Pope Francis: Mass of thanksgiving for St. John Paul II

2014-05-04 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis visited the central Roman church of St. Stanislaw on Sunday morning. St. Stanislaw’s is the Polish national church in Rome, and serves the significant Polish population in the city. The Holy Father made the visit in order to celebrate a Mass of thanksgiving for the canonization of Pope St. John Paul II, who was a native of Poland and Cardinal Archbishop of Krakow before being elected to the See of Peter in October of 1978.

In his homily, Pope Francis praised the Polish nation as, “[A] people that have been greatly tried in their history.” He went on to say, “The Polish people know well that, in order to enter into glory, one must needs pass by way of the passion and the cross – and [the Polish people] know this, not because they have studied it, but because they have lived it.”

“St. John Paul II,” continued Pope Francis, “as a worthy son of his earthly homeland, followed this way – he followed it in an exemplary manner.” Pope Francis then asked, “And what of us? Are we prepared to follow [the way of the passion and the cross]?”

Reflecting on the Gospel reading of the day, which tells the story of Our Lord’s appearance to the disciples on the road to Emmaus, Pope Francis recalled a saying of Pope St. John Paull II: “We are pilgrims, not vagabonds.” He went on to say that the disciples on the way to Emmaus were wandering – they knew not whither they were headed, nor what end they would make. “On the way back,” he said, “they were witnesses of the hope that is Christ, because they had met Him, the Risen Wayfarer: this Jesus, the Risen One walking with us. And Jesus is here today, He is here, among us, He is here, in His Word, He is here on the altar, He walks with us, the Wayfarer is Risen.”

The Holy Father concluded, praying, “May St. John Paul II help us be [such] resurrected wayfarers.” Listen: