Vatican City, Mar 29, 2010 / 15:28 pm
Pope Benedict XVI celebrated the Mass at St. Peter’s on Monday evening for the fifth anniversary of Venerable John Paul II’s death. He called his predecessor a "great Pole" whose entire life was given out of charity.
Among the many others taking part in the Mass was Cardinal Archbishop of Krakow Stanislaw Dziwisz, the late-Pope's personal secretary. The Mass was celebrated four days before the actual day of Pope John Paul II's death, April 2, because it falls on Good Friday this year.
In his homily, the Holy Father likened John Paul II to the figure of the "Servant of God" described by the prophet Isaiah in Monday's Liturgy of the Word. The Servant, the Pope said, "will act with steadfast firmness, with an energy that is not lacking until he has realized the task he has been assigned."
"What the inspired prophet says about the Servant, we can also apply to the beloved John Paul II," the Holy Father said, noting that late-Pontiff was guided by the Lord to "exercise a very fruitful ministry, for which, once again, we give fervent thanks to God."