Today, wonder and gratitude continue to echo in the hearts of each of us for the splendid day we spent yesterday. Our pilgrimage to the Basilicas of Sts. Peter and Paul, our visit to the gardens of the papal residence in Castel Gandolfo, and our meeting with the sisters of our Albano hospital community were all particularly intense and deeply-moving moments.
To focus on just one element of the days itinerary, we can cite our prayer at the tomb of the Apostle Paul, where we each received the gift of a pena symbol of creative fidelity to our charism, which asks us to transform our life and words into a proclamation of the Gospel. This gesture re-evoked that of our Founder, Fr. James Alberione, who brought a group of Daughters of St. Paul to the Basilica of St. Paul in 1939 and, while praying with them before the tomb of the Apostle, gave each of them a gold pen, symbolically placing in their hands the Institutes mission of evangelization.
And now, today, we are living a very special time. In silence and prayer, we are preparing to elect the Superior General and her council, and we ask all of you to remember this important event in your prayers.
As we get ready to welcome the new Superior General, we want to warmly thank Sr. M. Antonieta Bruscato and her governing team for their guidance of the Congregation over the past six years. We are sincerely grateful to all of them of their generous and passionate service of the Institute, for the way in which they listened to the sisters, for the steadfastness with which they accompanied and supported us, helping us remain faithful to the Pauline charism, and for the tireless way they carried out their service in their many travels around the world.
Today, we also want to unite ourselves to Pope Francis in praying and fasting for peace in Syria.
Ariccia, 7 September 2013