On this Holy Saturday, 2019, as come to the end of a long and difficult Lent for so many, these final messages of Pope Saint John Paul II, who, on that Holy Saturday of 2005, his life nearly at its own end, offered such a sublime example of ‘suffering well’, may offer some comfort and consolation: (Editor)
|Last Messages of the Holy Father|
|Pope John Paul II|
|GOOD FRIDAY – VIA CRUCIS|
I suffer ‘so that God’s plan may be completed’
On Good Friday evening, 25 March, the Holy Father was televised praying in his Private Chapel at the Vatican as he watched the live broadcast of the Way of the Cross at Rome’s Colosseum. The following is a translation from Italian of the Pope’s Message to the faithful who were taking part in this annual Good Friday celebration.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I am with you in spirit at the Colosseum, a place that stirs up within me so many memories and emotions, in order to take part in the evocative rite of the Way of the Cross on this Good Friday evening.
I join you in the invocation, so rich in meaning: “Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi, quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum“.
Yes, we adore and bless the mystery of the Cross of the Son of God, because it was from his death that new hope for humanity was born.
The sanctification of suffering
The adoration of the Cross directs us to a commitment that we cannot shirk: the mission that St Paul expressed in these words: “[I]n my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church” (Col 1:24). I also offer my sufferings so that God’s plan may be completed and his Word spread among the peoples. I, in turn, am close to all who are tried by suffering at this time. I pray for each one of them.
On this memorable day of Christ’s crucifixion, I look at the Cross with you in adoration, repeating the words of the liturgy: “O crux, ave spes unica!“. Hail, O Cross, our only hope, give us patience and courage and obtain peace for the world!
With these sentiments, I bless you and all those who are taking part in this Way of the Cross via radio or television.
From the Vatican, 25 March 2005
‘The blazing light of the Risen Christ’
On Holy Saturday evening, 26 March, the Holy Father sent a Message to all who were taking part in the Easter Vigil Mass, celebrated in St Peter’s Basilica by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The following is a translation of the Holy Father’s Message, given in Italian.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
At the end of the Lenten penitential journey and after having meditated in these last days on the sorrowful passion and dramatic death of Jesus on the Cross, we are celebrating on this singular night the glorious mystery of his Resurrection.
Thanks to television, I am able to follow from my apartment the suggestive Easter Vigil, over which Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is presiding in St Peter’s Basilica. To him, I send my fraternal greeting, which I extend to the other Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops present. I also greet with affection the priests, men and women religious and the faithful gathered around the altar of the Lord, with a special thought for the catechumens who prepare themselves during this holy Vigil to receive the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
This night is truly extraordinary, one in which the blazing light of the Risen Christ definitively defeats the dark power of evil and death, and rekindles hope and joy in the hearts of believers. Dear friends, guided by the liturgy, let us pray to the Lord Jesus so that the world may see and recognize that, thanks to his passion, death and Resurrection, what was destroyed is rebuilt, what was ageing is renewed and completely restored, more beautiful than ever, to its original wholeness.
I warmly express to all my fervent best wishes, and I assure you of a remembrance in my prayers so that the Risen Lord bestows on each of you and your families and communities the paschal gift of his peace. I accompany these sentiments with a special Apostolic Blessing.
From the Vatican, 26 March 2005, Easter Vigil
Weekly Edition in English
30 March 2005, page 6/7
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