Crowds have been leaving Poland for Pope John Paul II’s beatification mass at the Vatican.
Ahead of the ceremony euronews caught up with Dr Joaquín Navarro-Valls who was head of press liaison for the majority of John Paul II’s tenure.
euronews correspondent Enrico Bona asked: ‘How do you think the struggle against illness and pain in the last years of the pope’s pontificate reinforced the idea among the faithful of a blessed pope or a saintly pope?’
Navarro-Valls responded: ‘Paradoxally, the important, long part of John Paul II’s pontificate showed frailty and hence all the true essence of a human being – and it not only demonstrates that, but tries to make sense of it all. I think those years in the life of John Paul II were the years in which he wrote, not with words but by his life itself, the most magnificent encyclical Papal letter, possibly the most beautiful he ever wrote.
I remember many things about him but particularly his good mood. And this memory has also helped me personally to understand that a good spirit is a characteristic of a Christian life. We are all the sons of God, and the end of a man’s story is a happy end, and this in the pope’s case is obvious.’