~ A Tribute to Blessed John Paul II ~
FROM THE VICARIATE APOSTOLIC OF KUWAIT Crowds assembled for John Paul II's funeral Mass on April 8, 2005.

On April 2, 2005, there was a global outpouring of grief as our beloved Pope John Paul II was no more … With the passing of time, we have come to see new meaning in his death and a reason for hope. We can now rejoice as Venerable John Paul II receives the title "Blessed" on May 1, 2011. Who was this great man who captured the hearts and minds of millions during his twenty-seven year papacy? We can, in all honesty, say that he was one of the greatest men of our time! And yet all that he accomplished in his lifetime was because his life was rooted in holiness and empowered by prayer. His personal witness is the perfect example of the transformation that can happen when we invite Jesus into our hearts.

Archbishop Petar Rajič
Apostolic Nuncio

Bishop Camillo Ballin
Apostolic Vicar of Kuwait

We thank His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajič, Apostolic Nuncio in Kuwait and His Lordship Bishop Camillo Ballin mccj, Apostolic Vicar of Kuwait for sharing with us their thoughts and experiences concerning Pope John Paul II's pontificate and the wealth of his pastoral teachings. As we embark on our own spiritual journey, we are challenged and encouraged to Be not afraid to use the spiritual treasures in our lives and to Open wide the doors to Jesus Christ!

The interviews follow .........

Your Grace Archbishop Petar, what do you remember of your first encounter with Pope John Paul II?

ARCH. PETAR: In March of 1985, while still a Seminarian, I along with my colleagues had the opportunity to participate in the first World Youth Day celebrations that were held in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican [pictured below]. The following day our group was received by the Pope in a private audience and as one of the representatives of the group of seminarians from the Inter-diocesan Major Seminary of Sarajevo, I greeted the Holy Father. It was indeed an unprecedented occasion to see Pope John Paul at such a close proximity and to personally meet him.

Your service in the Vatican's diplomatic corps and posting at the Vatican enabled you to be within close proximity of Pope John Paul II. Did you meet the Pope very often? Can you describe your encounters?

ARCH. PETAR: My closest encounters with Pope John Paul II were during the years when I served as one of the Prelates of the Papal ante-chamber within the Prefecture of the Papal Household. I had the great honour of participating in and assisting the Holy Father during his private audiences. Due to the official nature of these audiences and the protocol that had to be followed, there was never a lot of opportunity for exchanging words. This being said, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the great feeling I experienced just being in the company of the Pope. Words were almost unnecessary.

A man of enormous stature, John Paul II touched the hearts of millions. People did not just admire him, they “loved” him! Why do you think they were so drawn to him?

ARCH. PETAR: Just being the Pope is enough to draw the attention of millions throughout the world, especially the Catholic faithful, because he is the Vicar of Christ on earth and the successor of St. Peter. When one adds to this role a person with a strong faith in God, a holy example of Christian leadership, and an exemplary personality, all of which were equated to John Paul II, a person could not only admire but love and respect the Pope for his Christian witnessing.

He came across as a “hero” to the youth. What did he aspire for them? What is his legacy for the coming generations?

ARCH. PETAR: Pope JPII truly loved young people and showed them great attention during his pontificate. In each of his journeys throughout the world he always had at least one encounter with the youth of the region. One of his legacies clearly was the hope he aspired in the youth of the world and their potential to become the great Christian leaders of tomorrow. Along with this would be the celebration of World Youth Day which he initiated and has been continued wholeheartedly by Pope Benedict XVI.

What are some of the causes he took up during his lifetime? What will he be remembered for?

ARCH. PETAR: The Holy Father inspired faith in God and awoke in the hearts of many believers the awareness of the love of Christ towards mankind. For this reason he held the need for Christian unity close to his heart as well as reaching out to other religions. His contacts and travels with other Christian denominations and representatives of monotheistic religions truly showed his belief that the Catholic Church has an important role in world affairs. When elected, the cold-war was still very much strong placing the East against the West in a dangerous confrontational power struggle, yet the Pope’s unwavering faith and trust in God, his fearless approach to the evils that beguiled the world at the time were relentless. He will undoubtedly be remembered for his tenacity in remaining faithful to his pastoral mission to the very end of his human life, despite his debilitating illness which was nothing short of exceptional. [Below: The Pope with Vladimir Putin at the Vatican.]

