“In His Name, We bestow from Our heart upon all of you here present, upon your families and loved ones at home, and upon all the Scottish people, Our paternal Apostolic Blessing.”
The community of the Pontifical Scots College celebrates with joy the canonisation of Pope Paul VI.
Fifty-four years ago, on the Feast of St Margaret, the new Saint formally opened the new College building on the Via Cassia, where the community still resides today. On that day, His Holiness remarked, “It is with particular joy that We bless and inaugurate this new seat of the Scots College in Rome.” He added that for over four centuries, “its aim and mission have remained unaltered: the preparation and provision of priests for Scotland.”
Pope Saint Paul VI called the College a “a fruitful provider of missioners and pastors” and a “centre of Scottish life in the Eternal City.” He insisted that the new building was an affirmation of papal fidelity to, and a sign of His own love for, the “dear and noble land” of Scotland.
Before imparting His Apostolic Blessing upon the members of the community, their families, and all the Scottish people, the Pontiff remembered fondly His own visit to Scotland thirty years earlier. He donated a chalice to the College, which was used at Mass that day and has been used on special occasions since.
The former Archbishop of Milan was declared a Saint by his successor, Pope Francis, at a Mass in St Peter’s Square on Sunday 14th October 2018. He was canonised alongside six others: Oscar Romero, Vincent Romano, Francesco Spinelli, Nunzio Sulprizio, Nazaria Ignacia March Mesa and Maria Katharina Kasper.
Below, the entire text of Pope Saint Paul VI’s speech can be read.
INAUGURATION OF THE NEW SEAT OF THE SCOTS COLLEGE IN ROME
ADDRESS OF PAUL VI
Monday, 16 November 1964
Venerable Brothers and beloved sons,
Under Scottish and Italian Fathers of the Society of Jesus, and for the past century and a half under Scottish diocesan priests, the College has been a fruitful provider of missioners and pastors, and a centre of Scottish life in the Eternal City. We pray that its beneficent activities may continue, ever more efficaciously and successfully, in this new building with its handsome facilities and adornment.
The Right Reverend Rector has beautifully said just now that «The rebuilding of this College is a proof of the fidelity of the Catholic Scots to the Pope, a sign of their desire to remain closely united to the Holy See».
We welcome these devoted sentiments, and accept with pleasure the promise they express. We, however, can affirm, in Our turn, that this centuries-old College, now built anew, presents itself as a proof of the fidelity of the Pope to the Catholic Scots, a sign of His esteem, of His confidence, of His interest, of His love for your dear and noble land.
We had the good fortune of visiting Scotland briefly, thirty years ago; and We have cherished an indelible memory, not only of its natural beauties and industrious cities and towns, but especially of the goodness of its inhabitants, and of the strong, sincere religious piety of the Scottish Catholics. We gladly take this occasion to send to your Dioceses and to all the Catholic communities of Scotland Our affectionate greetings and Our best wishes. Indeed, We extend Our prayerful wishes to all of Scotland, to its people, ever distinguished by deep religious feeling, and to its authorities.
Beloved sons, chosen by your Bishops to study in Apostolic Rome, We urge you to employ well the time you spend here. Study and pray; pray to your national Patron, Saint Andrew, who – with John the Evangelist – was the first to follow Christ, and who then told his brother, Simon: «”We have found the Messiah”. And he led him to Jesus» (Jn. i. 41-42). So you must follow Jesus in your own lives, and, returning to your beloved fatherland, work to bring others to Christ, leading them on by your word and example. In this regard, We rejoice that relations between Catholics and non-Catholics in Scotland are ever more cordial and friendly, and We bless the closer union in charity and love between all followers of Jesus Christ.
In His Name, We bestow from Our heart upon all of you here present, upon your families and loved ones at home, and upon all the Scottish people, Our paternal Apostolic Blessing.