DURING COVID-19, DRAW STRENGTH FROM CRUCIFIED AND RISEN LORD – NEW STUDY COMMISSION ON FEMALE DIACONATE ESTABLISHED

CORRECTION FYI: The Good Friday meditation before the Crown of Thorns will be broadcast live from inside the Notre-Dame Cathedral from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. local time FRIDAY APRIL 10, days before the first anniversary of the fire. This relic was spared during last year’s fire in the cathedral. This will be transmitted on the website of France’s Catholic television station, KTO. I do not know as I write if Vaticannews.va and/or EWTN will transmit this.

DURING COVID-19, DRAW STRENGTH FROM CRUCIFIED AND RISEN LORD

At today’s general audience that took place in the library of the Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father focussed his catechesis on Holy Week and the Lord’s passion, linking them to the spiral of death and fear that has enveloped the entire world with Covid-19.

“At this time of anxiety and suffering caused by the current pandemic,” began Francis, “we all face uncertainty and may ask where God is to be found in this situation. During these days of Holy Week we can find solace in the account of the Passion of Jesus. Our Lord also faced questions, with many wondering whether he really was the promised Messiah.

“It was only after his death,” continued the Pope, “that a centurion confirmed that Jesus truly was the Son of God. He did this after seeing Christ suffer silently on the cross, which teaches us that God’s power is revealed in humble and self-sacrificial love.”

The Holy Father explained that, “We, like the disciples, may have preferred the Lord to manifest his strength by resolving our problems according to our own measure of what is right. Yet the death and resurrection of Jesus show that while earthly power passes away, only love endures forever. Dear brothers and sisters, let us draw courage from our crucified and risen Lord, who embraces our fragility, heals our sins, and draws us close to him, transforming our doubts into faith and our fears into hope.”

A NEW STUDY COMMISSION ON FEMALE DIACONATE ESTABLISHED

From the Vatican Press Office today:

During a recent audience granted to His Eminence Cardinal Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, SJ, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Holy Father decided to establish a new study commission on the female diaconate, calling the following to be part of it:

President: Cardinal Giuseppe Petrocchi, Archbishop of L’Aquila.
Secretary: Rev. Denis Dupont-Fauville, official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Members:
Prof. Catherine Brown Tkacz, Lviv (Ukraine).
Prof. Dominic Cerrato, Steubenville (USA).
Prof. Don Santiago del Cura Elena, Burgos (Spain).
Prof. Caroline Farey, Shrewsbury (Great Britain).
Prof. Barbara Hallensleben, Fribourg (Switzerland).
Prof. Don Manfred Hauke, Lugano (Switzerland).
Prof. James Keating, Omaha (USA).
Prof. Msgr. Angelo Lameri, Crema (Italy).
Prof. Rosalba Manes, Viterbo (Italy).
Prof. Anne-Marie Pelletier, Paris (France).

AUSTRALIA’S HIGH COURT OVERTURNS CARDINAL PELL’S CONVICTION – PRESS OFFICE ON AUSTRALIA COURT DECISION – PAPAL ALMONER: INVITE TO MEMBERS OF PAPAL HOUSEHOLD

AUSTRALIA’S HIGH COURT OVERTURNS CARDINAL PELL’S CONVICTION

On Tuesday morning, the judges serving on Australia’s High Court announced their decision to overturn Cardinal Pell’s conviction saying that the “evidence did not establish guilt to the requisite standard of proof.”

By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp
Cardinal George Pell’s legal battle ended on Tuesday morning. Australia’s High Court announced their unanimous decision to overturn the guilty verdict upheld by Victoria’s Court of Appeal last August. The High Court justices based their decision on the fact that the appellate court had failed to take into consideration whether there “remained a reasonable possibility that the offending had not taken place”, leaving open “reasonable doubt” as to the Cardinal’s guilt. (JFL photo)

The Cardinal has been in prison since the February 2019 guilty verdict was announced. Shortly after the High Court acquitted him, he left the prison and is reported to have been taken to a monastery in Melbourne.

Cardinal Pell’s reaction
Cardinal Pell released a statement after hearing the High Court’s decision. In it, he reiterates that he has “consistently maintained” his innocence. The “injustice” that he received “has been remedied” today, he continued.

Addressing the person who brought the charges against him, Cardinal Pell said, “I hold no ill will towards my accuser.” And thinking of others who may feel “hurt and bitterness”, he said that he does not want his acquittal to add any additional pain. The basis for “long term healing,” he continued, “is truth and the only basis for justice is truth, because justice means truth for all.”

