VATICAN CITY, October 16, 2013 (Zenit.org) – While greeting pilgrims from various countries attending today’s general audience, Pope Francis commemorated the 35th anniversary of Blessed John Paul II’s election to the papacy.
Addressing the pilgrims from Poland, the Holy Father greeted the organizers of an event held in the city of Katowice, who will conduct an artistic representation of the life of St. Francis.
“I express my wish to the organizers and participants that this artistic encounter with the ‘Poverello’ of Assisi may arouse in the hearts of all those present the love for God the Creator, respect for creation and true charity for all those in need of spiritual and material assistance,” the Pope said.
“I entrust all present, and your loved ones, to the heavenly intercession of Blessed John Paul II, on the thirty-fifth anniversary of his election to the Chair of St. Peter, and impart my heartfelt blessing.”
Cardinal Karol Józef Wojtyła was elected to the Petrine Ministry on October 16th, 1978, becoming the first non-Italian pope in 455 years. He went onto become the second longest serving Pope in the Church’s history and is considered to be one of the most influential world leaders in the 20th century.
Blessed John Paul II will be canonized, alongside Blessed John XXIII, on April 27th, 2014.