Just a day before Pope John Paul II arrived at the shrine of Lourdes, the Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, said that together with the Olympic athletes competing in Athens, the Holy Father shows that “human dignity is not based on physical strength,” but rather on the spiritual.
“I think it is awesome that the Pope’s visit comes at the same time as the games” because the Pope “shows us that human dignity is not based on physical strength, exhaustion, money or power,” the Cardinal said.
Likewise, the Cardinal added that “during this August of 2004, marred by so many tragedies, a great multitude will come together and share in a great gesture of hope” during the Pope’s visit.
The trip to Lourdes this past weekend was John Paul’s seventh to France during his 25 years as Pope, and his second to the Marian shrine. His first visit was in 1983, when he became the first Pope to visit Lourdes.