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The Angelus live from «Vatican 3»

06/02/2005: Italy

Many years have passed since the young priest, involved in canoe races in the rapids of Mount Tatra, had to interrupt one of his favourite sports to present himself to the Primate of Poland who was to tell him that he had been appointed as bishop. And following this, who doesn’t remember him on skis, or while striding with such determination up the mountains that he loved so much? And who didn’t admire him while moving through a sea of people so confidently, or when he managed, unnoticed, to escape from the Vatican to have a “day of freedom”?
But also for him many years have passed by. First a bullet, then an infection, a tumour, a fracture, the progression of Parkinson’s disease and… “God’s athlete” has become, little by little, more dependent and in need of more help. And who doesn’t remember that dramatic “Help me!” proclaimed in his mother tongue, during the homily on the 15th August 2004, at the foot of the grotto of Lourdes, one who was ill among many who were ill?

I had the privilege of knowing him full of strength - Br. Onorino Rota - , when working with him meant toiling and when having a meal with him meant finishing a little hungry, not only because he tasted only some things, but also because he would flood you with questions, objections, ideas… Not only have so many years passed by, but also many things have happened!
I think back to the scene of the Sunday angelus on the 30th January 2005, the Pope trying to get the dove, that did not want to leave, out of the room, the smiling children… and I hear the angelus of the 6th February from the Gemelli hospital, Vatican 3, as he himself calls it. I think back immediately to when he was young… but I cannot close my eyes to the reality that is before them today. My heart is a whirlwind of thoughts, feelings, emotions… Spontaneously, I find myself thanking God for the gift of the Pope and despite all, feel I must say again to the Pope: “I love you, just as you are!”

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