Vatican City, Apr 10, 2005 / 22:00 pm
In the continuing historic process of laying to rest and electing a new pope, the Church celebrated yesterday the third Mass of the "novendiali" (nine days of mourning) for John Paul II, who died on April 2nd.
Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general for the diocese of Rome, presided at the Mass which was concelebrated by cardinals, bishops and priests from around the world.
Cardinal Ruini specifically addressed faithful of the Church of Rome who filled the basilica, asking how John Paul II had managed to be "so close to us and enter so deeply into the hearts of Romans, as well as of Italians and of so many citizens of the world.”
“The true reply”, he said, “is simple and full of meaning: he was and still is a brother and father to everyone, because he was a man of God, because he lived constantly in God's presence, intimately united to Him and trusting utterly in His infinite mercy."