The Cardinal thanked everyone who has prayed for him, sent letters of support, his family, his “team of advisors,” “friends and supporters here and overseas,” and especially, his legal team. He ended his statement thinking of those affected by the Coronavirus. “I am praying for all those affected and our medical frontline personnel,” he said.

Australian Bishops reaction
On behalf of the Australian Bishops’ Conference, its President, Archbishop Mark Coleridge also issued a statement. In it, he acknowledges the mixed feelings that the Cardinal’s acquittal will provoke. “Today’s outcome will be welcome” by those who “believe in the Cardinal’s innocence” and “devastating for others.” “Many have suffered greatly through the process, which has now reached its conclusion,” the Archbishop said.

Archbishop Coleridge ended his statement reiterating the “Church’s unwavering commitment to child safety and to a just and compassionate response to survivors and victims of child sexual abuse.” Since children’s safety is of utmost important to the “Catholic community”, and its bishops, he invited: “any person with allegations of sexual abuse by Church personnel should go to the police.”
(This article was updated at 8:22am Rome time, Tuesday)

PRESS OFFICE ON AUSTRALIA COURT DECISION

“The Holy See, which has always expressed confidence in the Australian judicial authority, welcomes the High Court’s unanimous decision concerning Cardinal George Pell, acquitting him of the accusations of abuse of minors and overturning his sentence.

“Entrusting his case to the court’s justice, Cardinal Pell has always maintained his innocence, and has waited for the truth to be ascertained.

“At the same time, the Holy See reaffirms its commitment to preventing and pursuing all cases of abuse against minors.”

PAPAL ALMONER: INVITE TO MEMBERS OF PAPAL HOUSEHOLD

A communiqué from the Papal Almoner:

“The Apostolic Almoner of the Holy Father, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, invites the Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops and Prelates who make up the Cappella Papale (Papal Household) Chapel to solidarity.

“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the liturgical celebrations presided over by the Holy Father in Holy Week will be lived without the presence of those who, in accordance with the Motu Proprio Pontificalis Domus, make up the Papal Household.

“To participate in the sufferings of those who are experiencing this trial, the Almoner asks in a letter (the Papal Household) to be united intimately and in a special way with the Pontiff, Bishop of Rome who “presides over the universal communion of charity” (Ecumenical Vatican Council II, Constitution Lumen gentium, 3), through an offer. The Holy Father will then decide the destination of the alms collected for the health emergency.”

POPE FRANCIS’ PALM SUNDAY MASS IN 1 MINUTE – INSPIRATION IN PRAYER AND ART FOR THE COVID-19 ERA

POPE FRANCIS’ PALM SUNDAY MASS IN 1 MINUTE

Pope Francis celebrates Palm Sunday Mass in an empty St. Peter’s Basilica due to the coronavirus pandemic, and dedicates his homily to the theme of service and love. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-04/pope-palm-sunday-mass-video-one-minute.html

INSPIRATION IN PRAYER AND ART FOR THE COVID-19 ERA

ROSARY, ANGELUS LIVE STREAMED DAILY FROM LORETO

Starting Monday, April 6, every day at noon, Archbishop Fabio Dal Cin will preside over the recitation of the Rosary and the Angelus prayer from the Marian Shrine of Loreto. Archbishop Dal Cin, the Pontifical Delegate for the Shrine, said: “The Holy House of Loreto invites us to invoke Mary, so as not to lose hope in the God of life.” He invited the faithful to join every day at 12 noon throughout Holy Week. Vatican News is providing live streaming of the prayer (www.vaticannews.va). “You can also join us at 9 pm every evening for the recitation of the Rosary and the Supplication to Our Lady of Loreto to free us from evil and from the pandemic.” (vaticannews)

PRAYING WITH THE RELICS OF PADRE PIO

At a moment of worldwide anxiety and uncertainty, nothing matters more than prayer. “Prayer is the best weapon we have,” Padre Pio once said. “It is the key to God’s heart.” With this in mind, the Saint Pio Foundation is privileged to offer an extraordinary opportunity for all of us to join our hearts in prayer during this time of pandemic. From Monday, April 6 to May 1, 2020, the Saint Pio Foundation is launching a dedicated web page that will offer the opportunity to pray the rosary virtually, in the presence of the relics of Padre Pio. The page features the relics and four different video clips, each representing a mystery of the rosary, along with narration announcing the mysteries. This is an unparalleled initiative that the Saint Pio Foundation hopes will encourage devotion and hope during this time of turmoil and draw the world together at a time when so many feel pulled apart. To access: https://www.saintpiofoundation.org/online-veneration (source: Saint Pio Foundation)

