Deed for the Pious Transfer of His Holiness John Paul
In accordance with Universi Dominici Gregis, after the
funeral rites for the late Pope John Paul II, the relevant official
document was drafted by the Notary of the Chapter of the Vatican
Basilica. The Notary read the authentic act of burial to those present
in the Vatican Grottoes. The following is a translation of the Italian
In the light of Christ risen from the dead, on 2 April A.D. 2005, at
9:37 p.m., while Saturday was drawing to a close and we were already
beginning the Lord's Day, the Octave of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday,
the Church's beloved Pastor, John Paul II, departed this world for the
Father. The whole Church, especially the young, accompanied his passing
John Paul II was the 264th Pope. His memory lives on in the Church
and in all human hearts.
elected Pope on 16 October 1978, was born in Wadowice, 50 k. from
Krakow, on 18 May 1920. He was baptized two days later in the parish
church by the parish priest, Fr Francesco Zak.
He received his First Holy Communion at the age of 9 years old and
the sacrament of Confirmation when he was 18. His studies were
interrupted by the invasion of the Nazis who shut down the university;
he went to work in a quarry and later in the Solvay chemical factory.
From 1942 forward, feeling that he was called to be a priest, he took
the formation courses provided by the clandestine seminary in Krakow. On
1 November 1946, he was ordained a priest by Cardinal Adam Sapieha. He
was then sent to Rome where he earned a licence and a doctorate in
theology with a thesis on Doctrina de fide apud Sanctum Ioannem a
He returned to Poland where he worked in pastoral ministry and taught
the sacred disciplines. On 4 July 1958, Pope Pius XII appointed him
Auxiliary Bishop of Krakow, of which Paul VI appointed him Bishop in
1964. It was in this capacity that he participated in the Second Vatican
Council. Paul VI created him a Cardinal on 26 June 1967.
The Cardinals elected him Pope at the Conclave on 16 October 1978,
and he took the name of John Paul II. On 22 October, the Lord's Day, he
solemnly inaugurated his Petrine ministry.
John Paul II's Pontificate was one of the longest in the history of
the Church. In this period we have seen many changes, in many aspects.
The list includes the fall of several regimes to which he himself
contributed; and in order to proclaim the Gospel he travelled to various
John Paul II exercised the Petrine ministry with a tireless
missionary spirit, devoting to it all his energy. He was sustained
throughout by the sollicitudo omnium ecclesiarum and by his love
for all. He had more Meetings than any of his Predecessors with the
People of God, the leaders of Nations, in Celebrations and at a General
and Private Audiences, as well as during his Pastoral Visits.
His love for young people made him inclined to establish the World
Youth Days, to which he summoned millions of young people in various
parts of the world.
He successfully encouraged dialogue with the Jews and with the
representatives of other religions, whom he several times invited to
prayer meetings for peace, especially the meetings in Assisi.
He considerably increased the College of Cardinals, creating 231
Cardinals (plus one Cardinal in pectore). He organized 15
Assemblies of the Synod of Bishops
seven General Ordinary Assemblies and eight Special Assemblies. He
established many new Dioceses and Circumscriptions, especially in
He reformed the Eastern and Western Codes of Canon Law, created new
Institutions and reorganized the Roman Curia.
As "sacerdos magnus", John Paul II exercised liturgical
ministry in the Diocese of Rome and throughout the world in total
fidelity to the Second Vatican Council. He set an outstanding example in
promoting liturgical life and spirituality, as well as contemplative
prayer and especially adoration of the Eucharist and the prayer of the
Holy Rosary (cf. Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae).
Under his guidance the Church prepared herself for the third
millennium and celebrated the Great Jubilee of the year 2000 in
accordance with the instructions given in the Apostolic Letter Tertio
Millennio Adveniente. The Church then faced the new epoch, receiving
his instructions in the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte,
in which he pointed out to the faithful their future path.
With the Year of the Redemption, the Marian Year and the Year of the
Eucharist, he promoted the spiritual renewal of the Church. He gave an
extraordinary impetus to Canonizations and Beatifications, focusing on
countless examples of holiness today that would be an incentive to the
people of our time. He proclaimed Thérèse
of the Child Jesus a Doctor of the Church.
The doctrinal magisterium of John Paul II is very rich. As custodian
of the deposit of faith, he strove with wisdom and courage to promote
Catholic theological, moral and spiritual teaching and, throughout his
Pontificate, to counter the trends that opposed the genuine tradition of
His most important Documents include 14 Encyclicals, 15 Apostolic
Exhortations, 11 Apostolic Constitutions, 45 Apostolic Letters, as well
as the Catecheses he gave at the General Audiences and his Speeches in
every part of the world. With his teaching John Paul II strengthened and
enlightened the People of God on theological. (especially in his first
three great Encyclicals
Redemptor Hominis, Dives in Misericordia, Dominum et
Vivificantem), social and anthropological (Laborem Exercens,
Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, Centesimus Annus), moral (Veritatis
Splendor, Evangelium Vitae), ecumenical (Ut Unum Sint),
missiological (Redemptoris Missio) and Mariological (Redemptoris
He promulgated the Catechism of the Catholic Church in the
light of Tradition, authoritatively interpreted by the Second Vatican
Council. He also published several volumes as a private Doctor.
His magisterium culminated in the Encyclical Ecclesia de
Eucharistia and in the Apostolic Letter Mane Nobiscum Domine,
during the Year of the Eucharist.
John Paul II has bequeathed to all a wonderful witness of piety, of a
holy life and of universal fatherhood.
Signed by the witnesses of the celebrations and of the burial
CORPUS IOANNIS PAULI II P.M.
VIXIT ANNOS LXXXIV, MENSES X, DIES XV
ECCLESIAE UNIVERSAE PRAEFUIT
ANNOS XXVI MENSES V DIES XVII
Semper in Christo vivas, Pater Sancte!