Image of St. John Paul II in his chapel in the Cathedral of Madrid / Credit: Archdiocese of Madrid

CNA Newsroom, Nov 16, 2022 / 08:30 am (CNA).

The cathedral of the Archdiocese of Madrid dedicated Nov. 13 a new chapel in honor of St. John Paul II, the pope who consecrated the church in 1993. The dean of the cathedral, Father Jorge Ávila, believes that thus “a debt” has been paid to the Polish pontiff.

The archbishop of Madrid, Cardinal Carlos Osoro, presided over the dedication ceremony. The cardinal was accompanied by the Polish ambassador to Spain, Anna Sroka, among other officials from the Slavic country.

To make room for the chapel dedicated to St. John Paul II, a space formerly used for confessions located next to the main sacristy was utilized. To maintain this penitential aspect, the new chapel also has a confessional.

Ávila noted that the previous space in honor of the saint was “very small” and was in “a corner” of the cathedral, as the archdiocese explained in a news release.

The entire theme of the chapel is “the primacy of Peter, the Church, and holiness,” as noted on the project’s website.

This is reflected primarily through the imposing three-ton black marble boulder placed at the entrance inscribed with the first words pronounced by the pontiff after his election: “Be not afraid. Open, even more, open wide the doors to Christ!”

On one side of the chapel, a reliquary with a vial of blood of St. John Paul II, which is kept in Madrid, has been placed, and photos of his travels can be seen.

Soon, with the help of a QR code, the faithful who come to the chapel will be able to hear the voice of St. John Paul II praying the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be in different languages.

Cardinal Osoro stressed that the new chapel will be a place to pray, confess, and “have the experience of a man who loved all men with all the consequences.”

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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