A VIRTUAL VISIT TO ART OF RAPHAEL ON 500TH ANNIVERSARY OF DEATH

At the Scuderie del Quirinale (Quirinale Stables), an exhibition had been set up to open on March 5, 2020 on the 500th anniversary of the death of Raffaello Sanzio. In the impossibility of visiting the exhibition, the stables presented a “virtual visit” that will accompany the participants on a walk through the halls, custodians of over 200 masterpieces from all over the world. This is a way to allow the public to admire, even from a distance, the splendor of Raphael’s art and the grandeur of the exhibition project, in order to share culture and beauty with as many people as possible. https://agcult.it/a/16525/2020-03-26/scuderie-del-quirinale-la-visita-virtuale-della-mostra-raffaello-e-da-oggi-online


(JFL: To visit the Quirinale Place, once the summer residence of Popes and now home to Italy’s president, click here: https://palazzo.quirinale.it/palazzo_en.html)

JOAN’S HOME – PALM SUNDAY 2020

JOAN’S HOME – PALM SUNDAY 2020

Just a note to wish everyone a beautiful and blessed Palm Sunday, probably the strangest start to a Holy Week in two millennia! I hope that somehow your day is meaningful and that you were able to participate, so to speak, in Mass. There were certainly hundreds of choices online!

As it was Palm Sunday, I put some palms on the door to my apartment. All year round I have some kind of a wreath on my front door and this morning I added palms. Left over from last year, they were dry but still a light green!

I “attended” Mass in my Rome parish of St. Patrick’s and, if you saw the link I posted, I was also a lector. I later saw part of Pope Francis’ Mass at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica.

I then treated myself to brunch. When times are normal I have Sunday brunch at Homebaked so I made the same meal today – French toast, bacon (divine) and a mimosa!

Here’s to you!

 

SHROUD OF TURIN TO BE VENERATED ON HOLY SATURDAY VIA TV, INTERNET

SHROUD OF TURIN TO BE VENERATED ON HOLY SATURDAY VIA TV, INTERNET

(La Stampa – Torino) – Coronavirus, Saturday, April 11, extraordinary Shroud veneration on live TV and social media.

At 5pm local time, Archbishop Nosiglia will lead a liturgy of prayer and contemplation from the cathedral that houses the Shroud.

Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia of Turin, custodian of the Holy Shroud of Turin, has announced via Youtube that on Holy Saturday, April 11, there will be a televised meditation of the Shroud, visible throughout the world, accompanied by prayer.

“Thousands and thousands of people, young and old, healthy and sick – said the archbishop – have asked me, at this time of such serious difficulty, if we could pray in Holy Week in front of the Shroud to implore before the image of the dead and resurrected Christ that the sacred cloth presents us in such a concrete way, to ask him for the grace to overcome evil as he did on the cross, trusting in the goodness and mercy of God.”

Archbishop Nosiglia explained that he “gladly accepted this request: I assure everyone that we will carry it out on Holy Saturday starting at 5 pm: I will preside over a long prayer in front of the Shroud, thanks to television and social media. Thus, this time of contemplation will make available to everyone throughout the world, the image of the Sacred Cloth that reminds us of the passion and death of the Lord but which also opens our hearts to faith in the resurrection. Love is stronger: this is the Easter announcement of the Shroud that fills our hearts with gratitude and faith. Yes, the love with which Jesus gave us his life is stronger than any suffering, disease and contagion, any trial and discouragement. Nothing and no one can ever separate us from this love, it unites us to him with an indissoluble bond.”

Some of the many photos I took on a visit to Turin for a Shroud exposition:

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The archbishop of Turin then recalled that, “Pope Francis, for the 2013 televised exposition, told us: ‘It is not we who contemplate in the Shroud a face that has its eyes closed by death, but it is he who looks at us to make us understand what great love he had for us, freeing us from sin and death. That face speaks to our heart, it communicates a great peace to us, and it is as if it says ‘trust us’, do not lose hope, the strength of the love of God and the Risen One wins everything. Dear friends throughout the world, I wait for you to raise to God through the contemplation of the Shroud a choral prayer together with his son Jesus our brother and Savior. Yes, the Shroud always repeats it to our heart: love is stronger.”