Will his conservative position on moral and social issues stand the test of time?

ARCH. PETAR: Some in the secular world who would like to see a more liberal and modern Church will consider the Pope’s teachings on morality and social issues as too conservative, but it must be remembered that the Church’s primary concern is remaining faithful to and communicating the teachings of Jesus Christ to all of mankind. This may not always be the “popular” opinion within some groups, however the church has survived through two thousand years of difficulties, both external and internal, simply by remaining faithful to Christ.

John Paul II traveled to more than 120 countries during his reign as Pontiff. How did it help him and others; how did it help the Church?

ARCH. PETAR: The travelling Pope certainly carried the message of Christ to millions simply by visiting various nations, praying and celebrating Holy Mass with the faithful. His journeys abroad also brought the papacy closer to many who otherwise would never have been able to travel to Rome to see the Holy Father. Millions of people were able to see him closer to their homes and listen to him speak to them often in their own language. He was a gifted linguist and made great efforts to learn the basics of many languages just so that he could speak to people directly in their native tongue. Another outstanding achievement was that he often met with non Christians, thereby strengthening the bond between the Catholic Church and other religious groups. This was instrumental in increasing positive public opinion regarding the Catholic Church’s acceptance and recognition of other faiths.

What kind of impact did he have on world politics given that he was a much respected figure and responsible for the fall of Communism?

ARCH. PETAR: Pope JPII knew very well the evils of communism, fascism and nazism, which he experienced firsthand in his native Poland. He was an eye-witness to the destructive forces of these ideologies which aimed at denying God and destroying mankind. The only solution to these evils was to make a return to belief in a benevolent and merciful God, who has manifested himself in Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world. The renewed hope and awakening of faith in God, certainly encouraged many oppressed nations to rise up against the evil and oppressive regimes that denied them their basic human rights, thereby leading to the reforms of 1989.

[Below: In June 2004, George Bush presented the Medal of Freedom to Pope John Paul II. On receiving the award, the Pope said, "May the desire for freedom, peace and a more humane world symbolized by this medal, inspire men and women of goodwill in every time and place."
Standing behind the Pope, Msgr. Petar Rajič, then Prelate of the Papal ante-chamber.]

What are your thoughts and feelings as you reflect upon that painful time in history during the war in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Pope’s response to the war-shattered regions?

ARCH. PETAR: It was comforting to know that JPII knew and understood profoundly the historical difficulties and aspirations of the Croats, having himself experienced similar difficulties in Poland. John Paul II provided tremendous moral support to the cause of freedom, justice and above all peace in the war torn regions. I believe therefore, along with many other Croats that the diplomatic recognition and moral support that the Holy See gave to the newly independent states of Croatia and later on Bosnia-Herzegovina, will never be forgotten.

One of the most amazing things about the Pope was the way he reached out to other religions. What convinced him of the need for collaboration of all religions?

ARCH. PETAR: While well aware of his role as the first bishop of the Catholic Church, the Holy Father was also keen towards establishing and maintaining good relations and an open dialogue with other religions. He had a vision of mankind as being one big family, united in belief in the one God, despite the various forms of religious expression and belief. The Pope felt that by maintaining good relations with members of other faiths, the cause for peace and good neighborly relations could be guaranteed, bringing us all that much closer to mutual understanding and respectful coexistence. [Below: In 2000, Pope John Paul II visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem, placing a letter inside it, in which he prayed for forgiveness for the actions against Jews.]

He was known for being the Pope to have proclaimed 1338 persons blessed and canonized 482 saints - the greatest number in Church history. Now he himself by a declaration of the Church will join the ranks of the heavenly faithful. What makes a saint? How is Pope John Paul II a model for Christian life?

ARCH. PETAR: During his 27 year pontificate, the Holy Father canonized and beatified numerous men and women as proven models of holiness. I think it’s wonderful that in such a short space of time John Paul II will be beatified and thereby be remembered forever as a holy Pope for all generations to come. No one is born a saint , but one slowly aspires towards sainthood by leading a life of faith, trusting in God’s providence, going to church on Sundays and holy days of obligation, obeying the Ten Commandments, receiving the sacraments regularly, and by praying every morning and evening. The Pope had great responsibilities and he fulfilled them dutifully and faithfully, with a sacrificial love to the end of his life. These simple qualities are the formula for true Christian living which lead towards holiness, that each of us in his/her own way can achieve, with the help of the grace of God.

