Cardinal Rigali: Be Proud of Your Tradition of Faith
Prachatice: At the beginning of the press conference of the National Pilgrimage in Honour of St. John Nepomucene Neumann, the mayor of Prachatice Martin Malý thanked everyone involved in the two-year preparations of the celebrations. He also appreciated the good relationship between the municipality and the Church that has enabled such great celebration, and he thanked the Church for its role in the town’s life, especially for lending St. James church for cultural purposes and allowing access to the church tower to visitors of Prachatice.
Cardinal Rigali described Prachatice as inspiring both with its historical significance and in a view of the cooperation between the Church and local intitutions. In this context, he also praised the wonderful spirit of Prachatice citizens. Speaking about St. John Nepomucene Neumann, the Cardinal remarked that the Saint is a great example not only of Christian life but also of a Bishop’s service which is very demanding and St. John handled it superbly. He mentioned the Saint’s fervor for the needs of others with which he offered all of his talent – he even learned Irish Gaelic in order to understand better the then numerous Irish immigrants in his diocese.
In conclusion, the guests present heard out the personal message of the Papal Legate to the Czech faithful who are in minority in their country. “First of all, be proud. Be proud of the tradition of faith. So many people in your country have been able to live our Holy Catholic faith so well! Look at John Neumann, look at how he lived the Good News. It will sustain you in difficult times,” encouraged Cardinal Rigali.
The Bishop of Budweis, Jiří Paďour, then thanked the guests present for their particiption and invited them to the Papal blessing Cardinal Rigali was to bestow upon the pilgrims at 3 p.m. that day in St. James church.