Saint John Paul Gave his Life ‘Completely to God through Mary’ says Priest

A zucchetto worn by Saint John Paul II during his visit to Saint Louis in 1999, his last trip to the United States, is displayed prior to a vigil Mass Oct. 12 celebrated in honor of Our Lady of Fatima at Saint Vincent Ferrer Church in New York City. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

NEW YORK (CNS) – Saint John Paul II “looked at the world with Mary’s eyes and saw man in need of mercy,” the postulator of the pope’s canonization cause told Massgoers Oct. 12 at Saint Vincent Ferrer Church in New York.

“Mary’s eyes are the eyes of a mother. Her gaze embraces us and reads what is in our hearts,” said Monsignor Slawomir Oder, who was the homilist at a special vigil Mass to mark the 100th anniversary of the last Marian apparition at Fatima, Portugal.

Mary appeared to three shepherd children at Fatima in 1917. She first appeared May 13, and the apparitions continued once a month until Oct. 13.

“Mary looks at us with a mother’s tenderness and she is able to reach our hearts to see our deepest needs,” Monsignor Oder said.

“In her eyes, there is no judgment and condemnation. There is only maternal love.

“She looks at us in the same way as she looks at her Son beneath her heart. The tenderness of Mary’s maternal glance is a prelude to mercy,” Monsignor Oder said. “It invites us to come to her, so that we can experience it ourselves.”

Monsignor Oder came from Rome for the vigil Mass Oct. 12. The principal celebrant was Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the United Nations.

In his homily at the Oct. 12 Mass, Monsignor Oder told the congregation that Saint John Paul made “his life a gift for the church and for his brethren.”

During the beatification process for the now-canonized pontiff, he recalled, the Marian aspect of the pope’s spirituality was brought up many times. “As one witness put it beautifully and eloquently, ‘John Paul II learned to look at the world with the eyes of Mary. This capacity of insightful perception is the basis of what we call the ‘imagination of love,’” Msgr. Oder said.