VATICAN CITY, OCT. 4, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II, who has proclaimed the greatest number of saints and blessed, says the latter can become, for every Christian, companions of life toward the heavenly homeland.
The Pope expressed this today in Paul VI Hall when meeting with thousands of pilgrims who came to Rome to attend Sunday’s proclamation of five new blessed.
The newly beatified are Charles I (1887-1922), emperor of Austria and king of Hungary; Anna Katharina Emmerick (1774-1824), German mystic and Augustinian religious; French priests Peter Vigne (1670-1740), founder of the Daughters of the Most Holy Sacrament, and Trappist Joseph-Marie Cassant (1878-1903); and Italian religious Maria Ludovica De Angelis (1880-1962), missionary in Argentina.
“May the new blessed accompany you on the pilgrimage toward the heavenly homeland,” said the Pope, who was received with singing and applause.
In his address in Italian, French, Spanish and German, the Holy Father briefly reviewed the example given by the new blessed.
The Pontiff emphasized Charles of Austria’s willingness “to serve at all times the will of God. The faith was for him the fundamental norm in his responsibilities as sovereign and father of a family. May trust in God, following his example, give you firmness for your lives.”
Of Anna Katharina Emmerick, the “mystic of Muenster,” the Holy Father recalled that “in her interior relationship with the suffering Savior she fulfilled the maxim of the Apostle to complete — out of love for the Body of Christ, the Church — what is still lacking in the passion of Christ.”
“May God open your hearts, through the intercession of Blessed Anna Katharina, to the interior and exterior needs of your fellowmen. May the example of the blessed reinforce in all the virtue of patience and the spirit of sacrifice,” the Pontiff said.
Speaking of Mother Ludovica De Angelis, the Holy Father emphasized that her life “was consecrated to the glory of God and the service of brothers.”
“The long years spent in the Children’s Hospital of La Plata, a center which today bears her name, had as their program: ‘To do good to all, no matter whom,'” the Pope noted.
“In this task she did everything possible to take care of the sick children, working competently with the health staff and being exemplary to her sisters as superior of the community,” he said. “Her life was a continuous path toward holiness, presenting herself for our consideration as intercessor and witness of charity.”
Finally, the Holy Father referred jointly to Fathers Vigne and Cassant, saying that their example “exhorts us to direct our gaze with love to the Lord Jesus, head of the Church, present in the sacrament of the Eucharist.”
Both “contemplated this mystery for a long time in the silence of prayer and found in this spiritual nourishment the desire to follow Christ as well as the grace of conversion,” he said.
“May their example and intercession help the Christian communities of today to put the Eucharist, source and summit of the life of the Church, at the center of their lives. May it inspire the missionary thrust of which the world is in need to hear the Good News,” the Pope said.
During the audience as well as in his homily, John Paul II explained how the new blessed were united by a strong passion for the Eucharist.