Loading
'John Paul II is blessed!' – Pope Benedict pays tribute to his predecessor
By David Kerr
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Pope Benedict XVI has beatified Pope John Paul II. In a ceremony before hundreds of thousands of pilgrims in Rome he explained his great admiration and affection for his predecessor.

“John Paul II is blessed because of his faith, a strong, generous and apostolic faith.”

It’s estimated that two million pilgrims have descended on Rome for the occasion. The Pope told them that Blessed John Paul II, as he can now be called, had reinvigorated the Catholic Church following his election as pontiff in October 1978.

“By his witness of faith, love and apostolic courage, accompanied by great human charisma, this exemplary son of Poland helped believers throughout the world not to be afraid to be called Christian, to belong to the Church, to speak of the Gospel.”

“In a word: he helped us not to fear the truth, because truth is the guarantee of liberty. To put it even more succinctly: he gave us the strength to believe in Christ, because Christ is ‘Redemptor hominis,’ the Redeemer of man.”

The presidents of Italy, Poland and Mexico were among some 90 heads of state and other dignitaries attending the beatification. Pope Benedict recalled for them the key role Blessed John Paul II’s pontificate played in the peaceful dismantling of communism.

“When Karol Wojtyla ascended to the throne of Peter, he brought with him a deep understanding of the difference between Marxism and Christianity, based on their respective visions of man. This was his message: man is the way of the Church, and Christ is the way of man.”

It was Blessed John Paul’s first papal visit to communist-controlled Poland in 1979 that many historians pinpoint as the beginning of the end for communism. Today in St. Peter's Square, the Polish flag was being waived everywhere by thrilled Poles.

“He rightly reclaimed for Christianity that impulse of hope which had in some sense faltered before Marxism and the ideology of progress. He restored to Christianity its true face as a religion of hope, to be lived in history in an ‘Advent’ spirit, in a personal and communitarian existence directed to Christ, the fullness of humanity and the fulfillment of all our longings for justice and peace.”

On very personal note, Pope Benedict also recalled his 23 years in charge of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith when worked closely alongside Blessed John Paul.

“I was at his side and came to revere him all the more. My own service was sustained by his spiritual depth and by the richness of his insights. His example of prayer continually impressed and edified me.”

The coffin of Blessed John Paul II will now be on display in St. Peter’s Basilica until tomorrow to allow pilgrims to venerate him.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
25

Liturgical Calendar

October 25, 2014

Saturday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 13:1-9

Gospel
Date
10/25/14
10/24/14
10/23/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 4: 7-16
Gospel:: Lk 13: 1-9

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/25/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 13:1-9

Homily
Date
10/25/14
10/24/14
10/23/14