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Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has written a special letter for the centennial of the birth of Saint Pope John Paul II.

 

                                

                   Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has written a special letter  for the centennial of the birth of

                                                                          Saint Pope John Paul II. 18th May 2020
Letter on Great Mercy of Pope St John Paul II,Praises Predecessor for His Showing the Good and Way to Christ


In the letter, Benedict praises the memory, mercy, and impact of his great predecessor and dear friend.Recognizing how an almost impossible task was awaiting newly-elected John Paul II, “from the first moment on,” Benedict said, “John Paul II aroused new enthusiasm for Christ and his Church.”
“His words from the sermon at the inauguration of his pontificate: “Do not be afraid! Open, open wide the doors for Christ!” This call and tone would characterize his entire pontificate and made him a liberating restorer of the Church.”
He noted that this was conditioned “by the fact that the new Pope came from a country where the Council’s reception had been positive: one of a joyful renewal of everything rather than an attitude of doubt and uncertainty in all.”
Recalling that John Paul II traveled the world, having made 104 pastoral voyages, Benedict said, he proclaimed “the Gospel wherever he went as a message of joy, explaining in this way the obligation to defend what is Good and to be for Christ.”
In his 14 Encyclicals, Benedict XVI said, “he comprehensively presented the faith of the Church and its teaching in a human way. By doing this, he inevitably sparked contradiction in Church of the West, clouded by doubt and uncertainty.”
Benedict expressed his desire to add “a brief personal remark that seems an important aspect of the Pope’s nature and work.”
“From the very beginning, John Paul II was deeply touched by the message of Faustina Kowalska, a nun from Kraków, who emphasized Divine Mercy as an essential center of the Christian faith.
Benedict recalled how he eventually formulated a proposal that left the Second Sunday of Easter in its historical form but included Divine Mercy in its original message. “There have often been similar cases in which I was impressed by the humility of this great Pope, who abandoned ideas he cherished because he could not find the approval of the official organs that must be asked according established norms.”
When John Paul II took his last breaths on this world, the prayer of the First Vespers of the Feast of Divine Mercy had just ended. This illuminated the hour of his death: the light of God’s mercy stands as a comforting message over his death.
In his last book Memory and Identity, which was published on the eve of his death, Benedict reminded, Pope John Paul II once again summarized the message of Divine Mercy.
Throughout John Paul II’s life, the German retired Pope noted, he “sought to subjectively appropriate the objective center of Christian faith, the doctrine of salvation, and to help others to make it theirs.”
“Through the resurrected Christ,” he explained, “God’s mercy is intended for every individual. Although this center of Christian existence is given to us only in faith, it is also philosophically significant, because if God’s mercy were not a fact, then we would have to find our way in a world where the ultimate power of good against evil is not recognizable. It is finally, beyond this objective historical significance, indispensable for everyone to know that in the end God’s mercy is stronger than our weakness.
“Moreover, at this point,” the Pope Emeritus observed, “the inner unity of the message of John Paul II and the basic intentions of Pope Francis can also be found: John Paul II is not the moral rigorist as some have partially portrayed him. With the centrality of divine mercy, he gives us the opportunity to accept moral requirement for man, even if we can never fully meet it. Besides, our moral endeavors are made in the light of divine mercy, which proves to be a force that heals for our weakness.”
While Pope John Paul II was dying, Benedict recalled that St. Peter’s Square was filled with people, especially many young people, who wanted to meet their Pope one last time.
“I cannot forget the moment when Archbishop Sandri announced the message of the Pope’s departure,” he noted, saying: “Above all, the moment when the great bell of St. Peter’s took up this message remains unforgettable.”
“On the day of his funeral, there were many posters with the words “Santo subito!” It was a cry that rose from the encounter with John Paul II from all sides. Not from the square but also in different intellectual circles the idea of giving John Paul II the title “the Great” was discussed,” he said.

MAY 15, 2020 12:04DEBORAH CASTELLANO LUBOVBENEDICT XVI