Convention Insider

Annual Memorial Mass for the Deceased Members of the Knights of Columbus
Post-Communion Remarks of
Most Reverend Mieczysław Mokrzycki
Archbishop of Lviv
San Antonio, Texas
August 8, 2013

I am very pleased that John Paul II is present with us in this sacred relic. During his pontificate, Blessed John Paul II had a strong relationship with the Knights of Columbus. I believe that He is still close to us and He remains an inspiration for our Order.

I am also happy to hear that the Knights are engaged in the creation of the John Paul II Shrine in Washington, D.C. It is a good initiative, which I fully support, and I look forward to the opening of this place of worship dedicated to John Paul II.

I would like to share with you one of my memories, one that stays close to my heart.

All of us remember the homily delivered by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger at John Paul II’s funeral. He said: “We can be sure that our beloved pope is standing today at the window of the Father's house, that he sees us and blesses us.” When saying these words, Cardinal Ratzinger was not aware of what I am about to share with you.

At the end of each day, around 10:30 at night, John Paul II would walk to his chapel. There he prayed, sang a hymn to the Virgin Mary, and would then return to his bedroom. As we accompanied him in his last months, we would bring Him to the bedroom window, turn out the lights and open the shutters. Then, the Pope would rise, lean on the window sill and briefly pray, and then give his benediction.

He would bless the pilgrims walking on the square, bless the Eternal City of Rome, bless the whole Church and the whole world! He would do it every day, not only on Sundays after the Angelus, or only during his Christmas or Easter Urbi et Orbi.

So today, through this holy relic, may He also bless our work as we continue to grow in faith and holiness.