During his homily at a Mass for the 30th anniversary of the death of Paul VI, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone recalled that the late pontiff “profoundly loved humanity and made this love concrete by his constant effort to help humanity encounter Christ in light of the truth and the value of life.”
During a Mass at the Cathedral of Brescia on September 6, the cardinal said that “in the light of the risen and transfigured Lord,” Paul VI “strived to understand man, his desire for life, his thirst for happiness,” and he did so during a difficult age. He was not troubled by the many challenges he faced, but rather embraced them in his devotion to serving believers and men and women of good will, the cardinal stated.
“Pope Montini was constantly concerned with being a guide for the Christian people, who are often seduced by the world and conditioned by the threats of the enemies of Christ,” Cardinal Bertone went on. “As a generous and enlightened pastor, patient and prudent, upright in the truth and quick to dialogue, he knows how to keep the rudder of the Barque of Peter straight.”
Paul VI’s love for God and mankind, the cardinal stated, could be seen as “the characteristic mark of his entire pontificate.”
The post-conciliar years, he said later, were perhaps marked “by the perception of not being understood, but they were also years of intense fidelity to the Church and dedication to humanity.”
“As we pray that this beloved Pontiff will soon be venerated as a Blessed, we pray that the Lord will also help us to live faithful to our vocations and understand in faith that everything is a grace: life, death, the present, the future. May God help us, like Pope Montini, to bear witness to Christian joy and proclaim with our lives that we belong to Christ and Christ belongs to God,” Bertone said.