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2nd International Day of Prayer, Amsterdam 1998

Word of welcome and
Excerpts from the conference of
His Excellency Paul Maria Hnilica SJ
Titular bishop from Rome

John Paul II and His Coredemptive Suffering

The Mother of Jesus, the Mother of All Nations, has gathered us from various countries to implore the Holy Spirit, in a special way, to come for the Pope, the Church and the whole world. We all feel that, more than ever before, our time needs the special protection of our mother.

Mary promised in Fatima that her Immaculate Heart would triumph. This triumph will not be achieved with atomic bombs, but through the simple hearts of those who suffer and are persecuted, of those who have dedicated themselves wholly to Mary, the Coredemptrix. Under the title "Lady and Mother of All Nations," Mary shows us in Amsterdam the way to peace and unity for the Church and, through the Church, for the world.

God has placed our present pope, John Paul II, at the head of this army formed by Mary. I am convinced that with this pontificate "Totus Tuus" we have entered a new phase of this Marian era. The triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary will be realized soon in Russia and in the whole world.

God has given the present Vicar of Christ a special charisma and, I would say, a Marian seal, "Totus Tuus." The Church, more than ever before, has been given a Marian sign: a new heart, the heart of Mary. I am convinced that through the Lady and Mother of All Nations we will be led into the deepest mystery, the coredeeming task of Mary. She is truly the Coredemptrix. Representing us all, she gave her consent to God in our name for our salvation.

Let us pray that this triumph, promised in Fatima, may be realized during this pontificate. Christ triumphed over Satan on the cross. Our pope also suffers the cross; and, therefore, he is at the height of his spiritual strength to obtain the renewal of the Church and peace in the world.

John Paul II’s physical weakness is the wisdom and power of God. As with St. Paul in prison, our pope experiences, in a unique and miraculous way, the mystery of the Christian faith, the coredemption to which every Christian is called. The pope can say, today more than ever, with St. Paul, "It makes me happy to be suffering for you now, and in my own body to make up all the hardships that still have to be undergone by Christ for the sake of his body, the Church" (Col.1:24).

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