ROME - Sister Yvonne Mary Loucks, RSM, of the Diocese of Saginaw has traveled to Rome for the beatification of Servant of God John Paul II on Divine Mercy Sunday, May 1.
She reports: "The day in Rome was chilly and rainy, but the spirits of thousands of pilgrims are on fire with excitement and tremendous joy in gathering to celebrate the beatification of one who has led the world into a new faith and love. All day people came from all parts of the world. At this moment 200,000 people are gathered in Circus Maximus, an ancient Roman arena, to celebrate the life of John Paul II. The street in front of St. Peter's called Via Conciliazione if filled with many persons who have bunked down for the night, wanting to be close to the Piazza when morning comes so that when the gates open, they can run in. While the people here represent the entire world, unfortunately a world at war, there are no fights, no disagreements, no problems at all. The prevailing spirit is tremendous joy. It is as though John Paul II is providing us a glimpse of what the world can be. We met a group of United States seminarians who are studying at the North American College, with their musical instruments in front of St. Peter's leading many English speaking pilgrims in hymns and prayers. We felt proud to be American. It is a great privilege to be here, and
we carry you and your intentions in our hearts."