November 22, 1981

Feast of Christ the King

Pope John Paul II made his first public visit outside of Rome (following his lengthy recuperation from bullet wounds), to the Shrine of Merciful Love in Collevalenza near Todi, Italy. Within a few days, an international congress is to be held to reflect on the Encyclical Dives in Misericordia (Rich in Mercy) one year after its publication. After celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist, he makes a strong public declaration about the importance of the message of mercy:

"A year ago I published the encyclical Dives in Misericordia. This circumstance made me come to the Sanctuary of Merciful Love today. By my presence I wish to reconfirm, in a way, the message of that encyclical. I wish to read it again and deliver it again.

Right from the beginning of my ministry in St. Peter’s See in Rome, I considered this message my special task. Providence has assigned it to me in the present situation of man, the Church and the world. It could be said that precisely this situation assigned that message to me as my task before God."