MANILA, April 27, 2011?The upcoming beatification of Pope John Paul II at the Vatican on May 1 has stoked the affectionate memories of Filipino prelates on the late pope.
Various prelates interviewed separately by CBCPNews said they have fond recollections of the Polish-born Pope John Paul II, scheduled for beatification this coming Sunday, May 1, 2011 in fitting and elaborate ceremonies at the Vatican.
Lipa Archbishop Ramon Cabrera Arguelles described the late pontiff as â€œa great prophet.â€
In a text message to CBCPNews, Arguelles said the late pontiff had a special place in his heart.
â€œThe third millennium is the hour of Asia as the Good News will return to where it all started,â€ Arguelles explained. He called on the Filipino faithful to make the belief into a reality.
As far as Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop-emeritus Oscar V. Cruz is concerned, he described Pope John Paul II in his book as â€œa saint long since.â€
Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ said Pope John Paul II was a pioneer in inter-religious dialogue when he began the worldwide prayer for peace during the feast of St. Francis of Assisi in 1986.
Caceres Archbishop Leonardo Z. Legazpi, OP said he has talked with the former Karol Wojtila several times, and had breakfast and lunch with him.
â€œHe was very paternalistic in my regard and very charismatic,â€ the 75-year old prelate said.
For his part, Prelature of Isabela de Basilan Bishop Martin Jumoad said he first met the late pontiff in September 2002 when new bishops from all over the world had an audience at the Vatican.
â€œDuring the picture taking, I touched his shoulder and he just looked at me and smiled,â€ he said. He added that experience was â€œheavenâ€ for him. He vividly remembers the pontiff as very accommodating and had a good listening skill.â€
Virac Bishop Manolo delos Santos said the most remarkable asset of Pope John Paul II was his charism which went beyond Catholics. He also praised the deceased pontiff for his genuine concern for the young. (Melo M. Acuna)