Papal thanks for Jubilee volunteers
On Sunday, Pope John Paul II offered his thanks and praise to the 70,000 volunteers who helped greet pilgrims in Rome during the Jubilee year.
During the Angelus audience, the Pope proclaimed 2001 as "the international year of volunteerism." He paid tribute to all people who work as volunteers, especially those who serve the poor. He urged them to "recognise every person as a brother to be loved and served," and said that in this way they could be "builders of the civilization of love."
Turning his attention to those who had already volunteered for the Jubilee, the Holy Father echoed the sentiments of Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, who-- during a Mass celebrated for the volunteers earlier that day in St. Peter's Basilica-- had said they were a "living image" of the Jubilee spirit.
About 8,000 Jubilee volunteers were in St. Peter's Square for the papal audience, clad in their distinctive bright blue vests. Jubilee organisers reported that a grand total of 69,272 had served as volunteers during some part of the year. Those volunteers included people of all ages and states of life.