To the Most Reverend Henry Sebastian D’Souza
Archbishop of Calcutta
On the occasion of the Fourth Centenary of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Bandel, I send warm greetings to you and the priests, religious and lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Calcutta. In a special way, I am spiritually close to all present at the Solemn Novena marking the close of the year dedicated to the celebration of this significant anniversary.
It is only right to look back in pride over the four hundred year history of this church and to give thanks to Almighty God for all He has done for those who turned to Him in confidence in good times and in bad. Today we marvel at how Christ’s saving Gospel has taken root in the local Christian communities from the small seed sown here four centuries ago and, in gratitude, we ask the Saviour to continue to look after his people and to bless them.
In a particular way, our thoughts turn to Mary, the Mother of the Redeemer, who is venerated at Bandel as the Lady of Happy Voyage. May she continue to protect and intercede for those who come and pray in Bandel. Inspired by her example may they commit themselves a new to building up the civilization of love, “founded on the universal values of peace, solidarity, justice and liberty” (Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 52), so the Third Christian Millennium will truly be a new springtime of the Gospel in the Archdiocese of Calcutta.
Entrusting you all to the maternal protection of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing
Blessing from St. John Paul II