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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

John Paul II was “a sign and witness of the Resurrection of Christ,” says Pope

Vatican City, Apr 2, 2008 / 10:41 am (CNA).- Recalling with emotion the passing of Pope John Paul II three years ago today, Pope Benedict said April 2 will remain imprinted on the mind of the Church as the day when the Servant of God departed from this world.

Thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for a memorial Mass in honor of the beloved pope, whose abiding memory continues to draw thousands of visitors every day to his tomb inside St. Peter's Basilica.

Pope Benedict said that the life and pontificate, was as a whole and in many specific moments, "a sign and witness of the Resurrection of Christ."

John Paul II died on the eve of the second Sunday of Easter, the fulfillment of the "day that the Lord has made."

The Holy Father said, "Like three years ago, today we are not far from Easter. The heart of the Church is still deeply immersed in the mystery of the Resurrection of the Lord. Indeed, we can read the entire life of my beloved predecessor, in particular his Petrine ministry, as a sign of the Risen Christ.”

Recalling how today is the day John Paul II died, Benedict XVI said, "His agony was beheld by all this "day," in this space-time that is the new ' "eighth day," desired by the Holy Trinity through the work of the Incarnate Word, dead and risen.

"In this spiritual dimension,” the Holy Father said that “Pope John Paul II repeatedly demonstrated that he was some way immersed in this mystery during his life, especially in carrying out the mission of the Supreme Pontiff."

Since childhood, Karol Wojtyla experienced the truth of St. Paul's words, 'if we die with him, we shall also live with him. If we persevere with him, we also reign with him" (2 Tim 2,11-12), the Pope said.

Please visit the Catholic News Agency to read more about what Pope Benedict XVI had to say about John Paul II.

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