His Holiness John Paul II, on May 27, 1989, addressed these words to 10,000 children of the Armata Bianca present in Nervi Hall:

Dearest children,

I am very happy to see that you are so numerous and joyful and I greet you all with great affection.

You belong to that special association of prayer and apostolate which is called Armata Bianca, because you are consecrated to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.

You have come from many Italian cities and you are accompanied by some Bishops, whom I greet fraternally, and I am grateful to them, as I am to all of you. My greetings go also to all those who have organized this encounter, to your family and to your animators.

I especially thank the Lord, who gave you a great and simple, yet also fervent and deep, faith. Jesus said for all of you: “Let the little children come to me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the Kingdom of God” (Lk 18,16).

You know the obligations of your association: to consecrate yourselves to God the Father and Mary, by committing yourselves to the recitation of the Rosary, with the particular intention of reparation and prayer for the conversion of many to the Christian message.

I urge you to be faithful to this task, uniting the witness of goodness to prayer. The world needs your goodness and your innocence in order to rediscover the way to Christ and to escape from many situations of moral poverty.

My dearest ones, proclaim the value of goodness, especially with the power of generosity and grace, with a great, generous friendship with Jesus Christ. Today humanity feels a great need for this kind of message, perhaps even a great nostalgia and an urgent desire. Therefore be faithful to your commitment to prayer and to the devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. You know well that Mary’s message and invitation to the children of Fatima is basically this: “pray, pray a lot and make sacrifices for sinners”.

Today I would also like to leave you a memento of this visit, and I do so with some advice: Be faithful to the encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist, by participating with joy in Sunday and Holy Day Mass. Jesus calls you together for feast days, He wants you close to Him in His Sacrifice, He desires to be in communion with you. Learn from Jesus to love your neighbour, to be generous towards everyone, to look for moments of solidarity with those who suffer, with those who need you.

Help the Church in its mission of Teacher of the Truth, of Mother of grace. Help it also to spread the faith. This is possible with the study of Catechism, with the knowledge of Her words, with your loving correspondence to the invitations of the bishops and priests who guide you. Be valid apostles of Jesus for your friends and repeat for them often the prayer which was taught to the children of Fatima: “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You. I ask pardon of you for all those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You!”

May the Virgin Mary protect you, assist you, make you perseverant in the binding intention of reciting the Rosary. May my Blessing assist you, which I now give you with affection, and which I gladly extend to your family and to your educators!