Benedict XVI invites faithful to reap the spiritual legacy of John Paul II

Source: FSSPX News

Pope Benedict XVI invited tens of thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square to reap the spiritual legacy of John Paul II on April 2, 2006 at 9.37 pm, which was the hour of the death of his predecessor one year ago.

 “Symbolically it is the entire city of Rome, which is gathered here for this moving time of prayer and reflection,” declared the pope from the window of his apartments. The memory of John Paul II “is ever more vivid, as the many events organized all over the world bear witness. He continues to be present in our thoughts and in our hearts, he continues to hand down to us, his love of God and his love for mankind, and he continues to inspire in everyone, especially the young, enthusiasm for good and the courage to follow Jesus Christ and his teachings.”

 For Benedict XVI, the legacy of John Paul II can be summed up by two words: “fidelity and devotion.” “Total fidelity to God and unstinting devotion to his own mission as pastor of the universal Church.”

 The pope recalled his slow and painful death, “his illness faced with courage” which had made everyone “more heedful of human suffering, of all physical and spiritual pain.” “He gave dignity and value to suffering.” Benedict XVI ended by calling on the faithful to “seek tirelessly that unique Truth which alone can bring peace to our hearts,” “not to be afraid of following Christ,” “to proclaim the Gospel, which is the foundation of a more interdependent and brotherly humanity,” and to be “morning sentinels,” according to an expression dear to John Paul II.

The prayer vigil, organized by the diocese of Rome, which was attended by, among others, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the vicar of Rome, and many members of the Roman Curia, began at 8.30 pm, with readings of Karol Wojtyla’s writings. These readings were interspersed with canticles sung by the choir of the diocese of Rome. At 9pm, from his window, Benedict XVI, led the rosary, interspersed with new extracts from sermons by John Paul II. The Vatican Television Center (CTV) broadcast live images of the vigil which were simultaneously transmitted outside of the archbishop’s palace in Cracow, beneath the balcony where Cardinal Wojtyla used to appear before the crowds when he was archbishop of the city.

 On April 3 at 5.30 pm, Benedict XVI presided over a Mass celebrated in the square of St. Peter’s Basilica for the repose of the soul of the deceased pope.

 The Sovereign Pontiff watched a preview of the TV film recounting the years of John Paul II’s pontificate, entitled Karol, a pope who remained man. Afterwards, in the Paul VI Hall, Benedict XVI was able to thank the Polish actor, Piotr Adamczyk, for having “brought to life the character of (his) revered predecessor,” as well as Giacomo Battiato the director and producer, “who represented with skilful mastery the central moments of the apostolic ministry” of John Paul II. The TV film will be shown on May 10 and 11, 2006 on the Italian television channel, Canale 5.