FOR VIDEOS IN ITALIAN CLICK HERE: https://www.lastampa.it/torino/2020/04/04/news/coronavirus-per-pasqua-venerazione-straordinaria-della-sindone-in-diretta-tv-e-su-internet-1.38677929

VATICAN INSIDER: INTERVIEWS IN A TIME OF QUARANTINE – POPE’S APRIL PRAYER INTENTION: “LIBERATION FROM ADDICTIONS” – FROM CHINESE CATHOLICS: “HOLY FATHER, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF”

VATICAN INSIDER: INTERVIEWS IN A TIME OF QUARANTINE

I welcome listeners to a new edition of Vatican Insider by noting that this Palm Sunday weekend around the world will be a weekend marked by empty churches because of the coronavirus quarantines in place in almost all countries of the world. However, because of wonderful technology available today, thousands, surely tens of thousands of Masses will be streamed live into the homes of tens of millions.

It is thanks to great technology that I bring you “Vatican Insider” each weekend but even the best of technology does not allow me to leave my home for interviews in this tumultuous period of Covid-19.

Because of mandatory restrictions on movements outside of one’s home, except for medical emergencies and necessary basics like food and medicine, I’ve not been able these last weeks to go out and interview guests for the interview segment of VI. Until conditions allow me to do that, we will be re-airing some previous Specials I did, including visits to the seven pilgrim churches of Rome – and that includes the four papal basilicas.

However, because we still are in Lent, this week’s Special is a profile of Rome’s celebrated Lenten Station Churches.

The first station church – Santa Sabina

I will continue to bring you the News segment and a Q&A every weekend when time allows. Thanks so much for your patience under the circumstances! I am hoping you can use the podcasts of these visits in and around Rome for the day you are finally able to visit the Eternal City again!

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at http://www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on http://www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/audio-library/index.asp (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)

POPE’S APRIL PRAYER INTENTION: “LIBERATION FROM ADDICTIONS”

Pope Francis on Thursday released a video message accompanying his prayer intention for April, which is that “those suffering from addiction may be properly helped and accompanied.”

In his prayer intention for April 2020, Pope Francis asks everyone to pray for those who suffer from addiction, especially addiction to gambling, pornography, and the internet. It has become the custom of Pope Francis to release a video message detailing his prayer intention for each month.

That text follows:
“Surely, you’ve heard about the drama of addiction. And, have you also thought about the addiction to gambling, to pornography, to the Internet – and the dangers of virtual space? Supported by the ‘Gospel of Mercy’ we can alleviate, care for and heal the suffering associated with new kinds of addiction. We pray that those suffering from addiction may be properly helped and accompanied.” (source: vaticannews:
https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-04/pope-francis-prayer-intention-april-2020-addictions.html)

FROM CHINESE CATHOLICS: “HOLY FATHER, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF”

Beijing (Agenzia Fides) – “Holy Father, during the epidemic, may you also have your person at heart. Do it for us, 1.3 billion Catholics around the world. Please take care of yourself too!” This is the recommendation that Chinese Catholics address to Pope Francis from the bottom of their hearts. An open letter addressed to the Bishop of Rome and published today on Xinde Press (“Faith”) website, the widest platform for Chinese Catholic communication.

“The same recommendation” reads the letter, “we would like to extend to those who administer Casa Santa Marta and its secretaries: may they take care of the Pope, in this difficult period, and watch over the safety distances when he has to meet visitors. And if he must necessarily receive someone or participate in events with other people, we hope very much that the Pope will also wear a mask.”

In the words of the letter addressed to the Pope one perceives the loving concern of those who also care about the health of a person they love so much, at a time when danger is incumbent on everyone. As a gesture of faith and communion, countless Chinese Catholics remained awake or woke up on purpose in the middle of the night to follow via internet the extraordinary act of prayer in times of epidemic presided over by Pope Francis on Friday 27 March in St. Peter’s Square (in Beijing it was already one 1 am, Saturday 28 March). A large number of them are following the Pope’s spiritual suggestions every day (reciting the rosary, novena, daily prayers) to live their own Lenten spiritual journey in this time devastated by the global health emergency.

The aid collected with the coordination of Jinde Charity – as well as that sent by other communities and private citizens – is arriving in Italy and in the Vatican with the logistical support of the Italian embassy in Beijing and the Italian Foreign Ministry, which has made it possible to coordinate and organize the air transport of the collected aid. On March 28, the second shipment of aid sent by Chinese Catholics arrived at Malpensa airport (Milan), for a total value of 450,000 euros.

