» 05/01/2011, 00.00
Love for others, John Paul II’s legacy to young people
Huge numbers of foreigners, more than Italians, descended on Rome today, the day of the beatification of the Polish pope, acclaimed saint since his death. John Paul II was a guide especially important for young people, as many Asians recall.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Asia. This is our common task for the third millennium, "wrote John Paul II in his book "Rise, Let us be on our Way". And today revealed how this pope was in turn essential for Catholics in Asia. Because in an attempt to find- with great difficulty - even a small space from which to witness the beatification ceremony, what struck the most was the many, many different languages and diverse features, each one unique. A riot of colours surrounding St Peter’s Square, Via della Conciliazione, Castel S. Angelo, Corso Vittorio Emanuele and small side streets, crammed with people from all over the world. A sea of umbrellas to shelter from the scorching sun, banners, young volunteers who were handing out free water bottles and fruit, children on their father’s shoulders to catch a better glimpse. Despite the weariness of the long wait and the heat, their eyes were always alert. Young people, in particular, and families. The legacy left by Pope John Paul II, beatified today, is immense.
It was difficult to move through the throngs of people. A score of Catholics from Singapore arrived at 7 in the morning. "Since the process of beatification began, I wanted to be here today," said one lady. "I met Pope John Paul II for the first time - she remembers - when he came to Singapore in 1986. When I saw him, I felt a deep sense of contentment". She's tired, but her voice is full of enthusiasm. "The greatest legacy of this pope - she says - is his message of love to all, especially to younger people. He always told young people to be vigilant, to have patience and be able to face all the difficulties and problems that life puts in our path. I taught for 37 years. Now I am retired but still working in education: I can say with joy that the young witness with their lives that they understand and accept his message. "
During his pontificate, John Paul II made many trips to Asia. In 1984 he was in Thailand. One young girl was there welcome him, among many. Today she is a grown woman, who came here to Rome to witness the Blessed pope. "His greatest teaching for me is his love for others and care for each other. Because it was what he did with people, especially children, "she says. She adds, with certainty: "He was a gentle man and a true saint on earth."
There were also numerous groups from the Philippines, the largest Christian majority Asian nation (94% of the population, of these 81% are Catholics). Couples, singles, families. Many participated in World Youth Day in Manila in 1995. All said they were "happy" that the beatification of John Paul II had taken place.
"Because this is what was pleasing to the Lord: John Paul II is blessed!" Proclaims Pope Benedict XVI at 11.15. And the screams and applause of the crowd who had come here today from all over the world gathered up his inheritance.
01/05/2011 VATICAN - ASIA
From Vietnam, Korea, Palestine and Israel to greet the new Blessed John Paul II
Thousands faced long hours of waiting in queues and travel for days just to show their devotion to Pope Wojtyla. Vietnamese pilgrims and Palestinians are asking the new blessed to watch over their countries, victims of violence and war.
07/04/2005 VATICAN - ASIA
Asia united in St Peter's to say goodbye to the Pope
Tributes and words of affection and gratitude by Asians in Rome to say their farewell to Pope John Paul II.
15/05/2006 RUSSIA - VATICAN
Largest ever pilgrimage of Russian Catholics to Rome
150 pilgrims are set to arrive today. The initiative will close the year dedicated to the commemoration of John Paul II. There are numerous testimonies from Russia for the beatification cause of the deceased pontiff. The pilgrims have said: "Praying with the pope is the dream of a lifetime."
Blessed John Paul II and our mission
Some "enlightened" Catholics criticise the "hurry" for his beatification. But the personality of John Paul II testified that faith is not about rules, abstract dogmas or sociological moralisms, but a relationship with Jesus Christ that changes lives. His consecration to Mary without sentimentality; contemplation and missionary zeal to bring Christ to the world, surpassing clerical closure and materialistic suffocation, these are the pillars of his message. He was the pope who launched the mission in Asia for the Third Millennium. AsiaNews is indebted to the vision of this great pope and blessed.
Mumbai, 5 thousand young people celebrate the beatification of John Paul II
A procession, a Mass, a prayer vigil and then a gospel concert was how the young people of Mount Caramel Youth Movement welcomed the proclamation of the blessed pope. The "Jesus Fest" was held on 30 April and 1st May.
VATICAN - ASIA
The world is in urgent need of the Church's mission
October is a month devoted to awakening the call to mission among Christians. In the world there is indifference or enmity towards God and the Church. Religions are considered the source of all wars. Christianity is the encounter with a Person who changes the life of the believer and places him at the service of the wounds of the world, torn by frustrations and fratricidal wars. The example of the Patriarch of Baghdad and of the President of South Korea.
10/10/2017 VATICAN - MYANMAR - BANGLADESH
12/10/2017 HONG KONG - CHINA
12/10/2017 VATICAN - ITALY
13/10/2017 VATICAN - LEBANON
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.