Roma. On the Second Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday, facing the Plaza of St. Peter’s and adjacent streets jammed with a multitude of pilgrims, His Holiness Benedict XVI proclaimed Blessed the Servant of God John Paul II.
The central celebration was preceded by a prayer vigil held at the “Circus Maximus” transmitted live on TV to the whole world.
During the homily at the Eucharistic celebration in which he promulgated the decree of Beatification, Pope Benedict emphasized the virtues lived in a “heroic degree” by John Paul II. Among other points of his homily, the Holy Father said:
“With his testimony of faith, love, and apostolic valor, accompanied by a great humanity, this favorite son of the Polish nation helped Christians in the whole world: not to be afraid to call themselves Christians, of belonging to the Church, or of speaking the Gospel. In a word: he helped us not to be afraid of the truth, because the truth is a guarantee of liberty. In a synthesis: He gave back to us the strength to believe in Christ, because Christ is Redemptor hominis, the Redeemer of men…”
Various Claretians were present at this great event. Highlighted among them were Cardinal José Sariva Martins, CMF and some others among our brothers who serve as bishops in various local Churches. With them and with all those who followed the broadcast of the event from their places of missionary service, we remember the appreciation that the new Blessed declared for us, which is demonstrated by the life and mission of our congregation. By way of example, some of his words:
“Dear brothers: Be always faithful to the Claretian charism and loyal continuators of the genuine values of your Congregation. With confidence in God, look hopefully to the future. With St. Paul, I exhort you to place your eyes, not in temporal things, but in the eternal ones (cf. 2 Cor 4:18) (…) Living the mystery of Christ in an ecclesial dimension, may you find authentic meaning in community life, and in your apostolic and missionary action.” (Message to the XX General Chapter of the Congregation, Rome, 1985).