Church Remembers John Paul II on 1st Feast Day

Memorial for Polish Pontiff Is Saturday

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ROME, OCT. 21, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The Church will celebrate the first memorial for Blessed Pope John Paul II on Saturday.

Oct. 22, 1978, was the day he was installed as Pope, and the date chosen for his feast.

Vatican Radio today offered two tributes to the Polish Pontiff. 

The first focused on the Holy Father's prayer life. It was an interview from the archives with Cardinal Roberto Tucci, who organized many of the Pontiff's trips abroad.

The second tribute focused on the Pope's personality, drawing from the personal experiences of papal biographer George Weigel and Vatican reporter John Allen.

Weigel described the Polish Pontiff as "relentlessly curious," and said he was constantly looking ahead -- that there was nothing "nostalgic" about his personality. This trait, however, Weigel characterized as a reflection of the Holy Father's Christian faith: "He really believed that Providence was at work in history and therefore he wanted to know what was going on because that allowed him insights into how the divine will was working itself out in perhaps surprising ways at this moment in time."

Allen, for his part, shared an insight into the Pope's capacity as a communicator, when the Holy Father was able to put him at ease during their first personal interview.

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On the Net: 

Interview with Cardinal Tucci: www.radiovaticana.org/EN1/Articolo.asp?c=530728

Interview with Weigel and Allen: www.radiovaticana.org/EN1/Articolo.asp?c=530796