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: ix Fully aware of the work accomplished by Mgr. Lemattre, His Majesty King Baudouin enhanced this occasion by placing it under His High Patronage. His Holiness the Pope Jean-Paul II accepted to testify his paternel solicitude for the work of the scientists participating in the symposium. The President of the pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Director of the Vatican Observatory transmitted their fervent wishes for the full success of the symposium. Numerous other eminent people graced the ceremony with their patronage. The academic opening, the addresses of which are pub*lished by the Revue des Questions Scientifiques de Bruxelles , was presided over by Mgr. E. Massaux, Rector of the Catholic University of Louvain who spoke about Lemattre, the University professor. Professor Ch. de Duve, Nobel Prize winner in Medicine, called to mind the role of Lemattre as President of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences; the Emeritus Professor O. Godart, founder of the Institute, recalled the life and work of Mgr. Lemattre; Professor A. Deprit, Senior Mathematician at the National Bureau of Standards, spoke about Lemattre' s work in celestial mechanics and his keen interest for computers; Professor J. Peebles, Professor of Physics at Princeton University, summarized the fundamental contributions of Lemattre to modern cosmology. The attendance of more than three hundred people was enhanced by the presence of Mgr. A. Pedroni, Papal Nuncio, Mr Ph. Maystadt, Minister of Research Policy, Mr E. Knoops, Secretary of State, Mr Y. de Wasseige, Senator, Professor E.