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Sunday, December 4, 2016
The world prays for Pope John Paul II
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┬áPeople around the world have been praying for the Pope since his readmission to hospital on Thursday. Below are just a few of the reports that were sent to ICN last night. Speaking from Cairo, Italian Comboni missionary Giuseppe Scattolin said: "Muslims in Egypt are showing concern for the health of Pope John Paul II whom they sincerely respect and admire. People have very happy memories of the Holy Father's visit to Egypt. His activity to promote dialogue between religions and cultures is highly appreciated and is bearing good fruit here in Egypt. It is also thanks to the Pope that the Catholic community in Egypt was able to establish such excellent relations with the Muslim University Al-Azhar here in Cairo. In fact at the request of the university I am presently giving a course on the Islamic mystic Omar Ibn Al Fared who lived in 1200." In Cape Town, South Africa, Scalabrini Missionary Father Arcangelo, who works with refugees from the Great Lakes Region said: "It is deeply moving to see how many people stop to pray spontaneously for the Pope. With their prayers they want to be close to the Pope in his suffering. "People, especially the poorest, are deeply sympathetic with the Pope in his condition of poor health. The Holy Father is an example for everyone. His life in recent years has restored dignity to the elderly, a generation which modern society tends confine to a corner." Writing from Nazareth on Friday, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah asked the Bishops of the Holy Land special prayers for Pope John Paul II. Auxiliary Bishop Giacinto Boulos Marcuzzo told Fides: "The Patriarch called on Latin rite Catholics in the Holy Land to offer special prayers for the health of the Pope particularly today, Friday in Lent when the faithful make the traditional Stations of the Cross with deep devotion." "Moreover special prayers for the Holy Father will be offered during adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in Haifa on Thursdays and in Nazareth on Fridays. In this special Year of the Eucharist convoked by the Pope Christian communities all over the Holy Land are spending more time in adoration of the mysterious Eucharistic presence of the living Lord and now this is an added opportunity to pray for the Holy Father. At Sunday Masses this weekend there will also be extra prayers for the Pope." He said: "Patriarch Sabbah has also enlisted the help of contemplative religious in the Holy Land, to guarantee non stop prayers for the Pope night and day." In Bujumbura, Burundi, Fr Salvator Niciteretze, secretary of the Burundian Bishops' Commission for Lay Apostolate said: "Burundians who suffered so much because of war are especially close to the Holy Father at this time of pain and suffering. We are all deeply concerned for the Pope's health. The entire Church in Burundi is close to the Holy Father at this difficult moment in his life and the Bishops have reminded the faithful that with their prayers they can sustain and comfort the Pope." In Taiwan, Fr Francis King, chancellor of Taipei archdiocese, said: "The moment the Pope was admitted to hospital the Bishops' Conference called on dioceses, parishes and communities to pray for his recovery, at Sunday Mass and in personal prayer. Today, with the news of this second admittance the whole Church in Taiwan is praying even more intensely. We wish him a speedy recovery and assure him of our affection and spiritual closeness." Cardinal Antonio M¬ Rouco Varala Archbishop of Madrid and the auxiliary Bishops asked for special prayers to be offered in monasteries, convents, parishes, church movements and associations in the whole archdiocese of Madrid for the Pope, particularly during celebrations of the Eucharist, "that the Lord may comfort the Holy Father at this moment of trial in his ministry as Shepherd of the whole People of God, in which he is identified with Christ patient and suffering on the Cross whom the Church contemplates in the Season of Lent when the Lord teaches us to recognise suffering as a path to life." Also the Archbishop of Toledo Antonio Ca˝izares, informed that the Pope had been admitted a second d time to hospital, called on the Catholics in his archdiocese, communities of contemplative enclosed Religious especially, to pray for the Pontiff's speedy recovery." Speaking from New Delhi, Fr Babu Joseph, spokesman of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India, comprising Bishops of Latin, Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara rites, said: "The Church in India is following the condition of the Pope with apprehension. As soon as the Bishops heard that he had been admitted to hospital again they called on Catholics all over the country to pray for the Holy Father. He said: We are deeply moved by the way the Holy Father accepts and lives suffering: his heroic example helps us to live our own suffering more fruitfully. Even though suffering and frail the Pope is still a powerful promoter of universal peace and brotherhood among peoples. In India he is admired by all, Christians and non, as a great spiritual leader." Recalling Pope John Paul's message for Lent this year, which focussed on the elderly Father Babu said: "Old age means physical pain, decline in abilities and faculties. But the Pope reminds us that suffering, if lived in Jesus Christ, takes on significance: it is not useless, it becomes redemptive suffering. It is not a reason for despair it is a means for drawing closer to God and growing in holiness. Catholics in Mexico, have been praying for the Pope at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe and in parishes across the country,The Mexican Bishops write: "It is clear that the testimony of life is stronger than death. John Paul II addresses the fearful heart of man echoing the words of the Master: "Do not be afraid. The power of Christ's Cross and his Resurrection is greater than all evil, even the most frightening," In Rome, outside the Gemelli hospital last night, Erminio, 72, who lives locally, told a BBC reporter: 'It doesn't matter that he can't speak. Just to see him, to hear his silence and his suffering says more than a thousand words for me." Source: FIDES/VIS/BBC
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