What kind of intense spirituality did he possess? Was it something you saw or felt? What was the significance of his motto “Totus Tuus Ego Sum”?

ARCH. PETAR: John Paul II was a man of great prayer and devotion. The one thing that that had a profound impression on me was how much time he spent in prayer. For instance, in giving thanks after Mass he would spend ten to fifteen minutes in silent prayer, when often many would leave the chapel right away. Even before important encounters, when everything was ready to begin, he would pause for silent prayer before starting. He stated that his pontifical motto “Totus Tuus Ego Sum” which means “I am completely yours” was not only an expression of his personal piety and devotion to the Mother of God, but also an inner spiritual desire to be completely united to God, as Mary was united to her Son Jesus.

The last years of John Paul II’s life were far from easy. The aging pontiff had to deal with a crippling illness amidst terrorism in the world and corruption within the Church. How were those years, his final testimony?

ARCH. PETAR: None of us who worked in the Secretariat of State will forget how difficult it was for the Holy Father to go about his duties during the last years of his life, yet at the same time, he continued to be an inspiration to all those that met him, and left us in awe of his amazing resilience and faithfulness to the very end. He was quite aware of the difficulties in the world and within the Church, yet he persevered in his work to make a difference in this world even through his illness. He therefore became a living example of the importance of entrusting everything to God and his divine mercy.

His final days played out like a drama on the world’s stage. What can you tell us (from the inside) about John Paul II’s final moments?

ARCH. PETAR: Those of us working in the Roman Curia were aware of the fact that in those last days of March 2005, the Holy Father was approaching the moment of his departure from this world. We were saddened by the prospect of his imminent demise, even though we knew it was inevitable. At the same time, there was a great outpouring of faith those last few days, especially in St. Peter’s Square, where tens of thousands of people gathered in the evening in order to pray the rosary together for the Holy Father. On Saturday April 2nd at 21:37 hrs, the Pope passed away, leaving many of us sad due to the personal loss we all felt, of a great Pope. At the same time we found consolation in the reassurance that his personal sufferings were over and that he would certainly enjoy the reward of eternal life with God in heaven.

His death and funeral drew people together from every part of the world. They mourned his death in a personal way. Yet, all was not lost! They chanted “Santo Subito!” attesting to the Pope’s saintly ways. Do you think the numbers will be phenomenal at his beatification?

ARCH. PETAR: Upon the Pope’s death a spontaneous outpouring of public sentiment emerged with the cry “Santo Subito” roughly translated ‘Make him a saint right away’. This is indicative of the times we live in when many crave instant results and in this particular case the Pope’s process of canonization was no exception. The beatification ceremony will be a great moment of prayer and thanksgiving for the fact that God gave his Church such a great Pope. Huge numbers of faithful plan to gather in Rome for the occasion and they will be a testimony to the fact that John Paul II was loved and respected by millions of people throughout the world. From the moment of his beatification onward, the faithful will be able to pray for his intercession as one of God’s holy chosen servants.

Your Grace, the Pope you knew personally is going to be soon beatified. Why was he put on the fast track to sainthood? H.H. Pope Benedict waived the typical five-year waiting period before the process could begin. What does his beatification mean to you? Are you going to Rome for the beatification?

ARCH. PETAR: I believe that the common reaction of so many throughout the world regarding the Holy Father’s personal sanctity indeed influenced Pope Benedict’s decision to waive the five-year waiting period in order to begin the process of canonization right away. In December 2009 Pope Benedict XVI declared Pope John Paul II venerable, thereby opening the doors to his beatification. The third and final step is canonization, or declaration of sainthood, pending a second miracle after beatification. How wonderful it is that John Paul II’s immediate successor, Benedict XVI, who was his friend and close collaborator, will be the one to beatify him! Unfortunately, due to my present duties as your Nuncio I will not be able to personally participate in the ceremony, but I will certainly be present in spirit.

Pope John Paul II's words from his inaugural homily still ring in our ears: “Be Not Afraid.” What do you think he was challenging us to do?

