Archive for April 3rd, 2012

Seven years after death, John Paul II’s popularity grows

VATICAN CITY—Seven years after his death, evidence is mounting of the late pope John Paul II’s saintliness, the man charged with promoting his claim to sainthood said Monday.

John Paul’s tomb has been constantly visited and relics linked to the former pope had drawn crowds of pilgrims in three continents, Slawomir Oder told Vatican Radio.

It had started with the presence of these relics, vials of his blood, during the World Youth Day in Madrid in August 2011 and had continued with their presence in Mexico, Colombia and currently in Nigeria, he said.

The crowds these relics were attracting reflected the nature of John Paul’s activities during his life, said Oder, “…the international dimension of his ministry.

“We are waiting for the sign from God to be able to go forward with the process of canonisation: this sign is a new miracle,” he added.

Karol Wojtyla, the Polish priest who became John Paul II, died on April 2, 2005, and was beatified on May 1, 2011 — an intermediary stage on the path to sainthood.

His relatively rapid beatification reflects his tremendous popularity during his life and the widespread desire among the faithful for him to be recognised as a saint.

For this to happen, three miracles have to be recognised by the Vatican as attributable to him.

To be officially certified as a miracle by the Roman Catholic Church, healings have to be instantaneous, irreversible and without scientific explanation.

The first miracle attributed to the late pope was the healing of a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, who recovered from Parkinson’s disease.

“At the current time, numerous signs of grace attributed to the intercession of the blessed John Paul II have come to me from numerous regions of the world, and some of them are certainly interesting,” said Oder.

He added that he was waiting for documentation so he could carry out a proper study of these cases, but would not elaborate on what claims he was investigating.

Oder, as John Paul’s postulator — the official advocate of the case for his canonisation — has the role of promoting the late pope’s claim to sainthood and had already put his case in a book, “Why he is a Saint”.

John Paul II’s historic papacy helped bring down communist rule in his native Poland and reinvigorated the Church, but he was criticized for his conservative social views and for failing to act against paedophile priests.

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Cambodia will now be 3 hours away from PH

PHNOM PENH—Beginning this month, Cambodia will be less than three hours away, thanks to direct flights that will be leaving Manila three times a week.

With Cebu Pacific airline offering direct flights from Manila to Siem Reap and back every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday starting April 19, expect an influx of more investors from both countries and the development of tourism, according to Philippine Ambassador to Cambodia Noe Wong.

The ambassador said the special air services agreement between the two nations was a result of discussions by the Joint Conference for Bilateral Cooperation held in December last year, the first in 10 years.

“We are trying to hasten..the signing of the existing memorandum of agreement on special air services…scheduled after the Asean summit before the end of April,’’ Wong said in an interview with Radio-Television Malacañang.

“This is a big thing for Filipinos here and also for Cambodia (as) it will pave the way for Cambodia to really appreciate what the Philippines is..in terms of tourism and development,’’ Wong said. “(The air agreement) would also “hasten the influx of investors from both countries,’’ he added.

Among the Philippine products being marketed in Cambodia are those of San Miguel Corp., Pure foods and United Laboratories. Mega sardines are also being sold here, Wong said.

According to the Cebu Pacific website, Cambodia-bound flights are scheduled to depart Manila at 7:50 p.m. every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, arriving at Siem Reap at 9:30 p.m. (Cambodia time is one hour behind.). Return flights will leave Siem Reap at 10:30 p.m. on the same days, and arrive in Manila at 2:10 a.m. the following day. 🙄