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19 October

Saint Paul of the Cross

Marist Calendar - October

Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum



But it will be daunting to appear at this window

19/04/2005: Vatican

“None of us can ever forget how on that last Easter Sunday of his life, the Holy Father, marked by suffering, came once more to the window of the Apostolic Palace and one last time gave his blessing Urbi et Orbi.”
After twenty-seven years of Karol Wojtyla, it will be daunting for the next Pope to appear at that window to which Ratzinger referred in his homily during John Paul II’s funeral. The people of Rome and of the world, who followed the funeral, gave us a message: we do not want to remain orphans.
The millions of pilgrims, as the world leaders did, returned to their houses, the televisions were turned off. It was a Requiem not an apotheosis, and all, including the Cardinals, were mourning an exceptional father. The Church is not a ‘Star System’ governed by a ‘Pontifex divus’: there is only one God and Wojtyla was a devoted servant of God, Bishop of Rome and thus ‘Pastor Pastorum’. And if there is a John Paul III and even a Vatican III, they will not be in the sense of a Napoleon III and a Second Empire.

And while the Church in mourning appears to be perfect in words and choreography, now is the time to think to the future to show that the perennial youthfulness of the Church is consistent with its antiquity. The Christian world is waiting for a man to appear at this window and in this square, a man who knows how to govern an institution, but above all else who can be in a position to pass on Truth, that capacity to enthuse hearts and infuse energy to give witness to the One who is and always will be the Way, the Truth and the Life. It will be difficult to appear at this window, but whatever be the face of the new Pope, the formation he has received, the language that he speaks… it will always be the words of Jesus that are his support: You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of the underworld can never overpower it.

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