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Pontiff sees John Paul II as model for Christians in old age, illness

September 20, 2010

On a visit to a nursing home in London on September 18, Pope Benedict XVI suggested to the residents that they use the late Pope John Paul II as their model in facing the difficulties that come with old age and illness.

“One may enjoy good health in old age; but equally Christians should not be afraid to share in the suffering of Christ, if God wills that we struggle with infirmity,” the Pope told the residents of the home, run by the Little Sisters of the Poor. He observed that Pope John Paul II shouldered his own suffering with “cheerfulness and forbearance,” in a way that made it clear that he was offering his suffering in union with Christ.

"I come among you not only as a father, but also as a brother who knows well the joys and the struggles that come with age,” said the Pope, who celebrated his 83rd birthday in April. “Those of us who live many years are given a marvellous chance to deepen our awareness of the mystery of Christ, who humbled Himself to share in our humanity.”


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