ARCH. PETAR: His intention as always, was to awaken faith in Jesus Christ, especially amongst those whose lives included circumstances of perhaps social and/or political restrictions, and who were afraid in any way of expressing belief in God. With this simple invocation, the Pope touched a sensitive nerve in the hearts of many searching for God and those who were denied religious liberty throughout the world. This being said, his words “Be not afraid” touched all of us whose daily lives needed encouragement in dealing with our own personal cross.

If you had to describe the Pope in a few words, what would they be?

ARCH. PETAR: John Paul II was a simple man at heart and at the same time a great intellectual. A priest of profound faith, who placed his complete trust in God and a shepherd who shared the love of God he felt in his heart with those he encountered.

Does he deserve to be called “John Paul the Great”?

ARCH. PETAR: Many have already begun to refer to him as JPII the Great and he undoubtedly deserves the title as do his predecessors. God has given the Church truly great shepherds in the Popes of these past centuries. However, what is important for now is the upcoming beatification and then his eventual canonization. Those who knew Pope John Paul II will always consider him great in their hearts.

How should we pray to John Paul the Great for his intercession? Is there an official prayer?

ARCH. PETAR: An official prayer for his intercession has been in use for years ever since the initial stages of the process of canonization, and now the newly approved text after his beatification is given below ...

Your Lordship Bishop Camillo, what can you tell us of your encounters with Pope John Paul II?

BP. CAMILLO: I was fortunate to have encountered Pope John Paul II at least three times at close quarters. My first encounter with him was during an audience given to the Comboni Provincial Superiors (at that time I was Provincial of Egypt). After our Superior General had given his speech, the Pope said his own intervention, then he blessed us and got ready to leave. But we requested His Holiness for a personal photo. How gracious and patient he was! He consented to take a photograph with each of us (and we were about 30 of us!).

The second time I found myself in his presence was during a meeting of the Episcopal Conference of the Latin Bishops of the Middle East. I was secretary of the Conference and in this capacity I was admitted to the private audience. At these two meetings the Pope was very reserved and serious, quite unlike the private audiences I've had until now as Bishop, with Benedict XVI.

In February 1993, during the Pope's visit to Sudan, I was his interpreter from Arabic to Italian and vice versa in his private meetings with the President of the Republic, Omar al-Bashir (pictured below). What struck me most during the three meetings with the President was that the Pope was extremely prudent to the point of preferring not to comment on some of the statements made by the President. I understood, then, that as Supreme Pontiff he had to be exceedingly careful about what he said. A word more than necessary could cause much damage not only to the Pope but also to the Church.

Were you able to have a private word with him?

BP. CAMILLO: I never had a personal conversation with him. I was not a Bishop when I met John Paul II. I was appointed Bishop in 2005 by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.

Was there anything you wanted to say to (or ask) the Pope?

BP. CAMILLO: Yes. At one of the meetings, the President of the Sudan told the Pope that he was ready to do anything the Pope asked of him. John Paul II remained silent. I intervened and told him to request the President to revoke the "Missionary Societies Act" of 1962, which I understood that the Pope was aware of. However, as the Pope was about to present his request, he was suddenly interrupted by the people in charge to present the official gift to him.

How would you describe the Pope? Why do you think people were so drawn to him, especially the youth?

BP. CAMILLO: He was more a "Pope of the People (Masses)" than a Pope for private meetings. His charisma attracted large crowds as we all know, but in my experience, he was quite reserved at private meetings. People felt a certain closeness with him, even though some had never met him! They would say, "We felt like he was addressing us personally when he spoke to the crowd." He was charismatic and extremely animated, like every mystic.

He was faithful to the Gospel and presented it “sine glossa”, without comments! as it is! The people loved him despite his conservative stand on issues of the day. The Pope demonstrated good leadership and he had the right answers to the world's problems. He symbolized stability and hope in a period of widespread turmoil and despair. I think that's why people were drawn to him. As for our two Vicariates of the Arabian Peninsula, he made decisions that have greatly benefited our apostolate in the region.

He had a special affinity for young people. They felt inspired by his intelligence, honesty, courage and sacrifice. In turn, he was inspired to institute World Youth Day. His hope was that the youth would make a difference in the world. Many priests and seminarians have said that they owe their vocation to the inspiration John Paul II was to them.

Was his conservative position on certain issues a stumbling block?