Through the Vatican Pharmacy, the aid was distributed to the Office of the pastoral care of the Vicariate of Rome (10,000 N95 model masks, over 500,000 disposable masks, 27,000 surgical gloves, 8,000 coveralls and 6,000 protective glasses). Large quantities of the same health devices were sent to the Diocese of Macerata, to Gemelli Hospital of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, and to the field hospital of the National Alpine Association. The first shipment of medical devices was shipped thanks to the collections of Chinese Catholics (that) had arrived in Italy two weeks ago, in which case the protective equipment had been taken over and redistributed by Caritas Ambrosiana, in the archdiocese of Milan and in Lombardy, epicenter of the pandemic. Now the third shipment is ready to leave Beijing with the first available direct flights to Italy.

Since the first outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic, Pope Francis has publicly shown his closeness to the Chinese population heavily affected by the virus also with direct references expressed at the end of the Wednesday general audience or after the recitation of the Sunday Angelus. As confirmed by Mgr. Segundo Tejado Muñoz, Undersecretary of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development, quoted by Xinde Press, “through Jinde Charity, Pope Francis donated 200,000 euros unconditionally to China for prevention/epidemic projects and assistance for the elderly, to express his love for the Chinese people”.

FOR MORE: http://www.fides.org/en/news/67680-ASIA_CHINA_Covid_19_emergency_help_arrives_at_the_Vatican_and_a_letter_from_Chinese_Catholics_Holy_Father_take_care_of_yourself

APRIL 2, 2005: A DAY, A MAN, A LIFE TO REMEMBER – A PRAYER FOR THE PANDEMIC IN UNION WITH JOHN PAUL II

Today’s column is about memories.

I have posted this before, on another anniversary of St. John Paul’s death, but felt compelled to do so again today as I sat in silence for a while to ponder the events of 15 years ago – the day the man people call John Paul the Great died – and all the years before that of his magnificent papacy and the honor I had to work at the Vatican during those years.

Yesterday I looked back at the vigil of John Paul’s death. Today I remember the day of his death – 9:37 pm on Saturday, April 2, 2005, the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday – through some of the emails I received from people in Rome and in the U.S. I am also look forward, looking to the future by publishing some of the memories I have from the years I worked for the Vatican during his papacy.

I am writing a book about John Paul II called “I Made Cookies For a Saint” in which I focus on his humor and humanity. It will have my memories, my stories, but also those of friends I’ve contacted – cardinals, bishops, priests and lay people – who had such up-close-and-personal-moments. For many reasons, the book has gotten a bit side-tracked but I hope I am now back on track.

And that is the reason I asked yesterday – and ask again today: Did you – or a family member or someone very close to you – ever have the chance, at some point in John Paul’s 26-year plus papacy to have an encounter with him, to share a few minutes, to be in his presence for one shining moment?

I don’t mean a general audience. I mean up close and personal! I would like stories that highlight Pope John Paul’s humor and humanity. We know his writings, his travels, his legacy. I want personal, touching stories, stories that will make readers smile, laugh out loud or simply sigh at a beautiful story of the Holy Father’s humanity.  You might even know someone with a great story!

If you believe you have such a story, write me at: joanknows@gmail.com

APRIL 2, 2005: A DAY, A MAN, A LIFE TO REMEMBER

Today – specifically this evening at 9:37 – marks the 15th anniversary of the death of Saint John Paul II. Those years at times seem very short and, at other times, very long. After all, we are in the second papacy since John Paul’s death, following eight years of Benedict XVI, and now Pope Francis, elected in 2013.

When I woke this morning, I reflected back on that cool April day in 2005, remembering with a vividness beyond telling how I spent the last days, the last hours of the Pope’s life. In fact, it’s as if it had happened just hours ago. After all, there are days, moments, perhaps even seconds, in one’s life that are so unique, so strongly seared into our hearts, minds and souls, that they truly are unforgettable.

