A radio broadcast at 6:00 P.M. on August 6, 1978 brought to our Fatherland the sad news of Pope Paul VI's death.
Though living behind the Iron Curtain, we, the Catholics of Lithuania, are well acquainted with this great giant of the Christian spirit, this zealous and courageous defender of God's affairs in this stormy era of intellectual and spiritual crisis. The late pope's
Easter greeting in Lithuanian "Su šventomis Velykomis" (A blessed Easter) still rings in our hearts. We are eternally grateful to Paul VI for allowing the Martyrs' Chapel to be established under St. Peter's Basilica and blessing the Blessed Mother's picture. The missals and breviaries given us by Pope Paul VI continually remind us of his fatherly concern.
The Catholics of Lithuania pray for the deceased Vicar of Christ and believe that he will be a zealous advocate of the Church in heaven.
Our message is late in reaching the free world, but through prayer we always share in the Church's misfortunes and joys.
We pray the Almighty that a courageous, determined and holy pope be chosen as the new shepherd of the Church, whose heart will echo our suffering and struggle against our nation's forcible deprivation of faith.
On this special occasion we wish to express the Lithuanian nation's complete loyalty and filiai devotion to the Apostles' Throne.
The Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania is asking Lithuanians living abroad to transmit this letter to Cardinal Villot.