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On this day, Saint John Paul II made Cardinal the now Pope Francis

On February 21, 2001, Saint John Paul II made Cardinal the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a member of the first group of 43 new Cardinals of the third millennium.

Years later, on April 27, 2014, Pope Francis proclaimed saints to Saint John Paul II and Saint John XXIII, in a historic and unprecedented ceremony that brought together four Popes, as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI participated in it.

Saint John Paul II, who in his nearly 27 years of pontificate created 231 Cardinals, noted in 2001 that “after having drawn abundantly from the sources of divine mercy during the Holy Year,” the ship of the Church was preparing to “put out into the deep” again to bring the message of salvation to the world. On that occasion, the Polish Pope addressed the new Cardinals with the following message: "The world becomes increasingly complex and mutable, and the vivid awareness of existing discrepancies produces or increases contradictions and imbalances."

"The enormous potential of scientific and technical progress, as well as the phenomenon of globalization, which continuously extends to new fields, require us to be open to dialogue with every person and every social entity, in order to give everyone a reason for the hope that we carry in our heart," he expressed.

"To be able to adequately face the new tasks, it is necessary to cultivate an ever more intimate communion with the Lord. The very purple color of the robes you wear reminds you of this urgency," he added. "Is not this color a symbol of passionate love for Christ? Does not this bright red indicate the burning fire of love for the Church that should nourish in you the availability, if necessary, even to give the supreme testimony of blood?" he questioned.

"Looking at you, the people of God must be able to find a concrete and luminous point of reference that stimulates them to truly be the light of the world and salt of the earth," encouraged Saint John Paul II.

This news was originally published on February 21, 2015.

This article was originally published on ACI Prensa. 

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