look across to the other bank of the
Tagus, towards the imposing statue of Christ the King, as we approach
the end of the celebrations of its fiftieth anniversary. While it has
not been possible to visit the shrine, as Bishop Gilberto of Setúbal
would have wished – I take the opportunity from here to point out to the
younger generation the example of hope in God and fidelity to their vow
that the Bishops and faithful Christians of that time left us in this
sculpture, a sign of their love and gratitude for the preservation of
peace in Portugal. The image of Christ extends his arms over the whole
of Portugal, as if to remind it of the Cross on which Jesus obtained the
peace of the world and showed himself to be both King and servant, since
he is the true Saviour of mankind.
Let this shrine become ever more a place in which every
member of the faithful can assess how deeply rooted the values of the
Kingdom of Christ are in his life of baptismal consecration, for the
building up of love, justice and peace through engagement in society in
favour of the poor and oppressed, so as to focus the spirituality of
Christian communities upon Christ, the Lord and Judge of history.
Upon all who work and serve in the Shrine of Christ the
King, upon its pilgrims and upon all the faithful of the Diocese of
Setúbal I invoke abundant heavenly blessings of hope and lasting peace
in the hearts of individuals, in families and in society.
[Vatican Press Office; Original: Portuguese]