Addresses, Speeches, Homilies 1984

Radio Message from Pope John Paul II, Flying Over Gaspé


Hail, Cross of Jesus, sign of our hope.

Hail, Cross of Gaspé.

Here 450 years ago Jacques Cartier raised the Cross.

Here, in the presence of the first inhabitants of this land, he knelt together with his men to venerate the standard of our salvation.

Here he opened a new chapter in the history of the world and of the Church.

Cross of Gaspé, guide our steps towards the Lord.

On this day it is with a full heart that I pay tribute to the dauntless faith of those men and women who, following Jacques Cartier, were willing to cross the seas to establish the faith and the Church in Canada.

Greetings to you, Canadian men and women, and more particularly to you the people of Gaspé, whose life is so intimately bound to the soil, the forest and the sea.

Greetings to you Amerindians and Inuit who have lived here since time immemorial. May you always live in the full recognition of your dignity and of your rights.

I call to mind all the great pioneers who contributed to the building of this wide, prosperous and peaceful country. Let us pray God that it will keep on growing in the light of the Cross, which is still for its inhabitants a “tree of life” (Ap 2,7). To all, I offer my blessing.

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
Conférence des évêques catholiques du Canada