Skip to content

Pope's Address at Vigil Recalling John Paul II's Death

"He Gave Suffering Dignity and Value"

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 4, 2006 (Zenit) - Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave Sunday night from the window of his study, to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square to pray the rosary on the first anniversary of Pope John Paul II's death.

* * *

[In Italian]

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

We have gathered this evening, on the first anniversary of the death of our beloved John Paul II, for this Marian vigil organized by the diocese of Rome. I greet all of you present in St. Peter's Square, beginning with the Cardinal Vicar Camillo Ruini and the auxiliary bishops; I am thinking especially of the cardinals, bishops, priests, men and women religious and all the lay faithful, in particular young people.

Truly the whole city of Rome is gathered here on the occasion of this moving meeting of reflection and prayer. I address a special greeting to Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, metropolitan archbishop of Krakow, connected by video with us, who for many years was a faithful collaborator of the deceased Pope.

A year has already gone by since the death of the Servant of God John Paul II, which occurred almost at this same hour -- it was 9:37 p.m. -- but his memory continues to be particularly alive, as attested by the numerous ceremonies programmed over these days in all parts of the world. He continues to be present in our minds and in our hearts; he continues to communicate to us his love for God and for man; he continues to inspire in all, especially young people, enthusiasm for the good and courage to follow Jesus and his teachings.

How can the evangelical testimony of this great Pontiff be summarized? I will attempt to do so in two words: "fidelity" and "commitment"; total fidelity to God and commitment without reservations to his mission as Pastor of the universal Church. Fidelity and commitment which were even more convincing and moving in the last months, when he embodied in himself what he wrote in 1984 in the apostolic letter "Salvifici Doloris": "suffering is present in the world in order to release love, in order to give birth to works of love toward neighbor, in order to transform the whole human civilization into a 'civilization of love'" (No. 30).

His illness, faced with courage, made everyone pay more attention to human pain, to all physical and spiritual pain; he gave suffering dignity and value, demonstrating that man is not of worth for his efficiency or his appearance, but for himself, because he has been created and loved by God.

With his words and gestures, our beloved John Paul II did not tire of pointing out to the world that, if man allows himself to be embraced by Christ, it does not mortify the richness of his humanity; if he loves Him with all his heart, he will lack nothing. On the contrary, the encounter with Christ makes our life more exciting.

Precisely because he drew ever closer to God in prayer, in contemplation, in love of the Truth and of Beauty, our beloved Pope was able to makes himself a fellow traveler of each one of us and to speak with authority even to those who are distant from the Christian faith.

On the first anniversary of his return to the Father's House, we are invited this evening to take up again the spiritual heritage he left us. He stimulates us, among other things, to live tirelessly seeking Truth, as it alone can satisfy our hearts. He encourages us not to be afraid to follow Christ to take the proclamation of the Gospel to all, which is the leaven of a more fraternal and solidaristic humanity.

May John Paul II help us from heaven to continue on our journey, being docile disciples of Jesus, in order to be, as he himself was fond of saying to young people, "watchmen of the dawn" at the beginning of this third Christian millennium. For this reason, we invoke Mary, Mother of the Redeemer, for whom he always had a tender devotion.

I now address the faithful in Poland who are connected with us.

[In Polish]

Let us be united in spirit with the Poles who have gathered in Krakow, Warsaw and other places for the vigil. The memory of John Paul II is alive among us and the sense of his spiritual presence is not dissipated. May the memory of the particular love he felt for his compatriots always be for you the light on the path to Christ. "Remain strong in the faith." I bless you from my heart.

[In Italian]

Now I impart from my heart a blessing to all.

© Copyright 2006 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Contact

The Vatican
http://www.catholic.org , VA
Pope Benedict XVI - Bishop of Rome, 661 869-1000

Email

info@yourcatholicvoice.org

Keywords

Pope, Benedict, John Paul, Death

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity
DAN SHEA

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.