VATICAN CITY (CNS): Pope Benedict XVI has prayed that Pope John Paul II would intercede for him with God, helping him to gather and build on the spiritual gifts that Pope John Paul gave to the Church.
The Vatican police said almost 40,000 people joined Pope Benedict on April 2 in St Peter’s Square for a Mass marking the third anniversary of Pope John Paul’s death.
“We pray that from heaven he will continue to intercede for each one of us, and in a special way for me, whom providence has called to harvest his invaluable spiritual heritage,” the Pope said in his homily.
“May the Church, following his teaching and example, continue his evangelising mission faithfully and without compromise, tirelessly spreading the merciful love of Christ, the source of true peace for the whole world,” he said.
The concelebrants included Polish Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, who had served as Pope John Paul’s secretary for almost 40 years.
At an April 1 conference dedicated to the memory of Pope John Paul, Cardinal Dziwisz said he continued to receive hundreds of letters from people who have asked for Pope John Paul’s intercession and he, himself, continued to pray for his former boss’ assistance.
“I do not miss John Paul,” he said. “I accompanied him for almost 40 years and now he accompanies me. When I have a problem, I turn to him and he is with me.”
Monsignor Slawomir Oder, the priest in charge of promoting the cause, told Vatican Radio on March 31 that he had completed a 2000-page draft of the “positio”, the official position paper explaining why Pope John Paul should be proclaimed a saint.
An official at the Congregation for Saints’ Causes is examining the draft, a few adjustments are expected, and then the report will be officially submitted for judgment, Msgr Oder said