Prelate Notes John Paul II's Love for Divine Mercy
Underlines Significance of May Beatification
By Mariusz Frukacz
CZESTOCHOWA, Poland, JAN. 19, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The archbishop of Czestochowa, former student and collaborator of Pope John Paul II, is highlighting the significance of the Pontiff's beatification on the Feast of Divine Mercy.
Archbishop Stanislaw Nowak told ZENIT that the news of John Paul II's upcoming May 1 beatification "fills me with joy."
He added, "It's a great thing that the beatification will take place precisely on the occasion of the feast of Divine Mercy."
"John Paul II loved Divine Mercy," the prelate said. "He did much so that this feast would be popular in the Church."
The archbishop recalled, "I remember him when he was still bishop of Krakow, how he took the first steps to spread the feast of Divine Mercy in Krakow."
He affirmed that John Paul II is a great witness of Divine Mercy, along with St. Faustina Kowalska and Blessed Michal Sopocko.
The archbishop of Czestochowa stated that "John Paul II loved everyone, with special affection for young people."
"He was a man of great faith," the prelate added. "Every cell of his being breathed faith."
The archbishop said that the choice of the month of May for the beatification also "has a special meaning."
In fact, he said, it is called "John Paul II's month because the Polish Pontiff gave Mary his total trust: 'Totus tuus.' And so many events of his personal life are associated with the month of May."
Archbishop Nowak has been head of the Czestochowa Archdiocese since 1984. Pope John Paul II visited that city during his apostolic journeys in 1979, 1983, 1987, 1991, 1997 and 1999.