I believe that in these multiple forms of popular piety lies hidden the answer to a question that is sometimes raised concerning the significance of such manifestations of local tradition. The answer is simple: when hearts are united, the result is a great force for good. To be rooted in what is ancient, strong, profound, and, at the same time, dear to the heart, gives an extraordinary interior energy. If this rootedness is then joined by a bold and strong intellectual dimension, there is no need to fear for the future of the faith or the prospect for human relationships within the nation. Amid the rich humus of tradition, in fact, culture is nourished and this unites the citizens, enabling them to live together as a great family, sustaining and strengthening their convictions. Our great task, especially today, in the age of so-called globalization, is to cultivate sound traditions so as to promote a bold consensus in thought and imagination, an openness toward the future and at the same time an affectionate respect for the past. It is a past that endures in human hearts in the form of ancient words, ancient signs, memories, and customs inherited from previous generations.
Pope John Paul II, Rise, Let Us Be On Our Way