Source: Vatican News
During his live-streamed address from the Apostolic Library after the Regina Caeli prayer on Sunday, Pope Francis said: "Tomorrow will be the centenary of the birth of Saint John Paul II, in Wadowice, Poland."
He invited all Christians to remember him "with great affection and gratitude, and prayed that he will intercede for the People of God and for peace in the world.
The Pope said that on Monday morning, at 7o'clock, (Rome time) he will celebrate Holy Mass, which will be broadcast from the altar by St John Paul II's tomb. "From Heaven may he continue to intercede for the People of God and peace in the world," he said.
Karol Wojtyla was born on May 18, 1920, in Wadowice, Poland. Many celebrations in his honour will take place around the world. The Secretary-General of the Polish Bishops' Conference announced that they will be issuing a special Message to the faithful highlighting the topical relevance of Pope John Paul II's Magisterium.
Pope Francis went on to note that as measures to curb the Covid-19 pandemic enter a second phase in many countries, liturgical celebrations in the presence of the faithful have resumed in some of them while this possibility is being considered in others.
Across Italy, he said, from Monday 18 May, it will be possible to celebrate Holy Mass with the people.
Pope Francis asked everyone to continue observing safety measures in order to safeguard the safety and health of all. He said "I share in the joy of the communities that can finally reunite as liturgical assemblies, a sign of hope for all society."
The Pope also recalled that traditionally, in many parishes, May is the month in which First Communion Masses are celebrated.
"Clearly, due to the pandemic, this beautiful moment of faith has had to be postponed," he said, and he expressed his closeness to the boys and girls who should have received the Eucharist for the first time.
"Dear boys and girls," he said, "I invite you to live this time of waiting as an opportunity to prepare yourselves better: praying, reading your catechism to deepen your knowledge of Jesus, and growing in goodness, and service to others."
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