The Church is a community of believers called to the ‘youthfulness of holiness’, to the universal call to holiness. Now, it is time that that call be made again with strength and reach every believer. It is already time for that call to inspire new models of holiness, because Europe above all needs that particular holiness that the present moment requires, original therefore, and in some way, without precedent.
People who are capable of ‘building bridges’ are needed in order to join together ever more the Churches and the peoples of Europe and to reconcile souls. ‘Fathers’ and ‘mothers’ who are open to life and to the gift of life are needed; husbands and wives who witness to and celebrate the beauty of human love blessed by God; people capable of cultural dialogue and of ‘cultural charity’, for the transmission of the Christian message by means of the languages of our society; professionals and simple people who are capable of imprinting on their civil life and on their working relationships and friendships the transparency of the truth and the intensity of Christian charity; women who can rediscover in the Christian faith the possibility of living fully their feminine genius; priests with a big heart, like that of the Good Shepherd; permanent deacons who proclaim the Word and the freedom of service to the poorest; consecrated apostles with the ability to immerse themselves in the world and in history with a contemplative’s heart, and mystics so familiar with the mystery of God as to know how to celebrate the experience of the divine and show God present in the events of life. Europe needs confessors; of the faith and of the beauty of believing; witnesses who would be credible believers, courageous even to the shedding of blood; virgins who would be so not only for themselves, but who could point out to all that virginity which is in the heart of each one and which leads immediately to the Eternal, the source of all love.
Our continent is eager not only for holy people, but for holy communities, so enamoured of the Church and the world as to know how to present to the world itself a free, open and dynamic Church, which is present in the modern history of Europe, close to the agonies of the people, welcoming towards all, promoting of justice, caring for the poor, not preoccupied by her smaller numbers nor with placing limits on her action, not frightened by the climate of social de-Christianisation (real but perhaps not so radical and general) nor by the (often only apparent) scarcity of results. This will be the new holiness which can re-evangelise Europe and build a new Europe!”