BP. CAMILLO: His conservatism was never a stumbling block for him. He was not afraid to speak the truth at all times! Sometimes what he had to say was hard to digest and he was misunderstood, but then all the Popes have the same problem because they must be extremely faithful to their vocation as Universal Pastor. They are all saints.

The Holy Father was not only a spiritual leader but also a statesman. What kind of portrait did he paint as a political figure?

John Paul II was a very influential leader of his time. His word was well respected and generally appreciated by the whole world.

[Above: The Pope with former U.S. President Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan.]

He championed the cause of religious liberty and all other forms of enslavement. It stemmed from his early years of the Nazi occupation of his beloved Poland and World War II. The Pope has been aptly credited with the fall of Communism. His faith in God and constant prayers were what inspired the people to stand up against the evil regime.

He was nicknamed “the traveling Pope”? What did he achieve through his travels?

BP. CAMILLO: He was definitely history's most traveled Pope. His pontificate was marked by his remarkable journeys to at least 129 countries. For him, they were spiritual journeys. They were an important part of his Christian witness. They were also his way of getting closer to the people and studying first-hand the situation of the Church in each country.

After he visited Sudan, he was so taken up by the situation there that he said to his collaborators that only a saint could have founded the Church in such a place and wanted to know how far the cause of the beatification of Daniel Comboni (today, Saint Daniel Comboni) had reached. He took a personal interest and wanted to give priority to that cause.

He wanted to visit Russia, a goal that he never achieved. He sought for unity and a better understanding with the Orthodox Church of Russia but he encountered problems.

One of the most amazing things about the Pope was the way he reached out to other religions. Surely it wasn’t just an intellectual exercise or respect for religion?

BP. CAMILLO: John Paul II regularly met with believers from other faiths. He was like Jesus Christ reaching out to, and loving all - good people, sinners, tax collectors, etc. And he was successful because he was a perfect witness of Christ. For him, it was not an intellectual pursuit but a consequence of his love for God. He proved that God could not only be studied, but also lived.

What, in your opinion, was his greatest achievement during his lifetime?

BP. CAMILLO: I think there are two: The support that he gave to the new Ecclesial Movements (Focolari, Neo-Catechumenal Way, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the Holy Spirit, Comunione e Liberazione, etc.) and the World Youth Day. All said and done, there were so many things that this Pope achieved in his lifetime that it is difficult to list them. Let us not forget that he was Pope for almost 27 years which enabled him to accomplish a lot.

As pope, one of his most important roles was to teach the people about Jesus. He wrote several Encyclicals, Apostolic Letters and Exhortations. He reasserted Catholic moral teaching on contraception, traditional marriage, euthanasia and abortion and advocated the dignity of women and the importance of the family.

The Church is very clear that Pope John Paul II is being beatified not for his performance as pope, but for how he lived the Christian virtues of faith, hope and love. What are your thoughts on this?

BP. CAMILLO: Yes, the Cause of Sainthood always focuses on holiness, not achievement! Pope Benedict XVI signed the decree recognizing the "heroic virtues" of Pope John Paul II, a move that would advance him along the path to sainthood.

The Pope was a man of intense prayer and devotion. He prayed the liturgy of the hours and the rosary, eventually adding five new luminous mysteries. He spent hours of silent contemplation before the Blessed Sacrament. I remember being told that he would stop for a long time in his private chapel on his way to the dining room. Very often he would invite people to his table for lunch or dinner or even for breakfast and his secretary had to go and remind him that there were guests waiting for him!

He gave himself totally to God. His motto was “Totus Tuus Ego Sum” which in Latin means “I am totally Yours”. His spirituality was very much oriented towards the Blessed Virgin Mary. He said that he owed his life to her when he survived an assassination attempt which took place on May 13th, 1981, the anniversary of the first apparition at Fatima. A year later, he made a pilgrimage to Fatima to thank her for her intercession [pictured below]. The bullet that was removed from his body was later placed in the anniversary crown of Our Lady.

We can say that he was a radical, as every saint is radical, not in the sense of being violent or imposing, but because he lived the life of the Gospel in a radical way.

His devotion to the divine mercy of God was a theme he elaborated upon in his encyclical "Dives in Misericordia" ("Rich in Mercy"). It was in the plan of God that his death in 2005 came on the eve of Mercy Sunday, and his beatification on May 1 will be celebrated on Mercy Sunday.

