On Blessed John Paul II

May His Example Inspire Us to Be «Icons of Divine Mercy»

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 1, 2011 (Zenit.org).- After celebrating Mass in St. Peter’s Square and beatifying Pope John Paul II today, Benedict XVI greeted the crowds in various languages before praying the midday Regina Caeli.

In English, he said:

I greet the English-speaking visitors present at today’s Mass. In a particular way I welcome the distinguished civil authorities and representatives of the world’s nations who join us in honouring Blessed John Paul II. May his example of firm faith in Christ, the Redeemer of Man, inspire us to live fully the new life which we celebrate at Easter, to be icons of divine mercy, and to work for a world in which the dignity and rights of every man, woman and child are respected and promoted. Trusting in his prayers, I cordially invoke upon you and your families the peace of the Risen Saviour!

He concluded in Italian:

Finally, I address a cordial greeting to the president of the Italian Republic and his entourage, with a special thanks to the Italian authorities for their appreciated cooperation in organizing these days of celebration. And how could I not mention here all of those who have been preparing this event for a long time and with great generosity: my Diocese of Rome with Cardinal Vallini, the municipality of the city with its mayor, all of the security teams and the various organizations, associations, the numerous volunteers and whoever made themselves available to offer help, even individually. My grateful thoughts also go out to the Vatican institutions and offices. In such efforts I see a sign of great love for John Paul II. 

Finally, I offer my most affectionate greeting to all of the pilgrims – gathered in St. Peter’s Square, in the nearby streets and in various parts of Rome – and to those who join us through radio and television, whose directors and operators have spared nothing to make it possible even for those farthest away to participate in this great day. To the sick and the elderly, toward whom the newly beatified [John Paul II] felt particularly close, a special greeting. And now in spiritual union with John Paul II, we turn with love to Mary Most Holy, entrusting to her, Mother of the Church, the journey of the whole People of God.

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