Vatican City, Nov 23, 2009 / 12:46 pm America/Denver (CNA).
In his recently released book “Santo Subito” (Immediate Saint), Vatican journalist and author Andrea Tornielli makes a compelling case for the beatification of Pope John Paul II. Using anecdotes and witness' accounts of moments in the Pope's life, he relates the profound imprint left by Karol Wojtyla on humanity, in his living and through his death.
The content of Tornielli's stories is at times rather unexpected, as in the account of a religious sister who often heard the Pope practicing corporal mortification from her nearby room in Castel Gandolfo. She tells of having heard the sounds of the Pope whipping himself during the night. “He did this while he was still able to move on his own,” she says in the interview.
Pope Paul VI was also known by his secretaries to have participated in the same actions, to “remind himself better of the cross Christ bore for the redemption of the world.”
The book also recounts the emotional moment when Pope John Paul II struggled to make a final appearance at his apartment window at St. Peter's Square, coming twice to the window without being able to say a word. Multitudes traveled to visit in the days before and after his death.
Two days after he died, many called aloud for his immediate sainthood - that he become a “santo subito.”