Church Beatifies Late Pope John Paul II

Late Pope John Paul II is all set to be beatified on 1 May 2011, tomorrow, at St. Peter’s Square, Vatican. The Beatification will put the Venerable Pope on the road to canonization when his name will be listed into the galaxy of saints. From 1 May late Pope John Paul II would be known by the Church as Blessed John Paul II.
The Beatification mass will be celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI at 10.00 a.m at St. Peter’s Basilica. The event would be characterized by programmes that would underline the late Pope’s character and the great impact his pontificate had on the Diocese of Rome and the entire world.
The event will be marked by the Celebration of the Memory during which Dr. Joachuin Navarro-Valls, former Director of the Holy See Press Office, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, Private Secretary to the late Pope and Sr. Marie Simon-Pieer Normand who miraculously recovered from Parkinson’s disease through the intercession of late Pope John Paul II, will bear testimony to his greatness and holiness.
Karol Josef Wojtyla, as he was called before his election as the Pope, lived almost to the end of his 85th year. He was elected pope in 1978, aged 58. When he died, on 2 April 2005, he was the third longest-serving pope of the 264 after St Peter, the Apostle, and Blessed Pius IX.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of his papacy was the improved relationships with religions other than his own. He authored more encyclical letters, apostolic exhortations, constitutions and letters than any Pope in the two thousand year history of the Church. A talented and gifted ‘man of letters’, a playwright, a philosopher, an intellectual giant, a poet, and a genuine human being, he had a heart that embraced the whole world like the Heart of the One whom he represented on earth.
He traversed the globe, proclaiming freedom to the captives and truth to the victims of failed false ideologies that had ravaged the people of the twentieth century, the bloodiest in all of human history. Communism, atheism, secularism, and false humanisms, were exposed because he had the courage to stand up to tyrants with the bold message of the God who came among us to make us all new. He taught that Jesus Christ is the path to authentic personal, social and universal freedom!
The young Karol Wojtyla’s life contained much to question God for. His mother, Emilia, died when he was nine, the year of his First Communion. He never knew his sister, Olga, who had died before he was born. He was twelve when his brother, Edmond, died. He was twenty-one when his father, also Karol, died. Where did he find a family then? He found answers to all the questions from his ‘friend’ Jesus to whom he gave himself totally. His apostolic motto was ‘Totus Tuus’ (totally yours).  Fittingly, the Beatification of the late Pope will mark the Church’s affirmation of the faith and life of a worthy servant of God.
During the persecution of the Early Christians, all martyrs to the faith were proclaimed “Santo Subito” (sainthood now). It is worth mentioning that on the afternoon of 8th April 2005 some young Romans happened to prophetically come up with the same slogan ‘Santo Subito’ even as the Church has discerned the cause of his canonization
The choice of May1, 2011, which falls on the Second Sunday of Easter Season when the Catholic Church keeps the Feast of Divine Mercy, is not accidental. He had a deep devotion to his fellow Pole Sr. Faustina Kowalska and to the Divine Mercy devotion identified with her. In August 2002, in Lagiewniki, Poland where Sr. Faustina lived and died, John Paul II entrusted the entire world “to Divine Mercy, to the unlimited trust in God the Merciful.”
The Beatification of the late Pope should be seen as a ‘spiritual event’. Blessed John Paul will be promoted as an exemplar of how to live the life of faith, with honesty, integrity and whole-hearted commitment. All aspects of his life and work will now become even more than what it was in his lifetime.
The pilgrimage to John Paul II’s grave has not ceased since the day he was buried. Everyday from 9.00 a.m to 7.00 p.m there is an endless queue of pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square, each one bringing his or her sorrows, wishes and joys to the Great Pope. Now that he is raised to the Altar of the Lord and the faithful will call him “Blessed John Paul II.” There is little doubt that soon, we will address John Paul II as a Saint.  
Fr. R. R. Graviour Augustine
Diocese of Kohima
Diocese of Kohima welcomes St. John Bosco’s Relic
The Diocese of Kohima is pleased to inform all the Catholic faithful and the well wishers that the pilgrimage of Don Bosco’s Relic in Nagaland will start from 4th May 2011. The Diocese extends its warm welcome and exhorts all the faithful and everyone who is devoted to saints to visit the relic of St. John Bosco and obtain spiritual benefits.
The Diocese wishes the Salesians of Don Bosco in Nagaland and the organizing committee of the relic’s pilgimage a grand success and great spiritual experience in this special event of their religious congregation. The event in the state and the region will have a special significance since the relic of the father and founder of the Salesian Society and much more a saint is going to be witnessed by the Church in the region.
As per the information received, the itinerary of the relic of the Saint John Bosco, who is the patron of youth, will be Kohima, Zubza, Wokha and Dimapur. The faithful are requested to be in touch with their respective parishes and institutions of Salesian Family as to know the time and place of the relic’s arrival.
A relic is the object worthy of veneration. It can be anything from the bones of the saints to an object which touched a martyr during his or her life time. During their lives saints helped draw people closer to God and after their death the relics continue to inspire individuals to become more devoted to God.
The relic of Don Bosco which now is in the state of Manipur, after having been in the southern region of the country, will be brought and exposed in the Diocese of Kohima so that Christians may honour him as a servant of God as well as view him as a source of inspiration for those of us living.
Relics do not contain magical powers but they symbolize how God works through the saints even after they have died. They are presented and shown in order to remind individual of the holiness of a saint and the fulfilment of God’s work through the saints. They help individuals to pray to God through the saints to obtain from them the grace to live a holy life.
It may be said that the pilgrimage of the relic is undertaken in preparation for the birth centenary of St. John Bosco in 2015 which will be celebrated by the entire Salesian Family that includes 28 recognised groups spread across the world. The Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB), The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians – Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice (FMA), the Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians (MSMHC), and Sister of Mary Immaculate (SMI) are some of the groups of Salesian Family serving in Nagaland.
The Salesian Family whose presence in the region is known to all, besides engaging itself in various types of ministries, focus especially on the development, care and formation of the youth for whom Don Bosco lived, worked and died.

Fr. R. R. Graviour Augustine
Diocese of Kohima