Beatification of Pope John Paul II

I had a deep desire to be present at the beatification of John Paul II and, a coincidence, two friends of mine in Rome invited me to participate with them in this event...

I had a deep desire to be present at the beatification of John Paul II and, a coincidence, two friends of mine in Rome invited me to participate with them in this event.
 Early on the morning of the 1st of May we joined a large crowd had gathered in the grassy area close to the Castel Sant’Angelo. Already, since dawn the area had been filled with young people, adults, families with children, religious (men and women), priests etc. who had come from all parts of the world. There was an atmosphere of festivity and also of expectation. The joy we felt made us forget our fatigue… the faces of so many sisters and brothers invited us to say:
 
’This is the day that the Lord has made; it is marvellous in our eyes.’
 
The presence of groups from the whole world was a renewed call to universal communion. The big screens that were there showed important stages of his pontificate, scenes recalling all this and also the world youth days. The sound of his voice moved everybody and recalled his message of humanity and the testimony he gave. He began with the sentence: ’Do not be afraid, but rather, open wide the door to Christ!’
 
Cardinal Agostini Vallini, vicar of Rome, presented the person of John Paul II to Pope Benedict XVI, emphasising with emotion the life of the pope who knew the world and looked at it through the eyes of Mary.
 
Everybody was wrapped in silence; listening to this moved the heart of all those present with emotion and gratitude for the gift of his life so deeply rooted in Christ; by his life he gave a testimony of universal paternity. Everybody’s heart was in the grip of deep emotion in an atmosphere of attention, joy, thanksgiving and festivity.
 
My friend Giovanna, who has cancer, and her husband who is exhausted by his night work, were filled with a silent joy and gratitude for this unique ecclesial experience. The attraction of this pope had given them the opportunity to have an experience of the universal Church and to discover the face of God through the gift of a faithful witness.
 
’We will come back’, said Giovanni and Lina at his tomb, ’to tell the Blessed Pope what nobody knows, being sure and certain that he will hear us and will understand the desires of our heart.’
 
I too say ’Thank you’ to Blessed John Paul II for the message of hope and salvation that he gave to the world.
 
 
 Sister Anna
16/05/2011
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