750 years of Amsterdam: a city that lives its faith in the streets

Audience with the Pilgrims of Amsterdam

Vatican Media

This morning, the Holy Father Francis, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, received in audience the pilgrims of Amsterdam, on the occasion of the 750th anniversary of the city.

The Pope, in today’s audience, reminded Dutch pilgrims that churches are places where people of all social and cultural origins gather, addressing them with the following greeting:

Greetings from the Holy Father

Dear brothers and sisters!

I offer a warm welcome to your pilgrimage group from Amsterdam. I greet Bishop Hendriks, Mr Ed Nijpels, the members of the Catholic Foundation for the Promotion of Welfare Work in Amsterdam, the Russell family, the Rector and Choir of Saint Nicholas Basilica and each of one of you individually.

The reason for your visit is the 750th anniversary of the City of Amsterdam, the celebration of which will begin this year. The founding and growth of Amsterdam are linked to our faith and the Catholic Church. A key moment in the city’s history is the Eucharistic miracle that took place in 1345 and is still commemorated today by a silent procession and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Modern Amsterdam is a city where many persons serve the poor and migrants, cooperating with the work of the Sisters of Mother Teresa, the Church’s pastoral outreach to drug addicts, the Sant’Egidio community and a variety of other initiatives.

Your city is also home to people of many different nationalities, called to live together as brothers and sisters. Its churches, in particular, are places where people from all social and cultural backgrounds can come together. I thank you most heartily for your commitment to making this happen!

It is my hope that you will continue to live and work in your magnificent city with God’s blessing, and that, inspired and sustained by the Eucharist, you will keep bearing joyful witness to our faith and to practical love of our neighbour. May your efforts to promote fraternity and solidarity among the people of Amsterdam bear abundant fruit.

I ask the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of all, to strengthen you in faith, hope and charity. I bless you most cordially and I accompany you with my best wishes. And I ask you, please, to pray for me. Thank you!