“These years have made us understand how John Paul II has entered people’s heart; he lives with us and his memory is always alive. The affection for him is demonstrated by the people that visit his tomb and invoke his intercession,” said to SIR agency, Monsignor Slawomir Oder, Postulator of Pope John Paul II’s canonization, on the eve of the 12th anniversary of his death, which occurred at 9:37 pm on April 2, 2005.
“The sentiment evidenced at the moment of his death, namely, the loss of a dear person, remains, but in the awareness that in any case he is close to us and accompanies us on our journey,” affirmed Monsignor Oder. “As Postulator I can say that still today, after so many years of his death, I continue to receive so many signs of affection regarding John Paul II and letters left on his tomb, the objective of so many pilgrims. Pope Wojtyla marked an epoch in the life of the Church and generations of Christians: we certainly carry him in our heart,” he said.
What can John Paul II still say today, in Pope Francis’ Church? “The central message of the Church, which Pope Francis continues to interpret, in keeping with his own charism and enriching it with his experience, wisdom and holiness,” answered Monsignor Oder. The cry we heard at the beginning of the Polish Pope’s pontificate — ‘Do Not Be Afraid, Open Wide the Doors to Christ’ –, we hear constantly today, in the Church led by Pope Francis, as an invitation to authenticity of life and of the Christian spirit, and to recognize Christ’s presence in the Church and in our brothers who live in difficulties,” he added.