Pope’s talk at evening prayer service in Prague

VATICAN CITY — Here is the Vatican’s English translation of Pope Benedict XVI’s talk Saturday at a vespers service at the St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague, the Czech Republic:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I greet all of you in the words of Saint Paul that we have just heard in our Scripture reading: Grace and peace to you from God our Father! First of all I address these words to the Cardinal Archbishop, whom I thank for his gracious words. I extend my greeting to the other Cardinals and Bishops present, to the priests and deacons, the seminarians, men and women religious, to the catechists and pastoral workers, to the young people, the families, and to the representatives of ecclesial associations and movements.

We are gathered this evening in a place that is dear to you, a place that is a visible sign of the power of divine grace acting in the hearts of believers. Continue reading

Pope’s speech to political leaders in Prague

VATICAN CITY — Here is the Vatican text of Pope Benedict XVI’s speech Saturday to political and government leaders and diplomats at the presidential palace in Prague, the Czech Republic:

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am grateful for the opportunity to meet, in such a remarkable setting, the political and civil authorities of the Czech Republic and the members of the diplomatic community. I warmly thank President Klaus for his kind words of greeting in your name. I also express my appreciation to the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra for the musical performance which opened our gathering, and which eloquently expressed both the roots of Czech culture and the outstanding contribution which this nation has made to European culture.

My pastoral visit to the Czech Republic coincides with the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the totalitarian regimes in Central and Eastern Europe, and the “Velvet Revolution” which restored democracy to this nation. Continue reading

Pope’s words after visit to Infant of Prague

VATICAN CITY — Here is the Vatican’s English translation of Pope Benedict XVI’s Italian-language remarks Saturday during a visit to venerate the Infant of Prague at the Church of Our Lady of Victory in Prague, the Czech Republic:

Dear Cardinals,

Your Excellencies,

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Dear Children,

I greet all of you warmly and I want you to know what joy it gives me to visit this Church, dedicated to Our Lady of Victory, where the faithful venerate the statue of the Infant Jesus, known throughout the world as the “Holy Infant of Prague”. I thank Archbishop Jan Graubner, President of the Episcopal Conference, for his words of welcome spoken on behalf of all the Bishops. I offer respectful greetings to the Mayor and to the other civil and religious authorities present at this gathering. I greet you, dear families, who have come in such large numbers to be here with me. Continue reading

Pope’s arrival speech in the Czech Republic

VATICAN CITY — Here is the Vatican text of Pope Benedict XVI’s speech upon his arrival Saturday at the Ruzyne International Airport in Prague, the Czech Republic. The initial and closing lines, delivered in Czech, were translated into English:

Mr President, Dear Cardinals, Brother Bishops, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great joy to be here with you today in the Czech Republic, and I am most grateful to all of you for the warmth of your welcome.

Continue reading