Pope celebrates Mass on centenary birth of John Paul II: He was a man close to the people
Pope Francis returned to St. Peter's Basilica for this simple ceremony for the 100th anniversary of John Paul II.
Before starting, the pope has kissed the altar where the remains of Karol Wojtyla lie. It is John Paul II who appointed him bishop and cardinal.
Then, in his homily, Pope Francis highlighted three characteristics in how John Paul II governed the Church: prayer, closeness to people and love of justice.
He wasn't a man detached from the people. On the contrary, he went to visit people. He traveled the whole world, finding his people, looking for his people, becoming close to them. Closeness is one characteristic God has with his people.
He was close to the great and the small, to those near and far, always close, John Paul II was close.
Pope Francis planned to celebrate a large Mass for the occasion, but had to cancel due to the pandemic.
Instead he celebrated this Mass, in which the Polish cardinal Konrad Krajewsky participated.
Angelo Gugel, the personal assistant to the Polish Pope, was also there. He accompanied him throughout the pontificate.
At Mass, a choir of nuns sang. The anthem of World Youth Days, launched by John Paul II was played.
The Polish version of "Lord, You have come to the Seashore" was played as well. John Paul II said it was the song he felt in his heart when he was elected pope in the Sistine Chapel.