(Vatican Radio) Two Masses of thanksgiving took place on Monday morning for the two new saints who were canonised by Pope Francis in St Peter’s Square on Sunday.
In the same square in front of St Peter’s Basilica, thousands of mainly Polish pilgrims gathered for Mass celebrated by the Archpriest of the Basilica, Cardinal Angelo Comastri, to give thanks for the life and lengthy pontificate of Pope John Paul II.
In his homily Cardinal Comastri said the new saint John Paul II had the courage to proclaim openly his faith in Christ at a moment in history when people were living as if God did not exist. Noting that as his body became weaker, his witness became stronger, Cardinal Comastri described the faith of Karol Wojtyla as “authentic and free from fear or compromise”. In particular he noted the former pope’s courageous defense of the family and the dignity of human life, but also his opposition to the two Gulf wars and his tireless struggle for peace among peoples and nation. Finally the Cardinal spoke of the Polish pope’s special attention to young people and his total dedication to Mary, into whose loving hands he entrusted his whole life.
Meanwhile at the central Rome church of San Carlo al Corso, the Bishop of Bergamo Francesco Beschi led a Mass of thanksgiving for the life and legacy of Saint John XXIII. In the same church where Pope John received his episcopal ordination, Bishop Beschi responded to the letter which Pope Francis had sent to the local diocesan newspaper on the eve of the canonisation.
He said such words of personal encouragement would help all people of the diocese safeguard the values of simplicity, generosity and solidarity which nurtured the faith of the young Angelo Roncalli. Secondly, he said the letter encouraged them to respond to the challenges and signs of the times with that ‘obedience to the Spirit’ that characterised ‘good Pope John’. Finally he said it would help them follow faithfully the path set out by the Second Vatican Council which Pope John called to renew the life of Church and revitalise the faith of all Christian men and women.
Text from Vatican Radio website oo