Sunday, May 8, 2011

The tomb of Blessed Pope John Paul II, a magnet for the faithful

The chapel of San Sebastian was not one of the "greats" of the Basilica of St. Peter's Basilica. But within days, has gone from unknown to one of the most popular. By the grace of John Paul II. Before going unnoticed among the Pieta and the chapel of the Blessed. But after centuries of darkness, it is claimed, and since under the altar contains the tomb of Karol Wojtyla, acts as a magnet for people.

So much that it is called the "chapel of John Paul II." It's 8 am on Friday, November 7. At this early hour, there are now dozens of faithful who come rushing in St. Peter's Square. After passing the usual security measures (increased after the death of Osama), almost all aim at the race for the second chapel on the right side of the Vatican Basilica.

Many, camera in hand, taking photographs. Other fall down on their knees. Everyone, sooner or later come to the altar and play the simple inscription on the tomb reads: Beatvs Pavlvs Ioannes PP. II. Above the tomb of Pope blessed a large painting of St. Sebastian, the saint who gives name to the chapel.

The scene of his martyrdom is a mosaic version, made in 1631. The guard of honor of the new occupant of the chapel are two queens and two Popes. Queens are Matilde of Canossa (1046-1115) and Christina of Sweden (1626-1689). The Popes, in their large bronze statues, Pius XI and Pius XII.

The latter, the Pope Wojtyla admired and who appointed him auxiliary of Krakow in 1958. Both Pius XI and Pius XII hallucinated seem to observe the sudden interest aroused by its hood, making a knowing wink to his new partner, Santo subito. On the altar of the new Blessed succeed the masses.

There are glue to hold there. Cardinals, bishops and priests point to a list in the sacristy, which is already full for several months. And getting requests from around the world. This Friday morning Mass he has had a large group of faithful, priests and bishops presided over by a Polish cardinal.

Immediately afterwards, held a group of Hispanic priests, including a priest in Cordoba. In the first bank, a couple of Iraqi Catholics pray on their knees. The husband wears a shirt with the Iraqi flag and picture of the priests killed in the bombing of Al Qaeda in Baghdad against the cathedral last Christmas.

The woman, with a rosary in his hands, crying quietly. When he saw the priest, who pronounces some words in the guise of his homily, extolling the figure of the Pope of peace, the Pope who said no to the Iraq war and all wars. Misunderstanding, the couple of Iraqis look to the priest, he started smiling and dried tears.

Mass ends and rivers are still coming from people who repeat the same ritual: pictures, prayers and kisses to the grave. Some even leave envelopes with money and letters of appreciation in separate trays placed on a table at the end of the chapel. A flow of faithful who demonstrates, again, that John Paul II was more than a pope.

It was a social and spiritual. With an impact on the people only comparable to the other Blessed Pope John XXIII. While Wojtyla had modern means of travel and communication that provided a global pulpit and became the pastor of the world. Perhaps for that and for being so recent elevation to the altars of John Paul II at the tomb of Pope Well there are about 10 people praying.

Karol Wojtyla to the hundreds. The talisman of the Polish Pope still working. Now, even more, because it is officially in the sky and has a wand of miracles.

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