The Supreme Pontiff John Paul II has approved this "Ratio
fundamentalis institutionis diaconorum permanentium", and ordered it to
89. The Didascalia Apostolorum recommends to the deacons
of the first century: "As our Savior and Master said in the Gospel: let
he who wishes to be great among you, make himself your servant, in the
same way as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and give
his life as a ransom for many, you deacons must do the same, even if that
means giving your life for your brothers and sisters, because of the service
which you are bound to fulfil".(92) This invitation is most appropriate
also for those who are called today to the diaconate, and urges them to
prepare themselves with great dedication for their future ministry.
90. May the Episcopal Conferences and Ordinaries of the
whole world, to whom the present document is given, ensure that it becomes
an object of attentive reflection in communion with their priests and communities.
It will be an important point of reference for those Churches in which
the permanent diaconate is a living and active reality; for the others,
it will be an effective invitation to appreciate the value of that precious
gift of the Spirit which is diaconal service.
Rome, given at the Offices of the Congregations, 22
February 1998, Feast of the Chair of Peter.
Pio Card. Laghi
+ José Saraiva Martins
Titular Archbishop of Tuburnica