Benedict XVI’s video to the USA before his visit

Here is the text of the Holy Father’s video message to the USA in advance of his visit:



Dear Brothers and Sisters in the United States of America,

The grace and peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you! In just a few days from now, I shall begin my apostolic visit to your beloved country. Before setting off, I would like to offer you a heartfelt greeting and an invitation to prayer. As you know, I shall only be able to visit two cities: Washington and New York. The intention behind my visit, though, is to reach out spiritually to all Catholics in the United States. At the same time, I earnestly hope that my presence among you will be seen as a fraternal gesture towards every ecclesial community, and a sign of friendship for members of other religious traditions and all men and women of good will. The risen Lord entrusted the Apostles and the Church with his Gospel of love and peace, and his intention in doing so was that the message should be passed on to all peoples.

At this point I should like to add some words of thanks, because I am conscious that many people have been working hard for a long time, both in Church circles and in the public services, to prepare for my journey. I am especially grateful to all who have been praying for the success of the visit, since prayer is the most important element of all. Dear friends, I say this because I am convinced that without the power of prayer, without that intimate union with the Lord, our human endeavours would achieve very little. Indeed this is what our faith teaches us. It is God who saves us, he saves the world, and all of history. He is the Shepherd of his people. I am coming, sent by Jesus Christ, to bring you his word of life.

Together with your Bishops, I have chosen as the theme of my journey three simple but essential words: "Christ our hope". Following in the footsteps of my venerable predecessors, Paul VI and John Paul II, I shall come to United States of America as Pope for the first time, to proclaim this great truth: Jesus Christ is hope for men and women of every language, race, culture and social condition. Yes, Christ is the face of God present among us. Through him, our lives reach fullness, and together, both as individuals and peoples, we can become a family united by fraternal love, according to the eternal plan of God the Father. I know how deeply rooted this Gospel message is in your country. I am coming to share it with you, in a series of celebrations and gatherings. I shall also bring the message of Christian hope to the great Assembly of the United Nations, to the representatives of all the peoples of the world. Indeed, the world has greater need of hope than ever: hope for peace, for justice, and for freedom, but this hope can never be fulfilled without obedience to the law of God, which Christ brought to fulfilment in the commandment to love one another. Do to others as you would have them do to you, and avoid doing what you would not want them to do. This "golden rule" is given in the Bible, but it is valid for all people, including non-believers. It is the law written on the human heart; on this we can all agree, so that when we come to address other matters we can do so in a positive and constructive manner for the entire human community.

Dirijo un cordial saludo a los católicos de lengua española y les manifiesto mi cercanía espiritual, en particular a los jóvenes, a los enfermos, a los ancianos y a los que pasan por dificultades o se sienten más necesitados. Les expreso mi vivo deseo de poder estar pronto con Ustedes en esa querida Nación. Mientras tanto, les aliento a orar intensamente por los frutos pastorales de mi inminente Viaje Apostólico y a mantener en alto la llama de la esperanza en Cristo Resucitado.

Dear brothers and sisters, dear friends in the United States, I am very much looking forward to being with you. I want you to know that, even if my itinerary is short, with just a few engagements, my heart is close to all of you, especially to the sick, the weak, and the lonely. I thank you once again for your prayerful support of my mission. I reach out to every one of you with affection, and I invoke upon you the maternal protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Que la Virgen María les acompañe y proteja. Que Dios les bendiga.

May God bless you all.

The incomplete version from the Holy See… do you think they could have put up the whole video?


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. TNCath says:

    You can almost hear the sincerity in his voice as you read this! What a tremendous Servant of the Servants of God! I look forward to his arrival and wish I could be in New York or Washington to see him.

  2. Geoffrey says:

    Does anyone know where to find the actual video online? With no voice-overs, etc.?

  3. Geoffrey says:

    Found it! From CNN:

  4. Boko Fittleworth says:

    I could have done without the bow to the altar of multiculturalism. Eventually, the Church is going to have to choose. Dios mio!

  5. Lauren says:

    Thank you Fr. Z for posting a video to go along w/ this & thank you Geoffrey as well. Viva Papa!!!

  6. John Henry says:

    Choose what, Boko? English or Spanish?

  7. Michael C. says:

    I always hate hearing gender inclusive language coming from the Pope. “Men of goodwill” still means what it did 50 or 100 years ago. We don’t need to say “men and women” or “humankind.” When we do, we’re subscribing to the ridiculous feminist theory that traditional language is inherently “sexist” and needs to be revised.

  8. Bill says:

    Michael C.: “I always hate hearing gender inclusive language coming from the Pope.”

    MY GOODNESS. Complaints, complaints, complaints. We should all be happy the Pope made a video message. I also notice how Michael didn’t say one positive thing about what the Pope actually said.

