Rome, Italy, Oct 13, 2003 / 22:00 pm
In an interview with the Brazilian daily “O Estado,” Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, reflected upon the 25 years of John Paul II’s pontificate and said the Pontiff will be remembered as the “Pope of Sanctity” because of his constant call to live life fully and the numerous believers he has elevated to the altar.
According the Portuguese prelate, the Pope has left a profound mark on the history of humanity. “In these 25 years, his pastoral activity has been extraordinary and his passion for mankind has been remarkable. Already in his first encyclical, ‘Redemptoris Hominis,’ he said that ‘man is the way of the Church.’ He has always been on the side of man to help him, and to defend his dignity and his fundamental rights, which are sacred and untouchable.”
Cardinal Saraiva remarked that “another characteristic of this Pontificate is the great emphasis on the quest for peace for mankind. His annual messages for the World Day of Peace have been great lessons on the how to achieve this precious gift.”
However the Cardinal pointed out the Pontificate of John Paul II has placed special emphasis on personal holiness. “In ‘Novo Millennio Ineunte’ he says all of the pastoral action of the Church should be ordered toward the holiness of the faithful. This is why the Pope has beatified and canonized so many servants of God.”