Vatican City (AsiaNews) – He was a Pope who called the People of God to holiness, the Pope of Divine Mercy, of youth, a man of prayer, contemplation and action. These are the salient features of John Paul II highlighted by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, during his celebration of Mass this morning in St Peter's Basilica on the first anniversary of the canonization of the Polish Pope.
According to Card. Dziwisz, who was Saint John Paull II’s personal secretary throughout his pontificate, the greatest teaching that Pope John Paul II left us the principle that "holiness is not only a privilege of a few," but it is "the universal vocation of the People of God." For the current Archbishop of Krakow, John Paul II was "a man of prayer, contemplation and action", a "mystic of service" in love with Jesus Christ and this love "took on the form of a tireless service to the Church and to the world ".
He was also the "Pope of Divine Mercy," something, he said, that binds him strongly to Pope Francis. For both the reality of divine and human mercy should be placed at the center of the life of the Church today". Pope Wojtyla, he added, was also prophetic on marriage and the family, on the dignity of human life, "especially that of the defenseless."
Moreover, from the outset of his pontificate John Paul II had a special love for the youth, he called them "the hope of the Church." "How can we not thank, today, in this Basilica - said Card. Dziwisz - the Holy Father Francis for the decision to experience the next World Youth Day with him, in a year, in Krakow? ". "We open wide the doors of John Paul II’s homeland. We open our doors to the Rock of our times and to the crowds of young Christians. We want to share our faith and we want to learn the enthusiasm of faith from them".
However, "we do not live only in memories," there are "new challenges facing the Church." "If we are to remain faithful to the legacy of John Paul II, we should boldly walk the path of love of God and neighbor, that is, by the path of holiness. This is the daily task set before us. " And "we have a great intercessor in heaven for our personal, family and social causes." John Paul II is still present "in a different, but also deeper way in the life of the Church" and he "accompanies us on the path of faith, hope and charity."