NEWS for Tuesday, September 5, 2000
POPE SAYS PIUS IX WAS INDISPUTABLE PASTOR
John Paul II Receives Pilgrims Who Came to Rome for Beatifications
VATICAN CITY, SEPTEMBER 4 (ZENIT.org)
Monday morning John Paul II
received pilgrims in St. Peter's Square who participated yesterday in
the beatification ceremony of five new Blessed. Naturally, during his
talk he dedicated much time to the figures of his two predecessors, Pius
IX, who "guided the Bark of Peter's for almost 32 years in the midst of
violent tempests," and John XXIII who in his "brief pontificate," opened
a new era with Vatican Council II.
In recalling Pius IX's work, John Paul II focused on the eminent
spiritual qualities that contributed to his beatification: "he liked to
preach as a simple priest, administer the sacraments in churches and
hospitals, meet with Romans on the city's streets." However, "the world
did not always understand him: the 'hosannas' at the beginning of his
pontificate were soon followed by accusations, attacks, and calumnies,"
John Paul II said.
The Holy Father avoided responding to the arguments raised around the
figure of Pius IX on the eve of his beatification. Instead, he
concentrated on his predecessor's spirituality, because the Church does
not proclaim people Blessed for political reasons. "He was always
indulgent to his enemies. The spirit of poverty, faith in God, and
abandonment to Providence, coupled with an extraordinary sense of humor,
helped him overcome the most difficult moments."
He often said, "My politics is: Our Father, who art in heaven." In this
way, he showed that "God, in whom he had total confidence, was his guide
in the decisions of life and the governing of the Church," the Pope
Pius IX's profound Marian devotion led him to solemnly proclaim the
dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Moreover, John Paul II pointed out
that one of the persons most devoted to Pius IX was John XXIII, who
yesterday shared with his predecessor the official recognition of the
In recalling the figure of John XXIII, the Holy Father mentioned his
particular Christian virtues, his profound understanding of human
nature, with its "lights and shadows," but above all the fruitful
humility learned from his parents, farm workers from northern Italy.
"The longer he lived and the more saintly he became, the more he
attracted people by his wise simplicity. He was not disturbed in face of
trials, but always knew how to look optimistically at the different ups
and downs of life," John Paul II said.
Finally, the Pope referred to the other three new Blessed. Speaking of
Bishop Tommaso Reggio, founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of St.
Martha, the Pope highlighted his "profound communion with God" and the
ideal of sanctity he proposed "to all categories of faithful: lay
people, priests, and consecrated persons, especially nuns."
"The personality and activity of the new Blessed Guillaume-Joseph
Chaminade," priest and founder of the Society of Mary (Marianists), "who
always sought to do God's work, calls all faithful to serious
catechistic formation in order to develop and consolidate religious life
and enter more profoundly into the meeting
The Holy Father concluded expressing the hope that Blessed Columba
Marmion, Benedictine Abbot, "may help us all to live the Christian life
ever more intensely and to have an ever deeper understanding of our
membership in the Church, the mystical Body of Christ."
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