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For these are the men, through whom the light of Christ’s gospel shone on you, O Rome, and through whom you, who wast the teacher of error, wast made the disciple of Truth. These are your holy Fathers and true shepherds, who gave you claims to be numbered among the heavenly kingdoms, and built you under much better and happier auspices than they, by whose zeal the first foundations of your walls were laid: and of whom the one that gave you your name defiled you with his brother’s blood. These are they who promoted you to such glory, that being made a holy nation, a chosen people, a priestly and royal state 1 Peter 2:9, and the head of the world through the blessed Peter’s holy See you attained a wider sway by the worship of God than by earthly government. For although you were increased by many victories, and extended your rule on land and sea, yet what your toils in war subdued is less than what the peace of Christ has conquered.

– St Leo I the Great

Dear Romans, I am now your Bishop. Thank you for your generosity, thank you for your sympathy, thank you for your patience with me! As Catholics, in some way we are also all Romans. With the words of Psalm 87, a hymn of praise to Zion, mother of all the peoples, Israel sang and the Church sings: “Of Zion they shall say: “One and all were born in her…'” (v. 5). We too can likewise say: as Catholics, in a certain way, we are all born in Rome. Thus, I want to try with all my heart to be your Bishop, the Bishop of Rome. And let us all seek to be more and more Catholic – more and more brothers and sisters in the great family of God, that family where no one is a stranger.

– Benedict XVI

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