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Cardinal Poupard: “People have always said that John XXIII and John Paul II are saints”

2014-04-25

The French cardinal Paul Poupard worked closely with both John XXIII and John Paul II. He had the opportunity to eat lunch and converse many times with then Cardinal Wojtyla and was greatly impressed by his deep prayer life. Once elected Pope, John Paul II made him president of the Pontifical Council for Culture

CARD. PAUL POUPARD
President Emeritus, Pontifical Council for Culture
"It’s amazing to think I had the privilege of working with John Paul II for over a quarter of a century; to speak together, to partake in the same apostolic zeal, to concelebrate Mass…And I have to admit that I never doubted his holiness. He breathed prayer, he had complete devotion, it was his natural way of being.” 

As an official of the Secretary of State and by personal request of John XXIII, Cardinal Poupard also had the opportunity to work hand in hand with the John XXIII during the Second Vatican Council

CARD. PAUL POUPARD
President Emeritus, Pontifical Council for Culture
"When I entered into the Pope’s personal library, he exclaimed and said to me: ‘My dear son! You are a young priest, I am an old Pope; do you want to serve the Church?’ Yes, Holy Father.’ If the old Pope asks for your help, with you deny him?’”. 

Cardinal Poupard is very grateful for the opportunity to have worked with both popes and has always considered them to be saints. Shortly after the death of John XXIII, the French cardinal realized that he was not the only one convinced of John XXIII’s sanctity

CARD. PAUL POUPARD
President Emeritus, Pontifical Council for Culture 
"I remember my first television interview. The taxi driver who drove me to the RAI, because I was leaving from the Secretary of State, said to me: ‘Pope John, the Good Pope, the Holy Pope’. The same thing happened with John Paul II. The people never doubted the holiness of either.” 

Spending time with two prominent leaders of the faith left a profound impact on Cardinal Poupard. He jokes that some of their holiness hopefully rubbed off on him. 

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