On Sunday in St. Peter's Square, in a ceremony attended by 30,000 pilgrims including dozens of members from the royal families of Europe, who appeared in their traditional colorful garments, Pope John Paul II beatified Servants of God Pierre Vigne (1670-1740), Joseph-Marie Cassant (1878-1903), Anna Katharina Emmerick (1774-1824), Maria Ludovica De Angelis (1880-1962) and Emperor Charles of Austria (1887-1922).
The Pope said that the new blesseds "allowed themselves to be guided by the Word of God as by a luminous and sure light, which never failed to illuminate their path."
The Holy Father emphasized that every day Emperor and King Charles of Austria - in whose honor Europe’s royalty had flown to Rome - faced the challenge of Christians "to seek out the will of God in everything, to know it and to put it into action.”
“He was a friend of peace,” said the Holy Father. “In his eyes, war was 'something horrible.' When he ascended to the throne in the middle of the fury of World War I, he tried to take up the peace initiative of my predecessor Benedict XV. ... In his political conduct, his priority was to follow the call to sanctity of Christians. Therefore, he considered the idea of social love important,” he continued.
“May he always be a model for us all, in particular for those today who have a political responsibility in Europe!" said the Pope.
The Pope said of Fr. Vigne, founder of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, that "by contemplating Christ present in the Eucharist and in His salvific passion, he was led to be an authentic disciple and faithful missionary of the Church.”
“May his example give the faithful the desire to draw courage for the mission from the love of the Eucharist and adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament! Let us ask him to touch the hearts of young people so that they may accept consecrating themselves to Him in priesthood or religious life if they are called by God,” said the Pope.
"Brother Joseph-Marie Cassant, priest and Trappist monk, always put his trust in God, in contemplation of the mystery of the passion, and in union with Christ present in the Eucharist,” said the Holy Father.
“In the midst of tribulation, with his eyes fixed on Christ, he offered his suffering for Our Lord and the Church. May our contemporaries, in particular the contemplatives and the sick, discover, following his example, the mystery of prayer, which raises the world to God and gives strength in trials!"
John Paul II highlighted "maternal heart…leadership qualities and the audacity that belongs to saints,” of Blessed Maria Ludovica De Angelis, virgin, of the Congregation of the Daughters of the Our Lady of Mercy in Savona, Italy.
“She had a specific and generous love with sick children,” he said, “facing sacrifices to give them relief; with her colleagues in the Hospital de la Plata she was a model of joy and responsibility, creating a family atmosphere; for her sisters in the community, she was an authentic example. ... In everything, she was sustained by prayer, making her life a continuous dialogue with Our Lord."
He said that Blessed Anna Katharina Emmerick of the Order of Regular Canonesses of St. Augustin (whose diary was the inspiration for Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ), "demonstrated and experienced in her own flesh 'the bitter passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.'”
“Her material poverty is contrasted by her rich interior life,” the Pope said. “In addition to her patience in bearing her physical weaknesses, the strength of character of the new blessed and her firmness in faith impress us. Her example opened the hearts of poor and rich men, educated and humble people, to complete loving passion toward Jesus Christ."
At the end of Mass The Holy Father encouraged all the faithful, in this, the month of the Rosary, “to pray this beautiful prayer, imitating the new blesseds."