Tuesday, March 28, 2006

John Paul II left message on Divine Mercy

John Paul II left message on Divine Mercy

Mar. 27 (CWNews.com) - Pope John Paul II left behind a message on Divine Mercy before his death last April 2.

During a visit on March 26 to the Roman parish of God the Merciful Father, Pope Benedict XVI revealed the existence of his predecessor's message, and then read a portion of the message to the congregation. The manuscript was to have been Pope John Paul's message for the feast of Divine Mercy, which fell last year on April 3, the day after the Polish Pope died.

In his hand-written message, which Pope Benedict described as "like a last will and testament," Pope John Paul had written:

To humanity, which at times seems to be lost and dominated by the power of evil, selfishness, and fear, the risen Lord offers the gift of his love that pardons, reconciles and opens the soul to hope. It is love that converts hearts and brings peace. ... How much the world needs to understand and accept Divine Mercy!

Pope Benedict challenged the people of the parish in eastern Rome: "Let this be task, above all within your families and throughout the neighborhood: to understand and welcome the merciful love of God." Pope John Paul II had nourished a deep attachment to the Divine Mercy devotion, introduced by St. Faustina Kowalska in the 1930s. The late Pontiff canonized St. Faustina in 2000, and established the feast of the Divine Mercy, to be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter, that same year. The Roman parish of God the Merciful Father was also consecrated during the Jubilee Year 2000.

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