Francis Marks Today’s Anniversary of John Paul II’s Death

Says Upcoming Canonization Is Invitation to Revive ‘Heritage of Faith’ Left by Polish Pontiff

VATICAN CITY, April 02, 2014 (Zenit.org) – Addressing Polish pilgrims during the general audience this morning in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis recognized today’s anniversary of the death of Blessed John Paul II.

Pope Francis said, “The anniversary of the death of Blessed John Paul II that falls today directs our thought toward the day of the canonization that we will celebrate at the end of the month. The anticipation of this event is to be an occasion to prepare ourselves spiritually and to revive the heritage of faith he left.”

He continued, “Imitating Christ, he [Blessed John Paul II] was, for the world, a tireless preacher of the word of God, of truth, and of goodness.  He did good even with his suffering. This was the teaching of his life in which God’s people responded with great love and esteem.”

Pope Francis asked for Blessed John Paul II’s intercession to strengthen the faithful in faith, hope, and love. He ended by imparting his apostolic blessing.

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