Postulator: St. John Paul II remains a ‘prophetic voice’ seven years after canonization

The canonizations of St. John Paul and St. John XXIII in St. Peter’s Square, April 27, 2014. The canonizations of St. John Paul and St. John XXIII in St. Peter’s Square, April 27, 2014. | Jeffrey Bruno via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 2.0).

The postulator of St. John Paul II’s canonization cause said Tuesday that the Polish pope remains a “prophetic voice” seven years after he was recognized as a saint.

Msgr. Sławomir Oder said that when St. John Paul II was canonized on April 27, 2014, he felt he had completed the task entrusted to him by Benedict XVI, who permitted the cause to open in 2005 without the customary five-year waiting period after a candidate’s death.

“At the beginning of this process, Pope Benedict XVI gave me a clear instruction: work fast but work well. On that day, I was conscious that I had not disappointed the expectations expressed in those words of the Holy Father,” he said.

Referring to recent criticisms of St. John Paul II in Poland and elsewhere, Oder said that devotion to the pope who led the Church from 1978 to 2005 would prove stronger than the attacks on him and his legacy.

“The voice of John Paul II, which resounds through his teaching -- and the fact of the devotion with which he is surrounded by people manifesting their love for him -- this voice continues to be a voice that stimulates our conscience and a prophetic voice that will always be contested by those who do not share the idea of the Church and Christianity at all,” he commented.

Pope Francis canonized John Paul II alongside John XXIII, pope from 1958 to 1963, on Divine Mercy Sunday 2014. Thousands of pilgrims from around the world filled St. Peter’s Square for the ceremony.

Oder said that the Polish pope’s cult had burgeoned immediately after his death on April 2, 2005, and was visible at his funeral on April 8.

“The funeral itself was an extraordinary event, unique in the history of humanity. From that day on, pilgrimages were constantly flowing to the grave of John Paul II, asking for necessary graces through his intercession,” he recalled.

Oder is also postulator of the beatification cause of St. John Paul II’s parents, Karol and Emilia.

“This is a beautiful example of the sanctity of the family, which is, in a way, the soil on which the sanctity of the next generation is born and matures,” he said.

He suggested that the Polish pope’s older brother Edmund Wojtyła could also be a suitable candidate for beatification.

Edmund was a medical doctor who died in 1932 at the age of 26, after contracting scarlet fever from a patient.

“The message of his life and death fits, as it were, into the context of the time of the pandemic in which we are living,” Oder said.

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