Prayer by the Holy Father for the One-Month Memorial of the Terrorist Attack
Brothers and Sisters,
Dear Synodal Fathers,
one month since the inhumane terrorist attacks
which occurred in different parts of the United States of America,
we again recommend
to the eternal mercy of the God of our Fathers
the numerous innocent victims.
We ask for consolation and comfort
for their family and relatives,
burdened by pain;
we invoke strength and courage
for the many who continue their work
in the places struck by this terrible disaster;
we implore for tenacity and perseverance
by all men of goodwill
continuing on the paths of justice and peace.
May the Lord remove from the heart of man
every trace of resentment, of hostility and of hate,
and open him to reconciliation,
to solidarity and to peace.
Let us pray so that the "culture of love"
may be established all over the world.
After reciting the Our Father and before the Apostolic Benediction, the Holy Father pronounced the following prayer:
O God, Almighty and Merciful,
he who sows discord cannot understand you,
he who loves violence cannot welcome you:
watch over us in our painful human condition
tried by the brutal acts of terrorism and death;
Comfort your children and open our hearts to hope,
that our time may again know days of serenity and peace.
Pope’s Remarks of Concern
May the Blessed Virgin bring comfort and hope to those who suffer on account of the tragic attack of the terrorists, that last week seriously harmed the beloved American people. To all the children of this great Nation I direct my heartbroken and heartfelt consideration. May Mary welcome the dead, console the survivors, support those families who are particularly tried, help all to resist the temptation to hatred and violence, and to dedicate themselves to the service of justice and peace. May the Virgin Mary nourish in the hearts of all young persons, above all, high human and spiritual ideals and the necessary perseverance to achieve them. May She remind them of the primacy of eternal values, especially in these difficult moments, so that in their daily engagements and activities they may ever continue to be turned toward God and to his kingdom of solidarity and peace.
Pope John Paul II (Latin: Ioannes Paulus II; Italian: Giovanni Paolo II;) born Karol Józef Wojtyla[a] (Polish: ['kar?l 'juz?f v?j't?wa]; 18 May 1920 - 2 April 2005) was a Roman Catholic priest, bishop, and Cardinal who eventually rose to become Pope. He was elected by the second Papal conclave of 1978, which was called after Pope John Paul I, who was elected in August after the death of Pope Paul VI, died after thirty-three days. Then-Cardinal Wojtyla was elected on the third day of the conclave and adopted his predecessor's name out of tribute to the deceased former pontiff. In the years since his death, John Paul II has since been made a saint by the Church. He is referred to as Pope Saint John Paul II or Saint John Paul the Great, for example as a name for institutions. He was the second longest-serving pope in modern history after Pope Pius IX, who served for nearly 32 years from 1846 to 1878. Born in Poland, John Paul II was the first non-Italian pope since the Dutch Pope Adrian VI, who served from 1522 to 1523.
John Paul II is recognised as helping to end Communist rule in his native Poland and eventually all of Europe. John Paul II significantly improved the Catholic Church's relations with Judaism, Islam, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion. He upheld the Church's teachings on such matters as artificial contraception and the ordination of women, but also supported the Church's Second Vatican Council and its reforms.
As part of his special emphasis on the universal call to holiness, he beatified 1,340 people and canonised 483 saints, more than the combined tally of his predecessors during the preceding five centuries. By the time of his death, he had named most of the College of Cardinals, consecrated or co-consecrated a large number of the world's bishops, and ordained many priests. A key goal of his papacy was to transform and reposition the Catholic Church. His wish was "to place his Church at the heart of a new religious alliance that would bring together Jews, Muslims and Christians in a great religious armada". However, his main aim, as he used to underline, was to spread the message of Divine Mercy, revealed by Jesus Christ to saint Faustina Kowalska, and thus to prepare the world for His final coming.
“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Gn 1:31)
To all who are passionately dedicated to the search for new “epiphanies” of beauty so that through their creative work as artists
they may offer these as gifts to the world.
The artist, image of God the Creator
1. None can sense more deeply than you artists, ingenious creators of beauty that you are, something of the pathos with which God at the dawn of creation looked upon the work of his hands. A glimmer of that feeling has shone so often in your eyes when—like the artists of every age—captivated by the hidden power of sounds and words, colours and shapes, you have admired the work of your inspiration, sensing in it some echo of the mystery of creation with which God, the sole creator of all things, has wished in some way to associate you.
That is why it seems to me that there are no better words than the text of Genesis with which to begin my Letter to you, to whom I feel closely linked by experiences reaching far back in time and which have indelibly marked my life. In writing this Letter, I intend to follow the path of the fruitful dialogue between the Church and artists which has gone on unbroken through two thousand years of history, and which still, at the threshold of the Third Millennium, offers rich promise for the future.
In fact, this dialogue is not dictated merely by historical accident or practical need, but is rooted in the very essence of both religious experience and artistic creativity. The opening page of the Bible presents God as a kind of exemplar of everyone who produces a work: the human craftsman mirrors the image of God as Creator. This relationship is particularly clear in the Polish language because of the lexical link between the words stwórca (creator) and twórca (craftsman).
What is the difference between “creator” and “craftsman”? The one who creates bestows being itself, he brings something out of nothing—ex nihilo sui et subiecti, as the Latin puts it—and this, in the strict sense, is a mode of operation which belongs to the Almighty alone. The craftsman, by contrast, uses something that already exists, to which he gives form and meaning. This is the mode of operation peculiar to man as made in the image of God. In fact, after saying that God created man and woman “in his image” (cf. Gn 1:27), the Bible adds that he entrusted to them the task of dominating the earth (cf. Gn 1:28). This was the last day of creation (cf. Gn 1:28-31). On the previous days, marking as it were the rhythm of the birth of the cosmos, Yahweh had created the universe. Finally he created the human being, the noblest fruit of his design, to whom he subjected the visible world as a vast field in which human inventiveness might assert itself.
God therefore called man into existence, committing to him the craftsman's task. Through his “artistic creativity” man appears more than ever “in the image of God”, and he accomplishes this task above all in shaping the wondrous “material” of his own humanity and then exercising creative dominion over the universe which surrounds him. With loving regard, the divine Artist passes on to the human artist a spark of his own surpassing wisdom, calling him to share in his creative power. Obviously, this is a sharing which leaves intact the infinite distance between the Creator and the creature, as Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa made clear: “Creative art, which it is the soul's good fortune to entertain, is not to be identified with that essential art which is God himself, but is only a communication of it and a share in it”.(1)
That is why artists, the more conscious they are of their “gift”, are led all the more to see themselves and the whole of creation with eyes able to contemplate and give thanks, and to raise to God a hymn of praise. This is the only way for them to come to a full understanding of themselves, their vocation and their mission.