Saturday, May 27, 2006

In Wojtyla's Land, Benedict Joins the Chorus

Earlier today, while visiting the Marian shrine at Kalwaria so dear to his predecessor, Benedict XVI offered his "hope [that] Divine Providence will soon concede the Beatification and Canonisation of our beloved Pope John Paul II."

The impromptu remark was delivered under the watchful eye of Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, who served Karol Wojtyla as private secretary for four decades and has devoted himself to ensuring the canonization of his boss. Notably, the Pope referred to Dziwisz not by his last name, but -- in an echo of his Roman nickname -- called him "Cardinal Stanislaw."

Today the pontiff also visited the parish church of Wadowice, where Karol Wojtyla was baptized, and the Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Krakow, where a large group of the sick and the suffering.

"Through you and through your suffering," Benedict said at the Mercy Shrine, "he bows down towards humanity with love. You who say in silence: 'Jesus, I trust in you' teach us that there is no faith more profound, no hope more alive and no love more ardent than the faith, hope and love of a person who in the midst of suffering places himself securely in God’s hands. May the human hands of those who care for you in the name of mercy be an extension of the open hands of God.

"I would so willingly embrace each one of you," the Pope concluded. "But since this is impossible, I draw you spiritually to my heart."

AP/Alik Keplicz
PHOTO 2: Reuters/Damir Sagolj