FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2005
Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. presented the attached Memorial Senate Resolution today in Austin to Bishop Aymond of the Austin Diocese and Father Mulvey, Chancellor for the Austin Diocese, honoring the life and spiritual leadership of the recently deceased Pope John Paul II. The Resolution was signed by all 31 Senators and Lt. Gov. Dewhurst.
Below are some of Senator Lucio's remarks offered during the ceremony in the Senate Chamber:
Tomorrow, the entire world will join together to mourn him (Pope John Paul II) at his funeral.
I stand before you with a heavy heart for the loss of a man who seemed to walk with God the 26 years he led the Roman Catholic Church.
As a spiritual leader, Pope John Paul II touched people from all around the world, with a message transcending faiths and religious doctrines.
The outpouring of love, prayers and respect by people of other faiths over his death - from Muslims to Jews - is a clear testament of how beloved our Pope was and how far-reaching his legacy is.
This past Saturday, the nations of the world sadly learned that the quarter of a century reign of one of our most profound religious leaders had "physically" come to an end.
I say "physically" because although the Holy Father is gone from us temporally, his teachings and guidance will remain with us in spirit through all ages!
Mankind has been truly blessed by his prayers, his teachings, and most of all, by his great example of unconditional love.
He forgave where others would condemn. On meeting his would-be assassin in a prison cell, the Pope forgave and blessed the man in a manner that others could only marvel at.
He also apologized for what others have overlooked, asking forgiveness for any persecutions by the Catholic Church during its 2,000 year history.
Although not appointed a political leader, this first non-Italian Pope in more than 455 years, greatly influenced government and politics.
He is acclaimed for his leadership in helping dismantle communism in his native country of Poland.
This brilliant man spoke eight languages, and wrote poetry, plays and theology.
On a spiritual level, I attest to how important the Pope's teachings have been to my life, that of my family and that of my "office" family.
Some of us have faced serious medical conditions over the last two years, so we sought comfort in our faith, our religion and in the prayers of our Holy Father for strength to overcome our ailments.
These painful experiences have helped us see first-hand the Holy Father's final message, that life is precious, no matter how painful.
Valuing how precious life was, he chose to disregard the limitations of Parkinson's disease and old age so that he could fulfill his holy mission.
Friends, I cannot tell you how much our Pope has been a "pillar of strength" to us. For more than 1 billion Catholics worldwide, he has been the "ROCK" of our faith.
I call him "our" Pope because he was the Pope of the people. In Mexico, and throughout the Spanish-speaking world, we refer to him as "nuestro Santo Papa," our Holy Father.
He followed the teachings of Christ in such a way that should make us all reflect on how we live our own lives.
"May his soul now rest in the place he already seemed to know so well."
"Valla con Dios nuestro querido Santo Papa; y que descanse en paz."