RCC Bishops urge to deepen the rich spiritual heritage of Saint John Paul II
The conference of Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine has prepared a communique on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Saint John Paul II.
The document was made public by the Catholic Media Center. We bring to your notice the communique in full:
“May 18, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the day when Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II, came to the world in the small town of Wadowice, in the family of Karol Wojtyla and Emilia from the house of Kaczurowski.
It was there in Wadowice, the Pontiff recalls during his stay in his lesser homeland, “that everything began: my life began, my school began, my education began, my theater began, and my priesthood began.” This is how God works and enters into our history, the history of our family and people, in all its circumstances and corners, so that each of us, like little Karol, will hear His soft voice: “Follow me!”
And the response of faith that the young man expressed in Wadowice changed not only his history, but the history of millions of people. 104 Apostolic journeys to 135 countries, 14 encyclicals, 42 letters, 14 Apostolic post-Synodal Epistles, thousands of sermons and catecheses are just some of the visible fruits of that humble life. And how many deep conversions that took place under the influence of the proclamation of the Gospel?
One cannot but remember his Apostolic journey to Ukraine, which touched the hearts of many of us and changed our lives. Here we heard the words of the Holy Father, which we can bravely accept as a kind of Testament:
I call on all the sons and daughters of the Church to constantly and diligently search for a true and deeper knowledge of Christ. Let the fundamental Evangelical and ecclesiastical education of the laity be a constant concern of the clergy. Let the spirit of self-sacrifice not be exhausted for Christians. Let the courage of the Christian community in protecting the wronged and persecuted not weaken, paying great attention to the account of the signs of the times, so as to respond to the social and spiritual calls of the present (Lviv 27.06.2001).
Indeed, in the life and Ministry of this great Pope, the power and goodness of God became visible to each of us (Letter of Benedict XVI on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of John Paul II).
On the 100th anniversary of his birth, We, the Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine, strive together with You to thank God for those 27 years of service filled with God's praise. At the same time, we urge You to deepen the rich spiritual heritage of Saint John Paul II, expressed in encyclicals, catecheses, and Apostolic Epistles. And before all, we wish that this Saint, who is the special patron of the year of consecrated life, serve an example and motivation for us-to help Christ open the door and follow Him to the end!
We trust Ukraine, we trust all of us and our families, we trust priests and monastics, we trust our Episcopate to Your intercessory prayer, Saint John Paul II! Intercede for us before the Almighty God, so that we never lose the courage to answer Him: “Yes! Let it be according to Your Word.”