Mass of thanksgiving for beatification of Pope Blessed John Paul II
By David Kerr
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- “Today we thank the Lord for giving us a shepherd like Pope John Paul II.”

With these words Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone set the tone of the May 2 Mass of Thanksgiving for the beatification of Pope John Paul II. The Vatican’s secretary of state was the chief celebrant and homilist at the service in St. Peters Square.

“He was a man of faith, a man of God, whose life with God was a continuous prayer, a constant prayer, which embraced with love every single person on the planet, each created in the image and likeness of God, and so worthy of respect.”

The ceremony began with a procession led by a vial of Blessed John Paul’s blood. It was taken from the late pontiff while he was undergoing medical tests shortly before his death in 2005. It is Catholicism’s belief in the resurrection of the body at the end of time that makes such physical artifacts, known as relics, of importance to the Catholic faithful.  

An estimated 60,000 pilgrims gathered for the Mass, 40,000 of them thought to be Polish. They heard their fellow countryman, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow who wanted to pay tribute to the present pontiff.

“We express gratitude to the Holy Father Benedict XVI for the gift of the beatification of his predecessor and for the fact that he keeps alive the memory of John Paul II,” said the Polish cardinal who was private secretary to Blessed John Paul for many years.

Cardinal Dziwisz also recalled that John Paul had “shed his blood for the cause of Christ” in the same square in 1981 when he was the victim of an assassination.

The coffin of the Pope John Paul will now lie in state before the high altar of St. Peter’s basilica until this evening when, in a private ceremony, it will be moved to its new resting place beneath the altar of St Sebastian. It’s located next to Michelangelo’s famous “Pieta” sculpture close to the right-hand-side entrance to the basilica.

It’s estimated that 250,000 people have now filed by the coffin since the May 1 beatification ceremony.

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


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
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

Liturgical Calendar

December 21, 2014


All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27


Daily Readings

Gospel:: Lk 1: 26-38

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27