Humility and service
John Paul II chose not to wear a papal tiara, or crown; the last pope to be crowned was Paul VI in 1963. He said he didn't want to return to "an object considered, wrongly, to be a symbol of the temporal power of the Popes," but rather to immerse himself in "humble and devout meditation on the mystery of the supreme power of Christ himself."
The "power" exercised by the popes is service, John Paul II said; service to help all the people of God share in the mission of Jesus as Priest, Prophet, and King. This power expressed itself in "charity and truth" rather than in "the language of force."
"Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to welcome Christ and accept his power," the saint said. "Help the Pope and all those who wish to serve Christ and with Christ's power to serve the human person and the whole of mankind."
"Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors for Christ. To his saving power open the boundaries of States, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development. Do not be afraid."
Though his homily was in Italian, John Paul II- a famous polyglot- also offered greetings to pilgrims in French, English,German, Spanish, Portuguese, Czechoslovakian, Russian, Ukrainian and Lithuanian, asking all of them for prayers.
This article was originally published on CNA Oct. 21, 2018.