This weekend, Pope Benedict XVI met with members of the General Inspectorate for Public Security at the Vatican, which oversees police and security in St. Peter’s Square. He praised the group for their work during the death and funeral of Pope John Paul II and for their “spirit of sacrifice,” which can be an example to the world.
The meeting is an annual tradition for the Pope, who met with the group at St. Peter’s on Saturday.
The Holy Father told the inspectorate that safety and order "require technical and professional training, coupled with no small amount of patience, constant vigilance and a spirit of sacrifice."
He then commended "the great efforts" made by the Inspectorate and other members of the Italian armed forces during the period of the illness, death and funeral of John Paul II, "and on the occasion of my own election to the See of Peter.
“I take this opportunity”, he said, “to renew my collaborators' and my own thanks to all those people who, in those historic circumstances, contributed to ensuring that everything proceeded in an orderly and tranquil fashion; the entire world was able to admire the efficiency of the organization."
The Pope then went on to emphasize the importance of "always working in a spirit of harmony and true cooperation."
"Families, communities, organizations of all kinds, States, and the world itself”, he said, would be better if, like a healthy and well-composed body, all members conscientiously and altruistically carried out their duties, however large or small they may be."
The Holy Father concluded his brief address by asking those present to "…open [their] hearts to Christ, and faithfully welcome His Gospel, a precious rule of life for those people who are searching for the true significance of human existence."