Karol Wojtyla (1920 – 2005)
An Important and Distinguished City (1986)
It is with great emotion that I make my first contact with the city of Ravenna, famous for the memory of a glorious past and for the wonderful monuments which adorn its squares and boroughs, but distinguished above all for the talent of its inhabitants, who, in the course of the centuries, have made their city’s name renowned throughout the world. It was this city which saw the twilight of the Roman Empire (...); it was in this city that the providential fusion of the youthful energy of barbarian peoples and the cultural riches of the Roman genius began to take place; it was from this city that the early witnesses to the Christian faith ventured into the surrounding regions.
From Pope John Paul II’s speech to the citizens of Ravenna, Piazza del Popolo, May 10, 1986.
Translated by Sara Trevisan