His life was a constant prayer that lovingly embraced all who inhabit our planet, created in the image and likeness of God, and therefore worthy of the greatest respect; redeemed by Christ's death and resurrection the human person is therefore truly become the living glory of God.
VATICAN CITY, (VIS) - At 10:30 Monday morning in St. Peter's Square, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., secretary of state, presided over the thanksgiving Mass for the beatification of Pope John Paul II. The liturgical texts were those of the new Blessed.
The celebration included music performed by the Choir of the Diocese of Rome, with the participation of Warsaw's Polish Union of Choirs and the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra of Katowice. Preparation for the holy rite began at 9:30am with the reading of poems by Blessed John Paul II in alternation with pieces performed by the orchestra and choir. Before Holy Mass, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow, addressed those present.
"The dialogue of love between Christ and the human person characterized the entire life of Karol Wojtyla ...", Cardinal Bertone said in his homily. "We all recall how, on the day of his funeral, during the ceremony there was a moment when the wind shut the book of the Gospels placed on the coffin. It was as if the wind of the Spirit wanted to signal the end of the spiritual and human existence of Karol Wojtyla, illumined by the Gospel of Christ. With this Book he discovered God's plan for humanity and for himself, but he also learned of Christ, His face and His love, which was always a call to responsibility for Karol".
"He was a man of faith, a man of God," the cardinal emphasized. "His life was a constant prayer that lovingly embraced all who inhabit our planet, created in the image and likeness of God, and therefore worthy of the greatest respect; redeemed by Christ's death and resurrection the human person is therefore truly become the living glory of God. Thanks to the faith that he expressed, above all, in prayer, John Paul II was a true defender of the dignity of every human person and not a mere activist for political or social ideologies".
"But his prayer was also a constant intercession for the entire human family, for the Church, for each community of believers throughout the earth. ... Weren't these - his prayers, prayers tied to so many sorrowful events in his own and others' lives - what gave rise to his concern for peace in the world and for the peaceful harmony among the peoples and nations?" the cardinal secretary of state asked.
"Today we give thanks to the Lord for having given us a Pastor like him. A Shepherd who know how to read the signs of God's presence in human history and to announce Him through his great acts in the world, in every language. A Pastor who had ingrained within him a sense of mission, of the commitment of evangelization, and of announcing the Word of God everywhere".
"Today we give thanks to the Lord for having given us a Witness like him, so credible, so transparent, who taught us how to live in Faith and how to defend Christian values, beginning with life, without anxiety or fear; how one should bear witness to the faith with courage and coherence, giving expression to the Beatitudes in everyday experience".
The cardinal invited those present to give thanks to the Lord for "having granted us a Pope who knew how to give the Church not only a universal reach and unprecedented moral authority at an international level, but also, especially with the celebration of the Great Jubilee in 2000, a more spiritual, more biblical vision, more focused on the word of God. A Church capable of renewing itself, initiating a 'new evangelization', intensifying ecumenical and inter-religious links, and also rediscovering the way towards a fruitful dialogue with the new generations".
"And finally", he concluded, "we give thanks to the Lord for having given us a Saint like him... he was a man of truth as he was inseparably bound to He who is the Truth... His was a holiness lived, especially in the last months and weeks of his life, in total fidelity to the mission that had been assigned to him, until death... He knew that his physical weakness demonstrated ever more clearly Christ's work in history. And, offering his suffering to Him and to the Church, he gave us all a final, great lesson in humanity and in abandoning oneself to the arms of God".
Cardinal Bertone concluded by inviting those present to sing "a hymn of glory to God for the gift of this great Pope: a man of faith and prayer, Pastor and Witness, Guide in the transition between two millennia" and thanked Benedict XVI "who wished to elevate his predecessor to the glory of the altars".
At the moment of the offertory, six people presented to the celebrant a saddle produced by the Polish Post Office and the Vatican Post Office, a bas-relief from the Association of Mercy and a portrait of Blessed John Paul II by the municipality of Zakopane.
More than 250,000 faithful entered the Vatican Basilica yesterday to pray before the remains of the new Blessed. The basilica remained open until 3:00am and reopened at the end of today's Mass. At 5:30pm today the last Rosary will be recited before the coffin of John Paul II. The basilica will then be closed and, in a private ceremony, the coffin will be placed in the Chapel of St. Sebastian, which is located to the left of Michelangelo's statue of the Pieta.
By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
On Thursday Pope Francis celebrated St. Agnes' feast day in the Vatican by continuing the centuries-old tradition of blessing two lambs in her honor. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Traditionally, the lambs blessed on January 21 are under a year old and their first ... continue reading
By Jennifer Hartline
St. Therese helps me understand: "the splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not take away the perfume of the little violet or the delightful simplicity of the daisy.if all flowers wanted to be roses, nature would lose her springtime beauty, and the ... continue reading
By Fr. Dwight Longenecker
I was an Anglican priest the summer I met St Therese of Lisieux. I was living in England and had three months free between jobs, so I decided to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. I was going to hitch hike and stay in monasteries and religious houses on the way. ... continue reading
By F. K. Bartels
The Little Flower of Jesus sacrificed her life for love of souls. She saw the magnitude of her Beloved's love for them. She offered herself for the building up of the Church, the People of God and the Mystical Body of Christ. That is truly a ... continue reading
By Youngsun Jun
Though I am not strong enough to hold the suffering souls in my arms and carry them home, I can do one thing: I can pray for the deliverance of the souls who are in the darkness. I can request help from the angels for them. I can make a 911 call for them. So again, I ... continue reading
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Saint Junipero Serra, pray for us! Saint Junipero Serra, your missionary zeal brought the light of Christ to millions. You endured so many hardships, and labored so much that your work resonates today in the hearts of hundreds of millions of Catholics. Saint Serra, I ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith A Fournier
Over the centuries, the Jesuits have been relied upon by Popes as trustworthy, heroic soldiers for Jesus Christ and His Church. Yes, there have been times when the company seemed to lose its fervor. However, Jesus Christ the King has always sent His Spirit to ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith A Fournier
On July 15th in the Liturgical Calendar of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, we commemorate the life, holiness, work and death of a great Bishop and Doctor named Bonaventure. He was born in 1218, became a Franciscan Friar in 1243, and died in 1274. A friend ... continue reading
By Justin Soutar
During his visit to the United States this coming September, Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra, the heroic 'Apostle of California.' Once that happens, the Golden State will have its own patron saint and the Church will have another great missionary role ... continue reading
By Alex Basile
Every carpenter must practice patience. We can learn important lessons from the wood shop in Nazareth from the humble Saint Joseph. I have always been a "do it yourself" type of guy thanks to my father. My dad is always a steady presence during my home-improvement ... continue reading