|Bishop Jean-Pierre Delville with former IYCW chaplain Bishop Reginaldo Andrietta before the Mass
Cardinal Joseph Cardijn “is worthy of being officially recognised one day as one of the saints of the Church,” according to Bishop Jean-Pierre Delville of Liège.
Bishop Delville, who was formerly a professor of Church history at the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve, was delivering the homily at the opening mass of the International YCW World Council on Sunday 25 September in Aachen, Germany.
Cardijn was also a “justice fighter,” who was “driven by a deep missionary spirit,” Bishop Delville said.
“He was convinced that the Gospel message borne by the young workers should shine forth and have an impact on many people. He was himself a vibrant and powerful speaker.
“He sparked confidence with the strength of conviction that radiated from his personality. This strength was love, which is an infectious force. All those who knew him have testified to its strength.
“For the sake of young workers, he undertook more than twenty international voyages.
“He became a justice-fighter throughout the whole world. His international consciousness still needs to mobilize us today.
“This is, in fact, the reason why we are gathered here today, coming from various countries, cultures and continents.
“Our cause is worldwide and it should be endlessly developed for the sake of humanity.
“May I again repeat that Pope Francis is already ahead of us in this area? He is the first Pope coming from Latin America and he is well known for his stand in favour of the refugees and migrants of our world.
“He calls us to overcome our fears and doubts, to go out of our churches and venture out to the peripheries of the world.
“This missionary spirit is possibly Joseph Cardijn’s most visible message, and perhaps the reason that Pope Paul VI made him a cardinal in 1965 in order to promote it at the level of the universal Church.
“Dear friends, let us be sure that Cardinal Joseph Cardijn has not lost his relevance. He surely still encourages us today, and still prays for us and all the victims of our world.