Vatican City, May 18, 2020 / 03:15 am America/Denver (CNA).
St. John Paul II was a man of prayer who was close to the people and loved justice, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass Monday.
Celebrating Mass at the saint’s tomb in St. Peter’s Basilica, the pope noted that May 18 is the 100th anniversary of John Paul II’s birth.
Quoting from the day’s responsorial psalm, which declares that “The Lord loves his people” (Psalm 149:4), he said: “And today we can say here: 100 years ago the Lord visited his people, sent a man, prepared him to be a bishop and lead the Church. In memory of St. John Paul II, we take this up again: ‘The Lord loves his people,’ the Lord visited his people, he sent a pastor.”
In his homily, Francis focused on three qualities of St. John Paul II, who was pope from 1978 to 2005: prayer, closeness to the people, and love for justice.
He said that despite the demands on his time, the Polish pope always made prayer his first priority.