200 Attend Mass in Honor of John Paul II

VATICAN CITY, MAY 18, 2005 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II’s personal secretary presided at a Eucharistic concelebration in the Vatican Grottoes on the day the Pope would have turned 85.

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«As children of a good father, we have gathered around his tomb,» said Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, who assisted John Paul II for 40 years, during the mass celebrated near the Pope’s final resting place.

The archbishop explained that the memories and emotions are turned into «an offering of thanksgiving» for the gift of John Paul II’s life, reported Vatican Radio.

He recalled in particular the «Pope’s strong and lived faith,» his hope, and his «gaze fixed on eternity.»

Addressing himself to the late Pope, Archbishop Dziwisz said that, according to Benedict XVI, «you are the beloved Pope,» and that «you will continue to bless us.»

A numerous group of Russian pilgrims were among the 200 people who attended the Mass, led by Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of the Mother of God of Moscow, who concelebrated the Mass with Archbishop Dziwisz.

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