In response to the overwhelming number of Christian people who rushed to St. Peter’s Square in Rome for his solemn funeral, chanting “Santo Subito,” the Church recognized this extraordinary “universal cult” of the new blessed which spread throughout the world. Pope Benedict XVI proceeded with the beatification of John Paul II. This shows how the future Blessed entered and found his place in the hearts of all believers. He is holy because he lives in God.
The beatification of the Venerable Servant of God John Paul II fills us all with emotion:
– We who have known him as Pilgrim in the Holy Land, man of faith, dialogue and peace, and fearless witness of human suffering,
– We who have listened to his words of faith and hope, certain and reassuring,
– We who have talked with him about our joys, our sufferings, hopes of our dioceses and our people,
– We who have walked with him slowly but steadily, from one shrine to another, from the Holocaust Memorial to the refugee camp, from visiting with political and religious leaders to listening to the cry of the poor, victims of injustice, security prisoners, and those marginalized by the spiral of violence.
John Paul II is a Blessed and a Saint of our time. Our eyes have seen a living saint. Our ears have heard his voice, strong at the beginning of his pontificate, weak toward the end of his life, and we heard the voice of silence of a Pope who could not speak on Easter Sunday preceding his ‘departure.’ Our hands have touched a saint, as to receive his blessing.
Dear Priests and Faithful,
We cannot miss this important event and then live without the memory of the future Blessed John Paul II. Certainly, you will not be in Rome to share in the joy of this celebration with thousands of people. However, we, your Pastors, in communion with papal representatives, invite you to participate in the celebrations and commemorative events that have been planned, as presented on the attached program and approved by the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries.
In the holy feast of Easter and the week after, we joyfully proclaim that:
Christ is risen, Alleluia!
+ Fouad TWAL
Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
President, Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries
+ Antonio FRANCO
Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine
Apostolic Nuncio in Israel and Cyprus
+ Giorgio LINGUA
Apostolic Nuncio in Jordan
+ Michel SABBAH
Latin Patriarch Emeritus
+ Elias CHACOUR
Melkite Catholic Archbishop of Akka
Vice President, Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries
+ Boutros MOUALLEM
Melkite Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of Akka
+ Paul Nabil SAYAH
Maronite Archbishop of Haifa
Maronite Patriarchal Exarc of Jérusalem, Palestine and Jordan
+ Yaser Al-AYYASH
Greek Melkite Catholic Archbishop of Petra and Philadelphia
+ Gregoire Pierre MELKI
Syrian Catholic Patriarchal Exarch of Jérusalem
+ Youssef Jules ZEREY
Greek Melkite Catholic Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem
+ Selim SAYEGH
Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan
+ Giacinto-Boulos MARCUZZO
Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Israël
+ William SHOMALI
Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem and Palestine
+ Kamal-Hanna BATHISH
Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus
Arch. Raphael MINASSIAN
Armenian Catholic Exarch of Jerusalem
Very Rev. Pierbattista PIZZABALLA, O.F.M.
Custos of the Holy Land
Rev. Father David NEUHAUS, S.J.
Patriarchal Vicar for Hebrew Speaking Catholic Vicariate
Rev. Father Evencio HERRERA DIAZ, O.F.M.
Patriarchal Vicar of the Latins for Cyprus
Rev. Father Pietro FELET, scj