    I hope and pray we will actually LISTEN to what the Pope says during this visit.

  9. Michael C. says:


    We’ve all read it, probably all looked at the video, someone already said something flattering about it. Why would I restate what he said? There’s nothing worth writing home about in this speech, and I don’t see why discussion on anything the Pope does can’t move beyond simplistic compliments and praise.

    I do think the Pope’s choice of words in all his speeches speaks to a larger trend in modern Catholicism to follow the example of the world whenever it doesn’t mean renouncing the faith, like adopting gender inclusive language for example, or appropriating the secular language of human rights and social justice.

  10. Ben says:

    Boko, I wonder if you realize that the Church is universal, and therefore multinational.

    Also keep in mind that the Pope is trying to reach out to as many Catholics (and non-Catholics) in the US as he can; it so happens that both English and Spanish are the two most frequently used languages here. I believe he’s trying to be pastoral, not political.

  11. Transitional Deacon says:

    I love hearing the Pope speak English. The only thing funnier (in a good way) is hearing him speak Spanish with a German accent!

    I thought the proper form was “Dios los bendiga”, but I see it both ways often. Anyone know if one way is “more proper” than the other?

  12. mpm says:

    The USCCB has a website set up for the trip, and a video of “greeting”,
    but still not the Pope’s own video message:

    How did CNN get it before the USCCB?

  13. Manuel says:

    Transitional Deacon,

    Both forms are acceptable. “Les” is usually used when speaking about people. “Dios les bendiga”, then, is fine.

    And yes, I too giggle inside (in a good way), when I hear our Pope speak Spanish.

    ¡Viva el Papa!

  14. Jeff says:

    Michael C. :

    Think again:

    O filii et filiae,
    Rex caelestis, Rex gloriae
    morte surrexit hodie!

  15. Fr. B. Pedersen says:

    I think that if they are going to use media in this manner they should consider investing in a teleprompter.

  16. Emilio III says:

    Transitional Deacon,

    His accent in Spanish sounded quite nice to me, not as strong as in English.

    According to the DRAE Les is dative (from Lat. illis). Los is accusative (from Lat. illos). Les sounds better, but I tend to say los, probably because it follows Dios.

  17. Melody says:

    I have been praying for a visit to the US for the last several years, so I am grateful. And now, well, I never realized Papa Benedetto had such a gentle voice. He sounds so paternal…
    I am also grateful for the Gospel message laced so thoroughly throughout that there is no story without at least relaying “Christ Our Hope.”

    Mike, kindly see this line, ” Indeed, the world has greater need of hope than ever:hope for peace, for justice, and for freedom, but this hope can never be fulfilled without obedience to the law of God, which Christ brought to fulfilment in the commandment to love one another.”

    How is that pandering to secularism? Also, such phrases as “men and women” are now standard English in the US. The past few generations have learned the usage growing up and adopted it in daily speech, but not necessarily the feminist ideals associated with it.

    Though I did giggle at “luff and peace.” I agree, his Spanish is better. It’s probably much easier for him since he speaks Italian.

  18. Michael C. says:


    And the Sarum Rite prayed “orate fratres et sorores.” What’s your point? This is a speech he’s giving, not a traditional Easter hymn. When the Pope changes idiomatic expressions to make them gender inclusive, that’s a sure sign he’s using gender inclusive language. “Brethren” becomes “Brother and sisters” and “men of goodwill” becomes “men and women of goodwill.” I can’t wait to see what they’ve done with the Mass translations.

  19. Michael C. says:

    I really don’t mean to beat this point to death, but I thought this was interesting. As for phrases like “men and women” being standard in modern English, a Google search for “men of good will” got 131,000 hits. “Men and women of good will,” only 34,000. For most American’s the latter sounds odd, kind of like “lay person,” instead of the traditional “layman” which seems to still be common outside of Catholic circles.

  20. gsk says:

    With all due respect, Father Pedersen, I’m highly impressed that he made a video at all. For all those who say that this pope could never rank with JP2, or was [God forbid!] just a filler because of his age, he has won so many hearts and mind by simply being himself. And “himself” is a bit “clunky,” which is as it should be. Could this be an indication of his prescience, in which he knows that he has to fight spin and static? He simply cuts to the chase and uploads a piece on you-tube. Brilliant.

  21. Melody says:

    Michael C, “men of good will” is a direct quote from the King James Bible, so of course there would be more hits when you put it in quotes. Google hits prove nothing about modern speech given the wide access to historical documents online. But, it is a rare occasion when I have heard the word “men” used to refer to both genders, and even then it was often when paraphrasing the Bible. Though informally, people here say “you guys” to refer to both genders.

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