04/29/2014, 00.00
INDIA
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For cloistered nun, the two canonised popes are united in their love for the Church

by Nirmala Carvalho
Sister Gemma Marie, prioress of the Discalced Carmelites in Mumbai, talks about Saint John XXIII and Saint John Paul II. "For us, each one was a familiar figure," she told AsiaNews. "They were popes of our time. We knew them. Their canonisation is a sign that saints live among us."

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The two canonised popes "were both filled with the Holy Spirit and united in love for the Church. They spoke to the hearts of the men and women in today's world, to awaken hearts to the truth," said Sister Gemma Marie, prioress of the Discalced Carmelites in Mumbai.

The nun spoke to AsiaNews about Saint John XXIII and Saint John Paul II who were canonised last Sunday by Pope Francis. Together with the other nuns of her convent, she watched the ceremony on television.

"For us, each one was a familiar figure," she explained. "They were popes of our time. We knew them. Their canonisation is a sign that saints live among us."

According to Sister Gemma, the two saints are special because of the many things they had in common, despite their differences.

"John XXIII surprised the world by launching the Second Vatican Council, to modernise Church. He opened the doors to the treasure so that it would no longer be stagnant. Pope John Paul II did the same. He wanted its voice to be heard all over the world, to push young people to build the Church."

"In John XXIII," she noted, "I saw a lot of love towards the cause of contemplation when he asked for a renewal of the Church. He was a visionary. He caused a revolution, but all he could do was look at its beginning. He told us cloistered nuns that 'contemplative life is precious in the sight of God and the Church.' "

Pope John Paul II impressed Sister Gemma because "he was a man so close to God that he proved that the Church belongs to the whole world. Like Pope John, he encouraged everyone to fight against the dominant culture, to bring out the Gospel values ​​and lead the whole world to Christ."

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