Thought for the Day – 22 October – The Memorial of St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)
Before John Paul II’s funeral Mass in St Peter’s Square, hundreds of thousands of people had waited patiently for a brief moment to pray before his body, which lay in state inside St Peter’s for several days. The media coverage of his funeral was unprecedented.
Presiding at the funeral Mass, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger–then dean of the College of Cardinals and later Pope Benedict XVI–concluded his homily by saying: “None of us can ever forget how, in that last Easter Sunday of his life, the Holy Father, marked by suffering, came once more to the window of the Apostolic Palace and one last time gave his blessing urbi et orbi (‘to the city and to the world’).
“We can be sure that our beloved pope is standing today at the window of the Father’s house, that sees us and blesses us. Yes, bless us, Holy Father. We entrust your dear soul to the Mother of God, your Mother, who guided you each day and who will guide you now to the glory of her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.”
Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us!
St John Paul, ‘Witness to Hope’ – Pray for us!
“Christ is the center of the universe and of human history” was the opening line of John Paul II’s 1979 encyclical, Redeemer of the Human Race. In 1995, he described himself to the United Nations General Assembly as “a witness to hope.”