"Good" Pope John Paul XXIII accomplished much which is often overlooked in his short tenure as pontiff with the label "caretaker of the church" so often ascribed to him. His local boyhood church's motto guided his life's mission and was later named his episcopal motto - Oboedientia et Pax. In that spirit, he:
Charismatic Pope Jean Paul II, whose apostolic motto was "Totus Tuus"/ "Totally Yours" will be fondly remembered for:
We have two new saints - Saint John XXIII and Saint John Paul II. Pope Francis chose to canonize these two recent popes on Divine Mercy Sunday, 27 April 2014. No mere co-incidence.
At the heart of this Sunday, through doubting Thomas' senses, the marks of the wounds inflicted on Jesus remind of God's enduring love for each and every one of us, his abiding mercifulness and faithfulness towards us and his patience with us. Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II, inspired by the Holy Spirit and the salvific God made man bore witness to God's covenant to humankind.
These two very courageous men exemplified vigorous and inspired energy with a keen sense of hope for our world and justice for all. Since we are all called to be saints, may they guide us to follow Jesus more closely so that we can love others more deeply in reconciliation and unity.
In his homily, Pope Francis said: "In these two men, who looked upon the wounds of Christ and bore witness to his mercy, there dwelt a living hope and an indescribable and glorious joy (1 Pet 1:3,8)... In convening the Council, Saint John XXIII showed an exquisite openness to the Holy Spirit. He let himself be led and he was for the Church a pastor, a servant-leader, guided by the Holy Spirit... In his own service to the People of God, Saint John Paul II was the pope of the family... I am particularly happy to point this out as we are in the process of journeying with families towards the Synod on the family. It is surely a journey which, from his place in heaven, he guides and sustains.
May these two new saints and shepherds of God’s people intercede for the Church, so that during this two-year journey toward the Synod she may be open to the Holy Spirit in pastoral service to the family. May both of them teach us not to be scandalized by the wounds of Christ and to enter ever more deeply into the mystery of divine mercy, which always hopes and always forgives, because it always loves."
Love and mercy go hand in hand
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