Your Lordship, what are your own thoughts and feelings as the day of his beatification approaches? Are you going to be present in Rome for the celebration?

BP. CAMILLO: Sister Marie Simon-Pierre's miraculous recovery from Parkinson's diesease after praying to John Paul II for his intercession paved the way for his beatification. The Vatican announced on 14 January 2011 that Pope Benedict XVI had confirmed the miracle involving Sister Marie Simon-Pierre and that John Paul II would be be beatified on May 1. May 1 is also commemorated in former communist countries, such as Poland, and some Western European countries as May Day. So, this is an honour to a great man!

According to the Vatican, Pope John Paul II's remains will not be exhumed and exposed, but will be moved to a more prominent location, next to the Chapel of the Pieta, the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament and the statues of Popes Pius XI and Pius XII. The new location will increase the number of pilgrims wanting to visit his memorial.

At his beatification there could be at least two million people, more than at any other beatification or canonization, because he was a Pope for all mankind. His beatification will bring in a new era of happiness, courage and faith to the world. Unfortunately, I will not be able to witness his beatification in person.

What would you say is Pope John Paul II’s legacy?

BP. CAMILLO: Definitely, it is to follow Jesus Christ without fear! Christ has overcome the world, and in the footsteps of the Pope we, too, can find the courage to do so. His call to “Be not afraid!” is similar to the one with which he began his pontificate: “Open wide the doors to Jesus Christ!” We know that we are not alone in this “adventure” to follow Jesus Christ; Pope John Paul II did it and he has left us a supreme example to follow. The personal sufferings that he endured are a reminder of how we must carry the Cross. His universal call to holiness is an invitation and an inspiration to every Christian in every walk of life to live a life of sanctity.

[Above: The ailing Pope continued to reach out to the people despite his debilitating illness just a few months before his death.]

Do you think the honorific title “John Paul the Great” should be bestowed upon him?

BP. CAMILLO: His successor, Pope Benedict XVI, referred to him as "the great Pope John Paul II" in his first address from the loggia of St. Peter's Basilica, and he also referred to him as "the Great" in his homily at the Mass of Repose. If Pope John Paul II will be acclaimed as “Great” he would be only the fourth Pope to have this title.

Personally, I am not sure this title would serve any particular purpose. It might even be construed as a lack of respect for the other great Popes who led the Church in very crucial times. John Paul II was definitely the most popular among his immediate predecessors, but popularity is not a criterion to bestow the title of "Great" to somebody. Pope Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI and even the present Pope Benedict XVI have all been remarkable and I think they all deserve the title of “Great”.

So, I would prefer if this title was not conferred upon him. Let us consider the Saints as humble disciples of Jesus Christ, as we also should be. There is no need for elaborate titles. The higher we raise them, we risk the feeling of being more distant from them. In any case, this is not what they, too, would want, I am sure!

[Above: Then U.S. President George W. Bush, First Lady Laura Bush, former Presidents Bush and Clinton, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, paying their respects to John Paul II lying in state at St. Peter's Basilica.]

How would you pay tribute to Pope John Paul II in a few words?

BP. CAMILLO: Pope John Paul II lived his motto “Totus Tuus!” faithfully and devoutly till the end of his days. He was a model Christian who witnessed perfectly through word and example. His life was and always will be a shining light to the whole world!


The new tomb of Blessed John Paul II in St. Sebastian's Chapel in St. Peter's Basilica.

O Blessed Trinity, we thank You for having graced the Church with Blessed John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of Your Fatherly care, the glory of the Cross of Christ, and the splendor of the Spirit of love, to shine through him. Trusting fully in Your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd, and has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with You. Grant us, by his intercession, and according to Your will, the graces we implore… hoping that he will soon be numbered among Your saints. Amen.

With ecclesiastical approval:
Vicar General of His Holiness for the Diocese of Rome

For graces received, contact:
Postulazione della Causa di Canonizzazione del Beato Giovanni Paolo II
Piazza S. Giovanni in Laterano
6/a - 00184 Roma

The Official John Paul II - Beatification and Canonization Web-site:

Title Picture: Crowds of people from around the world attended John Paul II's funeral Mass on April 8, 2005.

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