John Paul II's Faith Rock-Like at End, Says Pope

Affirms It Was Love for Christ That Moved Him

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 29, 2010 ( Physical weakness never affected Pope John Paul II’s «rock-like faith,» Benedict XVI affirmed today during a Mass for the fifth anniversary of the Polish Pontiff’s death.

Benedict XVI celebrated a Mass for the repose of John Paul II’s soul today though the anniversary of his death is April 2, which this year falls on Good Friday.

In his homily that reflected on the biblical readings for the liturgy, the Pontiff spoke of the charity toward Christ shown by Mary when she anointed his feet with oil.

He said that John Paul II’s whole life unfolded in the sign of charity, «of this capacity to give himself in a generous way, without reservations, without measure, without calculation.»

«What moved him,» the Pope said, «was love for Christ, to whom he had consecrated his life, a superabundant and unconditional love. It is precisely because he drew ever closer to God in love, that he was able to make himself a fellow wayfarer with the man of today, spreading in the world the perfume of the love of God.»

The Holy Father said that those who worked closely with John Paul II could sense his «certainty ‘of contemplating the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living,’ […] a certainty that accompanied him in the course of his existence and that, in a particular way, was manifested during the last period of his pilgrimage on this earth.»

The Pontiff affirmed that John Paul II’s «progressive physical weakness […] never affected his rock-like faith, his luminous hope, his fervent charity.»

«He let himself be consumed by Christ, for the Church, for the whole world,» the Pope said. «His was a suffering lived to the end for love and with love.»

Benedict XVI gave a special greeting to Polish pilgrims who participated in the Mass, saying their countryman represents a particular responsibility for them.

He said: «The life and work of John Paul II, a great Pole, can be a reason for pride for you. However it is necessary for you to remember that this is also a great call to be faithful witnesses of the faith, the hope and the love that he taught us uninterruptedly.»

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