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    » 04/03/2011, 00.00

    VATICAN

    With joy towards Easter and beatification of John Paul II



    Benedict XVI "fondly remembers" the Polish pope on the sixth anniversary of his death and who will be beatified on May 1 next. The faith of the blind man healed by Jesus, as opposed to the hardened heart of the Pharisees. We, too, "born blind, were enlightened in baptism. Rekindling the flame of faith, which sometimes "risks being stifled."

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "While, through our Lenten journey, we prepare for the feast of Easter, we are also joyfully approaching the day when we will venerate as Blessed this great witness of Christ and Pope [John Paul II], and rely even more on his intercession", said Benedict XVI today at the end of the Angelus, the day after the anniversary of the Polish pope's death (April 2, 2005). John Paul II will be beatified on May 1st next, the Second Sunday of Easter and Feats of Divine Mercy, a festivity greatly desire by the late Pope.

    Precisely because of the impending beatification, Pope Benedict XVI did not celebrate a memorial Mass yesterday, "but I fondly remembered him in prayer, as I think all of you also did."

    Previously, in the reflection before the Angelus, the pope focused on the Sunday Gospel story, which recounts the miracle of the man born blind (John 9, 1 - 41).

    "Worthy of note - said the pope – is how a simple and sincere person, in a gradually way, makes a journey of faith: at first, he encounters Jesus as a 'man' among others, then he considers him a 'prophet', finally, his eyes open and he proclaims Him 'Lord'. "

    "In opposition to the faith of the healed blind man - he adds - there is a hardening of the hearts of the Pharisees who did not want to accept the miracle, because they refuse to accept Jesus as the Messiah. The crowd, however, pause to discuss the incident and remain distant and indifferent. The same parents of the blind man are overcome by fear of being judged by others. "

    "We too – he went on to explain - because of the sin of Adam are born" blind ", but in the baptismal font we were enlightened by the grace of Christ. Sin had wounded human destined to the darkness of death, but Christ shines in the newness of life and the goal to which we are called. In Him, strengthened by the Holy Spirit, we receive the strength to overcome evil and do good. In fact, Christian life is a continuous conformation to Christ, the image of new man, to achieve full communion with God The Lord Jesus is "the light of the world" (Jn 8:12), because he 'shines knowledge of the glory of God '(2 Cor 4:6) that continues to reveal the intricate story of the meaning of human existence”.

    "In Baptism – he recalled - the gifting of the candle, lit from the paschal candle, the great symbol of the Risen Christ, is a sign which helps to understand what happens in the Sacrament. When our lives are enlightened by the mystery of Christ, we experience the joy of being liberated from all that threatens our fulfillment. In these days which prepare us for Eastermay the gift we received at Baptism be rekindled in us, that flame that sometimes threatens to be stifled. Let us nourish it with prayer and love of neighbour".
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    See also

    14/01/2011 VATICAN
    Beatification of John Paul II on May 1st
    Decision announced today, Benedict XVI to celebrate the rite on Divine Mercy Sunday, particularly linked to the memory of the Polish Pope. The miraculous cure of a nun suffering from Parkinson's disease recognised.

    03/08/2008 VATICAN
    Pope: best wishes for Beijing Games; remembrance of Paul VI
    Benedict XVI hopes that the Beijing Olympics may be a "pledge of fraternity and peace among peoples", and may unfold "in respect of common dignity". Remembrance of the "superhuman merit" of Paul VI, for guiding the Church in the difficult post-council phase.

    17/02/2008 VATICAN - LEBANON
    Pope: The Transfiguration and the way of the Cross. An appeal for Lebanon
    Benedict XVI asks politicians of the Lebanese nation to find the ways of reconciliation, and choose a head of state. At the reflection before the Angelus, he emphasises the Transfiguration, as an anticipation of the resurrection, which presupposes following Jesus on the way of the Cross.

    08/03/2009 VATICAN
    Pope: I pray for all women, for their dignity and value
    Benedict XVI recalls "International Women's Day," and points to Mother Teresa as an example, together with the many women who work "in obscurity" for the good of humanity. The pontiff asks for prayers for his trips to Africa and the Holy Land. An appeal to include moments of prayer and silence during the season of Lent.

    23/11/2008 VATICAN
    Pope: if it rejects the kingdom of God, the world cannot help but go to ruin
    At the recitation of the Angelus, Benedict XVI returns to speaking of charity as the "criterion" of the last judgment. A mention of the beatification, tomorrow in Nagasaki, of 188 Japanese martyrs, and the commemoration of the "great famine" that 75 years ago cost Ukraine millions of dead.



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