Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The two Popes Saints "communicated God to a skeptical world, opening the doors of the Church with the Council and walking through them with courage. They knew how to engage with the world". These are the words of Sajan K George, democracy activist and president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, who in this comment sent to AsiaNews celebrates the great canonization by presided Pope Francis yesterday in St. Peter's Square.
I can clearly see joy and holiness radiate through the two wonderful Popes, Vicar of Christ, who have walked on earth during my life time. In their very lives, they communicate God to a skeptical world in a way many cannot. As Benedict XVI reminds us saints were able to make the great journey of human existence in the way that Christ had done before them, because they were brimming with great hope for a large mass of hopeless peoples.
Who can ever forget the visit Pope John Paul11 's first visit to him his native land, Poland on 2nd of June 1979 which became instrumental in sweeping away more than six decades old the atheistic -communist strangle hold practically across the European continent.
The particular sanctity of John XXIII and John Paul II is tied up intrinsically with the Second Vatican Council. In opening the Council in 1962, Pope John throw open the doors of the Church and let the fresh air of the Spirit blow through." If John opened the doors of the Church, then John Paul II was the one who most dramatically walked through those doors. During his 26-year pontificate, the first non-Italian pope since the Renaissance logged over 750,000 travel miles in 104 foreign trips, more than all previous popes combined.
By canonizing two of the most popular modern saints, Pope Francis is adding a newer element to the expectations of a saintly life: engagement with the world where the consecrated ones not just monks but icons of hope for the poor.
The joys and the hopes, the grief and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted these are the joys and hopes for the followers of Christ.
The modern saints will be men and women who exist in the gritty reality of life. Within the context of his humanity, they will have to communicate in both word and deed the timeless truths of the faith: that God never tires of loving his people, and that all men, women and children are redeemed and made holy by God's love in Jesus Christ.
Pope John Paul II loved India twice, in 1986 and 1999, when His Holiness signed "Ecclesia in Asia" During the visit Pope John Paul II , laid a wreath, at the samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat, and inscribed in the guest book a quote from the Mahatma - "A culture cannot survive if it attempts to be exclusive"- and signed Johnnes Paulus II. I was honoured and humbled as a recipient of the Pope John Paul 11 award for communal harmony.