VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE
TWENTY FIRST YEAR - N. 81
MONDAY, 2 MAY 2011
Beatification of Pope John Paul II
VATICAN CITY, 2 MAY 2011 (VIS) - At 10:30 this morning in St. Peter's
Square, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., secretary of state, presided over
the thanksgiving Mass for the beatification of Pope John Paul II. The
liturgical texts were those of the new Blessed.
The celebration included music performed by the Choir of the Diocese of
Rome, with the participation of Warsaw's Polish Union of Choirs and the.
National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra of Katowice. Preparation for the
holy rite began at 9:30am with the reading of poems by Blessed John Paul II
in alternation with pieces performed by the orchestra and choir. Before Holy
Mass, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow, addressed those
"The dialogue of love between Christ and the human person characterized
the entire life of Karol Wojtyla ...", Cardinal Bertone said in his homily.
"We all recall how, on the day of his funeral, during the ceremony there was
a moment when the wind shut the book of the Gospels placed on the coffin. It
was as if the wind of the Spirit wanted to signal the end of the spiritual
and human existence of Karol Wojtyla, illumined by the Gospel of Christ.
With this Book he discovered God's plan for humanity and for himself, but he
also learned of Christ, His face and His love, which was always a call to
responsibility for Karol".
"He was a man of faith, a man of God," the cardinal emphasized. "His life
was a constant prayer that lovingly embraced all who inhabit our planet,
created in the image and likeness of God, and therefore worthy of the
greatest respect; redeemed by Christ's death and resurrection the human
person is therefore truly become the living glory of God. Thanks to the
faith that he expressed, above all, in prayer, John Paul II was a true
defender of the dignity of every human person and not a mere activist for
political or social ideologies".
"But his prayer was also a constant intercession for the entire human
family, for the Church, for each community of believers throughout the
earth. ... Weren't these - his prayers, prayers tied to so many sorrowful
events in his own and others' lives - what gave rise to his concern for
peace in the world and for the peaceful harmony among the peoples and
nations?" the cardinal secretary of state asked.
"Today we give thanks to the Lord for having given us a Pastor like him. A
Shepherd who know how to read the signs of God's presence in human history
and to announce Him through his great acts in the world, in every language.
A Pastor who had ingrained within him a sense of mission, of the commitment
of evangelization, and of announcing the Word of God everywhere".
"Today we give thanks to the Lord for having given us a Witness like him,
so credible, so transparent, who taught us how to live in Faith and how to
defend Christian values, beginning with life, without anxiety or fear; how
one should bear witness to the faith with courage and coherence, giving
expression to the Beatitudes in everyday experience".
The cardinal invited those present to give thanks to the Lord for "having
granted us a Pope who knew how to give the Church not only a universal reach
and unprecedented moral authority at an international level, but also,
especially with the celebration of the Great Jubilee in 2000, a more
spiritual, more biblical vision, more focused on the word of God. A Church
capable of renewing itself, initiating a 'new evangelization', intensifying
ecumenical and inter-religious links, and also rediscovering the way towards
a fruitful dialogue with the new generations".
"And finally", he concluded, "we give thanks to the Lord for having given
us a Saint like him... he was a man of truth as he was inseparably bound to
He who is the Truth... His was a holiness lived, especially in the last
months and weeks of his life, in total fidelity to the mission that had been
assigned to him, until death... He knew that his physical weakness
demonstrated ever more clearly Christ's work in history. And, offering his
suffering to Him and to the Church, he gave us all a final, great lesson in
humanity and in abandoning oneself to the arms of God".
Cardinal Bertone concluded by inviting those present to sing "a hymn of
glory to God for the gift of this great Pope: a man of faith and prayer,
Pastor and Witness, Guide in the transition between two millennia" and
thanked Benedict XVI "who wished to elevate his predecessor to the glory of
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