We are in Lorenzago, transformed seven times, in the course of the 1980s and 1990s, near Castel Gandolfo of Cadore; John Paul II stayed here six times and Benedict XVI once. The Veneto Region has used its Forest Services to transform a small valley behind the Alpine house where the pontiffs spent their holidays into a basilica natural, with an altar, an ambo, the seat and wooden steps. A giant poster of Saint Karol dominates the site, and a wooden capital contains the statue of the Madonna before which Ratzinger stood in prayer.
Here are some passages from the Homily given by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, at the inauguration of the Shrine of St. John Paul II.
On the day of his predecessor’s canonization, Pope Francis presented him as the Pope of the family. In fact, John Paul II once said to his friend, the now Cardinal Caffarra, Archbishop of Bologna: “After my death, I want to be remembered as the Pope of the family.” St. John Paul II was indeed the Pope of the family, the Pope of the Gospel of life. “John Paul II had the courage to defend the family, which is a project of God, written in clear notes in the book of life. He defended the family as confusion and public aggression against the family were spread, in a foolish attempt to write an anti-Genesis, a project contrary to that of the Creator,” said Card. Comastri in the homily at the Mass of Thanksgiving for the canonization. The defense of the family is closely linked to that of life. “John Paul II had the courage to defend human life at the time of the early development of the culture of waste—as Pope Francis has repeatedly called it—, which marks the decline of civilizations." You all know how dear these two issues, the family and life, are to Pope Francis. In the consistory, on February 20th and 21th of this year, we meditated with him on the family. The upcoming Extraordinary Synod (5-19 October) will reflect on the theme: "The Pastoral Challenges on the Family in the Context of Evangelization" and, in October 2015, after the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, we will reach a first milestone with the celebration of the Ordinary Synod on the theme: “Jesus Christ Reveals the Gospel of the Family.” In the face of a globalized culture, which in recent decades has lost the taste of the family, Christian marriage, love, education in the faith and values, the joy of children, the presence of grandparents and grandmothers, and of self-giving without recuperation, it is the Church’s duty to explain the driving force of the Gospel of the family and life.