VATICAN: POPE VISITS OLDEST UNIVERSITY VIA LIVE VIDEO
RADIO VATICANA: Pope beams in to Asia's oldest Catholic university
Pope Benedict XVI celebrated the 400th birthday of Asia’a oldest Catholic University Friday with a special video message for its past and present students. The University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines, has also been recognized by the Vatican as a pontifical university. The Holy Father’s message was played during a mass that marked the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, held at the University’s Grandstand and Open Ground, where two other popes had celebrated masses. Below we publish the full text and audio of the papal message:
Your Eminences, Your Excellencies, Dear Friends, I am pleased to send my warm greetings to the students, staff and alumni of the PontificaI University of Santo Tomas as you celebrate the four-hundredth anniversary of its foundation. This is a signifìcant event in the lire of the Church and, although I cannot be with you physicalIy, I am happy to speak to you personalIy in this way, to unite myself to you spiritualIy, and to offer alI of you my affectionate congratulations on this happy occasion. It is with thanksgiving that I recall the many clergy, religious and laity who, at Santo Tomas, have handed down to generations of Filipinos the faith, knowledge and wisdom to be found in the religious and secular sciences. In particular, I salute the memory of your founder, Bishop Miguel de Benavides, and the great commitment of the Dominicans who have guided the institution through the many challenges of the past four centuries. As you know, the University of Santo Tomas is the oldest institution of Catholic higher education in the Far East and it continues to play a very important role in the Church throughout the region. I am confident that, keeping in mind the faith and reason that are always part of a truly integrated approach to education, your University wilI continue to contribute to the intellectual, spiritual and cultural enrichment of the Philippines and beyond. I also pray that you will always seek a knowledge of matters human and divine in the light of that ultimate clarity found in the person of Jesus Christ (cf. Jn 8: 12). Invoking the wise intercession of your heavenly patron, Saint Thomas Aquinas, I wilIingly impart to you my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of grace and peace.