Letter from the Superior General of the Sodalitium for the Canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II
Lima, 05/03/14 (Sodalit News). The General Superior of the Sodalitium, Alessandro Moroni, sent a letter on the occasion of the canonization of Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II, giving thanks for these new saints in the Church.
In the letter to the Sodalits, the General Superior gave thanks to God for the gift these holy Popes and their ministry have meant to the world and to the Church of our time, also highlighting the role these Pontiffs have had in the very history of the Sodalitium.
“As sons and daughters of the Council, how can we not be deeply grateful to the Good Pope and give thanks for his canonization” he said, highlighting not only his testimony of closeness and evangelical simplicity, but also the calling of the most important ecclesial event of the 20th century: the Second Vatican Council; an event of great impact on the life of the Church and the world which gave a boost of renewal in-line with the Tradition of the Church. Speaking about his Papal ministry, Moroni recalled “Mater et magistra in which Pope John XXIII gathers together the teachings of his predecessors and offers them to the modern world, giving special importance to the meaning of the Christian idea about the economy, social life, morality, and the search for the common good. Or the famous encyclical Pacem in Terris, considered a letter of great importance concerning the rights and duties of man and the most systematic document that had ever been written up until that time by the Pontifical Social Magisterium”, documents that, together with others such as Ad Petri Cathedram and the radio message Ecclesia Christi lumen gentium, are used in the reflection of the community.
In the letter, Moroni refers to John Paul II as an extraordinary man, with a youth in which he suffered, that “was a worker and lover of the culture, a clandestine seminarian, promoter of the national Polish culture, an enthusiast of rhapsodic theater, apostolic priest who was committed to the youth and to workers, professor in Lublin, a promoter of a new anthropological school and philosophy, a bold and courageous bishop who had an important participation in the Second Vatican Council, and Bishop of Rome”, pointing out that the most important was “having attained configuration with Jesus, the Lord”.
In a historic itinerary of the Sodalit Family, Moroni recalled that the Pope’s “figure and presence have been very important on the path of the maturing of our Sodalit community”. He spoke of the first encounter that occurred in a public audience in 1981, in which the Holy Father said: “I bless your Sodalitium…I bless your Sodalitium”, along with the participation of the Sodalitium in the Jubilee of the Youth in Rome in 1984 that had the presence of Takillakta in St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, a group that left “a very intense experience of ecclesial communion with which the foundation of the Christian Life Movement in the following year fed off of”.
He also pointed out that the two visits of the Pope to Peru, in 1985 and in 1988, were causes of “great growth for the Sodalit community because of the witness and apostolic fervor the Pope had, the clarity and richness of his Magisterium, for his closeness and apostolic impulse”.
Reliving the year 1997 when the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae received from Pope John Paul II the Pontifical Approval as a Society of Apostolic Life, Moroni emphasized that “the Sodalits owe a deep gratitude to John Paul II, and our hearts are joyful to see him raised up to the altars today. All of us who, in different occasions and in different ways had the opportunity to meet him, hold deep in our hearts the living memory of his support, his proximity and his testimony of his self-giving and generosity”.
Emphasizing that John Paul II lived through his suffering as a form of participating in the redeeming act of Christ, Moroni pointed out that we saw “how he preached the ‘Gospel of suffering’ by his own example. Ever since the assassination attempt he suffering in 1981 – the experience through which was written his letter Salvifici doloris – up until the final moments of his life, the Pope has taught us to wear and toil ourselves for the proclamation of the Gospel, being always conformed to the Cross of the Redeemer with our sight set on the horizon of hope. A great teaching that we treasure in our hearts”.
Explaining the harmony between the spirituality that God has given to the Sodalit Family and many of the strong points of that Pope John Paul II emphasized in his Magisterium, Sandro mentioned things such as “his vision of the world founded upon faith and hopeful realism, his tenacious and ceaseless effort to apply the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, the centrality of the human person whose identity is revealed only in Christ and who the Pope placed as the first path of the Church, Marian filial piety, the impulse of the New Evangelization, and reconciliation”, aspects that have been brought together in diverse documents of his Magisterium such as the trilogy of the beginning of his pontificate; his social and Marian encyclical letters Fides et ratio, Reconciliatio et paenitentia, Novo millenio ineunte, Dominus Iesus, among others.
Focusing on the topic of reconciliation, which he considers providential, Moroni reminded us that this topic was given great importance in the Magisterium of John Paul II, and he quoted these beautiful words: “at the sound of man’s scream and seeing how he manifests in different circumstances of his life a longing for unity with God, with himself and with others, he wanted, through grace and inspiration from the Lord, to offer with great strength this gift of reconciliation to the Church”. In the same way, he noted that “in 1984 the Pope gave to the People of God the very important Apostolic Exhortation which was Reconciliatio et Paenitentia (Reconciliation and Penance), and gave eloquent signs about how to live reconciliation in his life and ministry”, a very valuable Magisterium that inspired the promotion of the several Congresses on Reconciliation.
A witness to this memorable event, Moroni also recalled that in 1999, in the General Assembly of the CLM, the Holy Father gave the mission to the members of the Sodalit Family to be “artisans of reconciliation in the modern world”.
Remembering the new saint, Moroni added that “to deepen in reconciliation also means to live under two fundamental aspects of the Gospel: truth and charity. Pope John Paul II unceasingly taught that reconciliation has these two fundamental pillars. There cannot be one without the other. One must come to know the truth through the light of the Truth, Jesus Christ Himself, by which we are set free (Jn 8, 32), and doing this be able to accept it, bring it into our lives and live in accordance with it, strengthened by the Spirit who leads us to the fullness of truth (Jn 16, 13). One must also live charity, which is always demanding, which invites us to go further and helps us live the fullness of life (1 Cor 13)”.
“Let us never forget that God always comes to us first and invites us to walk in truth and live in charity”, he said, sharing the need to live mercy as well: “Mercy and reconciliation go together. As a community, God calls us to live mercy and reconciliation. He calls us to recognize our faults and our sins through His eyes, to forgive, to look forward together and offer ourselves with enthusiasm and generosity renewed in the beautiful mission that He has given to us”.
He concluded his letter with an invitation to live joy and gratitude to God, and to celebrate with the entire Church the canonization of these two great Popes, asking for the intercession of Mary so that she may guide the path of the whole spiritual family and help us to grow always in holiness.