Citizenship must be considered today within the context of globalization, which is characterized, among other things, by large migration flows. Faced with this reality, as I mentioned above, it is necessary to combine solidarity and respect for the law, lest they upset social life, and the principles of law and cultural and even religious tradition which formed the Italian nation must be taken into account. This need is felt especially by you, as local administrators, closer to people's daily lives. A special dedication to the public service of citizens is always required of you, [in order] to be promoters of cooperation, solidarity, and humanity. History has left us an example of Mayors whose prestige and commitment marked the life of the community: you rightly mentioned the figure of [the Servant of God] Giorgio La Pira, an exemplary Christian and an esteemed public administrator. May this tradition continue to bear fruit for the good of the country and its citizens! For this I assure you of my prayers, and I urge you, distinguished friends, to trust the Lord, because - as the Psalm says - "unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman guards in vain" (127.1).
March 12, 2011