I mentioned some of this in a column I wrote here yesterday, recalling the vigil, then the death of John Paul and featuring two of the many emails I wrote at the time – one to a niece, the other to a priest friend, that expressed my emotions and what I was witnessing. I went back to the files I have from April 2005, most notably email exchanges with family and friends, and today offer a very, very small number of the tsunami of emails I received:

From my niece Susan:
Hi again, I was just thinking…how lucky Grandpa is! He gets to meet the Pope now! And now when it is our time to go home, we will be greeted by both great men… Love and hugs…Susan

From my friend Laurie in Rome:

Dear, dear Joan,
I know how close he is to your heart! I can only imagine the loss. But, it seems to me that it is a time to rejoice! Few have lived lives better than this man. He has poured himself out for the good of others, for the good of the Church, and he is about to win the crown of victory! What a wonderful gift the Lord has given us in JPII! I spent the day in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at St. Peter’s, which was packed full from noon on. It was very prayerful and calm and not at all sad. Santo Spirito (church) was also packed (went for Divine Mercy.)

I stayed in the Square until after the Rosary, but had to come home because I wasn’t dressed for the cold. I noticed that as many people were entering the Square as were leaving it! Most of those arriving at that hour were young people. I saw groups of young people with flags, boxes of votive candles and other supplies to spend the night with their Holy Father. You can be assured that you are in my prayers! I’ve actually been carrying my cell phone. … I would be happy to help in any way … I could pick up lunch! But most of all, I will pray. Hang in there! The Holy Father needs you!

From a friend in the U.S.:
A bright light went out in the world tonight but that bright light’s glow will shine in our hearts forever.

From Msgr D:
Dear Joan,
Please accept my sympathy on the loss of your Bishop, the Bishop of Rome, and our Holy Father, a great and holy man. While we mourn his loss to us, we rejoice that he now with the Saints in the abode of the Holy Trinity. Let us pray for him and our Church. We pray that, like the Apostles, he guides us still.

From Fred and Debbie,
Joan,
We love you and wish we were there to give you a big hug. We too are shedding tears for this Holy man who now is an intercessor for us in heaven.
I am assured God sits on your shoulder today for all your efforts for His Church. God bless you and our Church and the successor of Giovanni Paolo II!
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam,

From Ann:
Dear Joanie:
….and so he went to his God, uttering Amen. It is truly the end of an era and how I will miss him. His utter kindness and gentle manner, coupled with his strength both physical, in his early Papacy, and later in his illnesses and suffering…what an example of dying with dignity. I particularly loved his love of children, the sick, his quick humor, his loyalty to the country of his birth and, of course, his deep and abiding Faith.

I think of you, who knew him well and I offer my deepest sympathy. I know you feel as I do that he is now where we are all striving to end but on a day-to-day basis, you will, I am sure, miss him deeply.

I’ve been crying on and off all day, but the rational “me” knows he is now at peace. There is no doubt in my mind that that soul is in heaven, no doubt at all. the angels took him, the Blessed Mother met him and her Son received him……Amen.

A PRAYER FOR THE PANDEMIC IN UNION WITH JOHN PAUL II

In a conversation with the Polish news agency KAI, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, former secretary to Pope John Paul, asked all people of good will to join in prayer on Thursday, April 2, at 9.37 pm, to ask God, through the intercession of John Paul II, to end the coronavirus pandemic. “I ask all of you, dear brothers and sisters, to unite with John Paul II again on the fifteenth anniversary of his departure for the Father’s house. I ask you all to be present in this spiritual community on April 2 at 9:37 pm. May our prayer of entrustment go up to Heaven.”

“We need each other so that all together we can plead merciful God, through the intercession of Saint John Paul II, for the cessation of the coronavirus pandemic.”

The cardinal proposed reciting at 9:37 pm the act of entrustment to Divine Mercy that he himself recently pronounced in the sanctuary of Łagiewniki in the chapel of Saint Faustyna Kowalska:

“Almighty God, faced with the pandemic that hit humanity, we zealously renew the act of entrusting St. John Paul II to your Divine Mercy. To you, Merciful Father, we humbly entrust the fate of the world and of every person.

“Stop this coronavirus pandemic. Bless all those who work intensely to ensure that the sick are treated and protect the healthy from infection. Give health to all those affected, instill patience for those in quarantine and welcome the deceased to your heavenly home. Strengthen the sense of responsibility of all healthy people, so that they watch over themselves and others, for the good of the needy. Strengthen our faith, the relationship with Christ, your Son, who has become man for us and is with us every day. Spread your Spirit on the nations and on the whole world, so that those who fight against disease may be united in praising You, Creator of the universe, fighting the virus of sin that destroys human hearts with Christian fortitude.

“Eternal Father, for the painful passion and resurrection of Your Son, have mercy on us and the whole world. Mary, Mother of Mercy, pray for us. Saint John Paul II, Saint Faustina and all the Saints, pray for us. Amen.” (Source ACI Stampa)