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Statement on the death of His Holiness Pope John Paul II

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It is with a profound sense of loss that we in Saint Lucia accept the death of His Holiness Pope John Paul II. His papacy over the past twenty-six years exemplified his own vision of a civilization of love which could help humanity achieve its goal of an authentic and lasting peace.  His was a love that spoke to inclusiveness, to reconciliation, to reaching out and accommodating other peoples, other cultures, other faiths.  It is for this reason that his death is mourned not only by the Catholic community world-wide, which he has led so selflessly and steadfastly, but by people from all walks of life, in countries big and small, all over the world.

We ourselves remember with great fondness his visit to Saint Lucia in 1986, and the message of love, of hope, and of encouragement which he brought to all of us: to the children at the George F.L. Charles Airport where he landed; to the Catholic faithful at the Pope Site at Rodney Bay where he celebrated Mass; and to the sick and elderly at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.  During his visit he spoke of the growth of the Church here, and we have been witnessing not only a spiritual revival in the different faiths, but also an acceptance of the religious ecumenism which he advocated then, and which he continued to live through his own relationship and interaction with the leaders and members of other faiths.

We will remember Pope John Paul II for his candour, for his tireless promotion of peace and social justice, for his respect for human rights, for his courage and strength, for his openness, for his humility, for the moral leadership he provided to Catholics and non-Catholics alike, for his genuine love for young people, for the way he bore his suffering till the end.  The world will miss his leadership and his unique ability to communicate with people of all ages, his ability to reach beyond his Church to embrace the whole world.

In spite of its great loss, the Catholic community here in Saint Lucia has reason to celebrate the extraordinary life of its Spiritual Leader for the past twenty-six years, as a unique figure in world history.  As we mourn his loss, we should as a nation and as a Christian community pledge to live by the same principles which inspired his life and his Ministry: “Love, in a word, is the gift of self.”

The whole nation conveys its sincerest condolences to the Catholic faithful here in Saint Lucia. His life’s work ended, may he rest in peace.

Office of the Prime Minister

Greaham Louisy Administrative Building


Castries, St. Lucia

April 4, 2005


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