'St. John Paul II Accompanies Us From Heaven'

Senior Vatican Officials, Polish Faithful Celebrate First Anniversary of Pontiff’s Canonization in St. Peter’s

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In the ways of faith, hope and charity, Saint John Paul II continues to accompany us. This was the statement made Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz this morning at the Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for the one-year anniversary of the canonization of Pope John Paul II, reported Vatican Radio.

Cardinal Angelo Sodano presided over the Mass, which was attended by a large delegation of faithful from Krakow, Wojtyla’s native diocese. Concelebrants included Cardinals Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, Angelo Comastri, Leonardo Sandri, and Giovanni Battista Re.

In his homily, Cardinal Dziwisz, the saint’s former secretary and confidant, spoke on JP II’s lasting impact. 

“Holiness is not a privilege reserved for only a few,” but rather “the universal vocation of the People of God,” the Polish cardinal stressed, pointing out how the Polish Pope was very aware of this, and lived his life accordingly.

John Paul II was “a man of prayer, contemplation and action” and of service, he stressed.

His love for Christ, the current Archbishop of Krakow underscored, “took the form of a tireless service to the Church and to the world.”

St. John Paul II is the “Pope of Divine Mercy,” he noted, pointing out an obvious tie to Pope Francis and his style. The Polish cardinal also stressed all JP II did to protect marriage and the family and the dignity of human life, “especially the defenseless.”

“If we are to remain faithful to the legacy of John Paul II,” he said, “we should courageously walk the path of love of God and neighbor, that is, by the way of holiness.”

“This is the daily task set before us. “

Cardinal Dziwisz also reminded those gathered that through St. John Paul II we have a great intercessor in heaven for our personal, family and social matters, and recalled his impact on young people, making them excited about and ready to share their faith. (D.C.L.)

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