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Spiritual Audio: Address of Pope Paul VI to the Legionaries of Christ 2 January 1974
Have you ever heard the voice of Pope Paul VI? In our Spiritual Audio section you can hear him during a General Audience from the year 1974. Here is the translation of his address.

There is another group with us that we greet with great joy. Their numbers are not quite the same as the one we just greeted, but as regards quality I would say that they are comparable. I direct fatherly words of greeting and esteem to a group of newly ordained priests from the Roman college — hear this — of the Legionaries of Christ. What does “Legionaries of Christ” mean? Legionaries of Christ means that they belong to a spiritual and religious family that is not very old, and whose foundation I was aware of as it took place. I remember its first steps. But where are they from? From Mexico! So they truly deserve your applause and greeting. It is truly a highly fruitful land in spiritual and religious life, with the ability that not all of the nations of Latin America possess, not only of living strongly their own faith, but also of spreading it to those around them. They are missionaries, they are outgoing, they are Roman, and in what numbers and with what fervor! So it is right to greet them with special appreciation; but also because they bring here some new priests, new priests ordained some days ago on Christmas Eve, right? And so I greet you as sons and brothers.

There would be much to say to you as young men, as Mexicans and as new priests. For years you have been forming yourselves in prayer, study and meditation for the solemn moment of your definitive self-giving to God and the Church, choosing as the vast and only purpose of your youth and of your entire life: Jesus. But, choosing him from this point of view: militant!

You are Legionaries: that means, not passive onlookers, waiting around to see how things turn out, but people who want to leave their mark on things and give Christianity an expression that is actually its own: militant!

“Legionaries”: that means combatants for the name of Jesus. God bless you and may God preserve this trait in you. You must, you must — yes, the word is a proud one but it’s fine when it refers to Christ — be conquerors, Legionaries to combat and defend, Legionaries to conquer and call other brothers and sisters to the same faith and the same communion in the Lord.

Maintain forever the joy, generosity and enthusiasm of your first Mass. When I celebrated my first Mass — I still remember it — a holy, zealous priest told me this: “My one piece of advice to you is this, celebrate every Mass as if it were your first Mass.” How beautiful! It is always something new that we will never be able to exhaust in our meditation. Therefore I bless each and every one of you personally and as members of the community you belong to; I bless your families, your loved ones and the areas of your country, which is so great, beautiful, young and fruitful; and finally your spiritual family, to which we already owe such gratitude and esteem. With my apostolic blessing.



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