BOSTON, MARCH 22, 2011 (Zenit.org).- A former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican remembers many things about working with Pope John Paul II, but he says the Holy Father’s personal kindness to his family is what he’s most grateful for.
Raymond Flynn returned to the neighborhood of his birth last week to speak at the dedication of the Pope John Paul II Hall at Our Lady of Czestochowa Church in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Flynn was the mayor of Boston from 1984 until 1993, when he was appointed ambassador to the Holy See, a post he filled until 1997.
He spoke of the Polish Pontiff’s “remarkable legacy and record of courageous moral and political leadership in the world.” noting how he “inspired the people of Poland to stand up to Communism and oppression, and in doing so, changed Eastern Europe and the world.”
“I spoke with the Pope on numerous occasions and traveled to several countries with him, but his personal kindness to my family will be what I will always be most grateful for,” Flynn said. “I was with him in Boston long before he became Pope, and was in Rome when he died.”
Flynn stated that young people “need to be reminded of the very positive impact that John Paul II had on our culture and society. He spoke out on issues when it wasn’t very popular, and reminded us about the dignity of every person.”
“I was born in this Polish Catholic neighborhood of Boston, and have been able to achieve a number of things in life,” the former ambassador reflected, “but knowing Pope John Paul II, will be one of the greatest honors in my life.”