The Beatification 3rd September 2000
Speeches / Homelies
Speech of welcome to guests at Minister's reception at Irish Embassy to the Holy See
4 September 2000 (english)
Mr. Minister and Mrs Woods,
Yours excellencies, Your Graces,
Monsignori, Rev. Fathers
and Friends of the Blessed Columba Marmion
from Ireland, Belgium, America and here in Rome.
First of all, I wish to thank the Irish government for sending the Minister of Education and the Sciences, to represent them at the Beatification celebrations. Mr. Minister Woods, I hope you will assure the Taoiseach and the Irish government, that we have been honoured by your presence and that of Mrs. Woods, among us here in Rome. The Blessed Columba Marmion was born in Dublin and remained very much an Irishman throughout his life. He loved Ireland and called himself an Irish patriot. His beatification will bring honour and blessings to our country. We thank you Mr. Minister, for your personal interest in Blessed Columba and the kind words you have offered us this evening.
These past few days in Rome have been memorable in more ways than one. We came here for a Beatification, but have been showed with generosity, friendship and good will from all sides. It has been quite overwhelming. On behalf of the Postulator and the Vice-Postulators, I wish to offer our best thanks to the Irish and Belgian Ambassadors to the Holy See, and to the Vice-Rector and the priests of the Irish College, Rome, for the wonderful receptions they have given to us and all the Marmion Pilgrims. Thank you for your interest and for all the hard work involved in preparing such princely entertainments. You have provided us with a forum for meeting one another and sharing our experiences.
I would like to think that Marmion transcended any national boundaries. He was more than just an Irishman, more than a Belgian. He was a European. He was one of the new Europeans, who offered us a new formula for understanding our religion, understanding our God, understanding our world, and not least of all, understanding one another.
I know that yesterday in St. Peters's Square, when the large Icon of Dom Marmion was unfurled, it brought tears to many. For me, that was the high moment of the ceremony ... as Marmion looked down on us, looked down on Rome, looked down on the world through the television cameras. He has arrived. May we be true to his example, to his message, true to his spirit. May we hope that in the not too distant future, we will gather again here in Rome to attend his canonisation, and witness him being declared a Doctor of the Church.
Thank you all for making these days so memorable and so happy for us.
May God and Blessed Columba Marmion bless you.Next