Guard John Paul II's Legacy, Urges Prelate

Vatican Official Makes Appeal at Mass

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 14, 2005 ( A Vatican official appealed to the Church to safeguard the spiritual legacy left by John Paul II.

Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute for General Affairs of the Vatican Secretariat of State, made the appeal during the homily of the sixth Mass of the “novendiali,” the nine days of Eucharistic celebrations for the repose of the Pontiff’s soul.

He celebrated the Mass on Wednesday in St. Peter’s Basilica, which was attended in particular by aides of the Roman Curia.

“We have the duty to look after what this extraordinary Pope gave the Church and the whole world throughout his life and at the moment of death,” said Archbishop Sandri.

In this connection, the archbishop pointed out that the Pope’s death took place in the Year of the Eucharist, one more proof of his love of Christ “really present in the sacrament of the altar.”

“Whoever was able to share closely the Pope’s daily activity witnessed his profound love of the Eucharist,” he said.

“Before making an important decision he spent much time before the Blessed Sacrament, taking to his private chapel the documents he had to study and reserving for himself a time of reflection and prayer before the tabernacle,” the prelate recalled.

Archbishop Sandri added that “there is a new element of the personality and spirituality of John Paul II which emerged, particularly in the months marked by the progressive deterioration of his health: his simplicity and poverty of life.”

He continued: “Those who had the possibility to see him during the last weeks of his life were in admiration of his modesty, humility and simplicity, his sense of detachment and total willingness with which he abandoned himself in God’s hands.

“The great example and beautiful teaching that the deceased Pope leaves to each one of us, who work in the Roman Curia, center of catholicity, is an example of simplicity and detachment, of faithful and selfless service in the vineyard of the Lord, of constant readiness and docile adherence to the will of God.”

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