Saint John Paul II was and is loved all over the world – told PAP the head of the Polish section of Vatican Radio and Vatican News, Father Paweł Rytel-Andrianik, on Monday, the 45th anniversary of the election of the Polish Pope to the See of Peter.
“It’s amazing how people in different countries react when they hear about Saint John Paul II. They immediately mention that he was in a given country, that they met him, saw him and that they are praying through his intercession,” added the PAP interlocutor.
The head of the Polish editorial office of Vatican News emphasized: “I remember conversations with Israelis and Palestinians about Saint. John Paul II. Both of them talked about him as someone close to them. Jews emphasized that he was the first to visit the synagogue in Rome, the first to pray at the Western Wall and visit Yad Vashem, and recalled many other moments of friendly relations with the Polish Pope.
“Palestinians – he added – remember, among other things, his visit to Bethlehem, where the muezzin’s voice was heard during the homily. The Pope then waited until he finished and then continued the prayer. This is an example of respect for people of other religions.”
As Father Rytel-Andrianik pointed out, the Pope made many efforts for peace in the Middle East.
“In the history of the world, the largest number of people attended the funeral of a Polish Pope in 2005. It shows how much people loved him,” he noted.
The Polish priest added: “In the USA, Mexico, South American countries, and the Philippines, there is a painting of Saint in many churches. John Paul II. People pray through his intercession. This is common. And in Rome there is a very moving sight at his tomb.”
He recalled that approximately 10 million people visit St. Peter’s Basilica annually and almost all of them approach the tomb of St. John Paul II. “It is one of the most visited places in the world,” he said.
“If you could describe in one sentence how people around the world perceived the Polish Pope, it could be the words of the Americans: John Paul II, we love you,” said Fr. Rytel-Andrianik.
From the Vatican Sylwia Wysocka (PAP)