Dear brothers and sisters, the beatification of Sister Mary of Jesus Crucified, which has gathered you here in Rome from all the countries of the Near East, has surely been for all of you a great moment of joy, a source of comfort, and an invitation to courage.
It is not a moment of joy that comes and goes: it is an open-ended source of grace. The Church in Rome has participated in this joy and, I dare say, the universal Church, looking with emotion at this little flower of the Holy Land, who has reached holiness in such a short time, which is the full flowering of mysticism.
I am happy to be with you once again this morning, to greet you again with all my affection, to converse with you like family, while still meditating on the meaning of this beatification, to gather its fruit. The life and virtues of Mariam Baouardy are now well known to you and I mentioned them in yesterday’s solemn liturgy.
But it is good to tell you again this morning how this “little Arab” has been a privileged witness of Jesus, of the love of the Church, and of action for peace. And you will understand even better the price that the Church attaches to the life of your Christian communities in the Holy Land and around the Holy Land.
Mariam is the fruit of this Holy Land. In her, everything speaks to us of Jesus. And first of all, the places where she lived: Nazareth, near which she was born; Bethlehem, where she consumed her sacrifice; and Mount Carmel, a symbol of the solitary prayer life that provided the setting for her religious life.
But above all, she brings us close to Calvary, since she has not ceased to carry in her life the cross of Jesus, in choosing her [religious] name “of Jesus Crucified”. The beatitudes find in her their fulfillment.
To see her, we believe that we are hearing Jesus say to us: Blessed are the poor, Blessed are the humble, Blessed are those who seek only to serve, Blessed are the meek, Blessed are the peacemakers, Blessed are those who are persecuted. All her life expresses an unheard of familiarity with God, the fraternal love of others, and joy, which are evangelical indicators par excellence.
Saint John Paul II
Speech to Pilgrims for the Beatification (excerpts)
Sr. Mary of Jesus Crucified, Mariam Baouardy
13-14 November 1983