Pope Benedict XVI Meets with Seminarians

[From the Vatican Web site]

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Cologne – Saint Pantaleon
Friday, 19 August 2005

Dear Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood,
Dear Seminarians,

I greet all of you with great affection and gratitude for your festive welcome and particularly for the fact that you have come to this gathering from so many countries the world over. Here we are truly a spectacular image of the Catholic Church in the world.

I thank especially the seminarian, the priest and the Bishop who have given us their own personal witness. I must say that I was moved to see these paths on which the Lord has guided these men in an unexpected way and not according to their own projects.

I cordially thank you and am very pleased to have this meeting. I had asked – and this has already been said – that the programme of these days in Cologne should include a special meeting with young seminarians, so that the vocational dimension would truly emerge in all of its importance, since it plays an evermore important role in the World Youth Days. It seems to be that the rain too that is falling down from heaven is a blessing.

You are seminarians, that is to say, young people devoting an intense period of your lives to seeking a personal relationship with Christ, an encounter with him, in preparation for your important mission in the Church. This is what a seminary is: more than a place, it is a significant time in the life of a follower of Jesus.

I can imagine the echo that resounds in your hearts from the words of the theme of this 20th World Youth Day – “We have come to worship him” – and the entire moving narration of the searching and finding of the Wise Men. Each in his own way – we consider the three witnesses we have just heard – like them, they see a star, set out on their journey, they too must face what is unclear and are able to arrive at their destination under God’s guidance. (more…)