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Papal Homily at Beatification Mass

Augustus Czartoryski and 5 Others Honored by Church

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 25, 2004 (Zenit) - Here is a translation of the homily John Paul II delivered at the beatification Mass today.

The six new blessed are: Augustus Czartoryski (1858-1893), a priest of the Salesian Society of St. John Bosco; Laura Montoya (1874-1949), founder of the Congregation of Missionaries of Mary Immaculate and St. Catherine of Siena; María Guadalupe García Zavala (1878-1963), co-founder of the Congregation of Handmaids of St. Margaret Mary and of the Poor; Nemesia Valle (1847-1916), religious of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of St. Giovanna Antida Thouret; Eusebia Palomino Yenes (1899-1935), religious of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians; and Alexandrina Maria da Costa (1904-1955), a member of the Union of Salesian Cooperators.

* * *

[The Holy Father said in Italian:]

1. "They knew it was the Lord" (John 21:12): Thus, John the Evangelist expressed the reaction of joy of the disciples when recognizing the risen Lord. Jesus manifested himself to them after a night of hard and fruitless work in the Lake of Tiberias. Trusting his word, they threw their nets into the water and brought to the shore a great "quantity of fish" (John 21:6).

Like the apostles, we too are amazed before the wealth of the wonders that God works in the hearts of all those who trust him. In the course of today's Eucharistic celebration we contemplate how much he accomplished in six new blessed: in the priest Augustus Czartoryski; in four women religious: Laura Montoya, María Guadalupe García Zavala, Nemesia Valle, Eusebia Palomino Yenes; [and] in a laywoman, Alexandrina Maria da Costa. They are eloquent examples of how the Lord transforms the lives of believers, when we trust in him.

[In Polish:]

2. "How lovely is your dwelling, O Lord of hosts! My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the Lord. ... Better one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere" (Psalms 84:2,11). Blessed Augustus Czartoryski had these words of the Psalm written as his motto of life on the memento of his first Mass. In them are reflected the rapture of a man who, following the voice of the call, discovers the beauty of the priestly ministry.

In them resounds the echo of the different choices that must be made by anyone who perceives the will of God and wishes to fulfill it. Augustus Czartoryski, a young prince, elaborated an effective method of discerning divine signs. He presented to God in prayer all his questions and underlying doubts and then, in the spirit of obedience, followed the advice of his spiritual guides. Thus he understood his vocation to undertake a life of poverty to serve the littlest ones. The same method enabled him, throughout his whole life, to make such decisions so that today we can say that he fulfilled the designs of Divine Providence in a heroic way.

I wish to propose his example of holiness above all to young people, who today seek to discern the will of God in regard to their lives and wish to proceed faithfully every day according to the divine word. My dear young friends, learn from Blessed Augustus to ardently request in prayer the light of the Holy Spirit and wise guides, so that you will be able to know the divine plan for your lives and be capable of walking always on the path of holiness.

[In Spanish:]

3. "When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus" (John 21:4). It is possible for man not to know the Lord, despite multiple manifestations in the course of history. Mother Laura Montoya, seeing how so many Indians, far from urban centers, lived without knowing God, decided to found the Congregation of the Missionaries of Mary Immaculate and St. Catherine of Siena, to take the light of the Gospel to the inhabitants of the forests.

This Colombian blessed felt she was the spiritual mother of the Indians, to whom she wished to show the love of God. Her times were not easy as social tensions, then also, bloodied her noble homeland. Being inspired by her pacifying message, let us pray today that our beloved Colombia will soon enjoy peace, justice and integral progress.

4. In the Gospel we heard Jesus' triple question to Peter "Do you love me?" Christ asks this same question of the men and women of all times. Christians must respond with firmness and promptitude to the plans he has for each one. This is what happened in the life of Blessed Guadalupe García Zavala, a Mexican, who, giving up marriage, dedicated herself to the service of the poorest, the needy and the sick, and founded for this reason the Congregation of the Handmaids of St. Margaret Mary and of the Poor.

With profound faith, unbounded hope, and great love for Christ, ...

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