It is with sadness, but also with joy that we say farewell to God's champion, Pope John Paul II, the visible head of the Catholic Church, the church founded by Jesus Christ.
The first Pope, St Peter, was chosen by Christ after his wonderful manifestation of faith, when he said to Our Lord: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God."
Though Peter is the foundation of the Church, Christ is the rock, primarily, and from Christ, Peter and his successors have derived their strength.
Now that the Holy Father's life has drawn to a close, we can be confident that blessings will be bestowed on him beyond the power of human reckoning. For his whole life has been one of long preparation for that inevitable ending of his mortal life. And now his work on earth has been completed.
What joy for our champion, Pope John Paul II, to hear God's words: "Well done good and faithful servant."