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Hundreds venerate St. John Paul II's relics

Servants of the Pierced Hearts organize Mass to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth

DORAL | Lisa Rodriguez praised the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary for organizing a Mass and veneration of relics of St. John Paul II at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.

“They bring relics, they enrich our spiritual life with speakers and wonderful cenacles,” she said as she looked at St. John Paul II items for sale outside the church.

The event took place on St. John Paul II’s feast day, October 22. This year also marked the centenary of his birth in Poland.

Lidia Navarrete kisses her grandson, Randy Medina, 11, as his mother, Miriam Medina, kneels beside them, and Sister Evelyn Montes de Oca, of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary, touches a picture of St. John Paul II to his relic. Pilgrims venerated the relics of St. John Paul II at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Doral, on his feast day and the 100th anniversary of his birth, Oct. 22, 2020.

Photographer: MARLENE QUARONI | FC

Lidia Navarrete kisses her grandson, Randy Medina, 11, as his mother, Miriam Medina, kneels beside them, and Sister Evelyn Montes de Oca, of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary, touches a picture of St. John Paul II to his relic. Pilgrims venerated the relics of St. John Paul II at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Doral, on his feast day and the 100th anniversary of his birth, Oct. 22, 2020.

This first-class relic of St. John Paul II is a piece of the bloodied cassock from when he was shot. It was one of three first-class relics brought by the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Doral, on his feast day and the 100th anniversary of his birth, Oct. 22, 2020.

Photographer: MARLENE QUARONI | FC

This first-class relic of St. John Paul II is a piece of the bloodied cassock from when he was shot. It was one of three first-class relics brought by the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Doral, on his feast day and the 100th anniversary of his birth, Oct. 22, 2020.

“We have several hundred first-class relics of other saints at the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary motherhouse in Miami,” said Mother Adela Galindo, who founded the diocesan religious institute in 1990. The institute’s purpose is to foster a new evangelization with a Marian missionary heart.

Relics have three classes: first-class are part of a saint’s body; second-class are items which the saint used or owned; and third-class are items touched to a first- or second-class relic.

“On the occasion of the centenary and feast day of St. John Paul II we wanted to bring his relics for public veneration so that people can pray for special intentions,” said Mother Adela. “He is the spiritual father of our institute.”

Mother Adela said she found in St. John Paul II an echo of her own heart. “From the beginning of his papacy I was moved by what he taught and said,” she said.

The John Paul II Foundation has asked bishops worldwide to use the centennial of his birth to reintroduce the saint to the younger generations, who didn’t live during his papacy, and to revive his memory.

The three relics, placed in front of and on both sides of Our Lady of Guadalupe's altar, included pieces of St. John Paul II’s cassock, stained with blood after he was shot in 1981 in St. Peter’s Square, and strands of his hair. The relics were placed in glass ampoules in the center of ornate reliquaries. For nearly two hours before Mass, worshippers stepped forward to venerate the relics and touch them with other religious articles, such as rosaries, statues of St. John Paul II, medals and photos of the saint.

In his homily, Archbishop Thomas Wenski said John Paul II's words and life presented "a convincing message, a message of hope, a message about Jesus Christ, the source of our hope, the hope that does not disappoint."

"Throughout his 26 years as pope, he never tired of placing before us the radical demands of the Gospel and he urged us not to be afraid to embrace them," the archbishop said. “Holiness is, he taught us, 'a message that convinces without need for words and is a living reflection of the face of Christ'.”

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