Pope Saint John Paul II

40 Years Ago Today, A Polish Cardinal Become Pope, and a Prophesy was Fulfilled

On October 16, 1978, the Cardinals of the Catholic Church gathered in the Sistine Chapel and elected the first non-Italian Pope in 455 years. Many people know him as Karol Wojtyla but the world knows him now as Pope Saint John Paul II. He is my hero and the reason I do things I do today.

I don’t remember his election like I remember his successors since I was only 4 years old, but nevertheless, the impact he has made on my life since I was 19 years old is unfathomable. In the years since then, I have read countless articles, documents, and books written by him and about him. I have given talks over the years, and most of the time, quoting him as at least once in my presentations. As my former boss has love and respect for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, I have love, admiration, and respect for Pope John Paul II.

Pope St. John Paul II on the day of his election to the Papacy.

If you are a regular subscriber to my website/blog, you probably have a sense of the countless articles I have written on John Paul II. If you are a newer follower, I would encourage you to read the articles I have written in the past about this great man and Polish Saint.

Even though I have written on him many times, it seems that I am always learning more about him and the potential things written in reference to him. In 1848, in the winter of his life, the Polish poet, Juliusz Slowacki, wrote an eloquent and prophetic poem, titled “The Slavic Pope.”  It is believed that this poem is speaking about the future John Paul II –

Behold, the Slavic pope is coming,
a brother of the people.
Behold, he already pours the world’s balm
on our breasts.
And the angel-choir sweeps flowers
toward his throne.
He distributes love, as lords today
distribute arms.
Above him the beautiful sky is opened
from either side.
Across nations he acts as brother,
the voice sent forth.
He brings health, enkindles love
and saves the world.

I see three points specifically, although there are more, in this poem that could be attributed to John Paul II – first, a brother of the people – he was like a brother, an uncle, a son, and father to so many people. He had the ability to reach people through relationships that impacted them for a lifetime. Still today countless people reflect on the relationship they had with him with so many saying that he was like a brother to them.

Pope St. John Paul II – Pentecost 1982 in the United Kingdom.

Second – Across nations he acts like a brother – again, focusing on this brotherly theme we saw him for many years traveling the globe as not only the Pope of the Catholic Church but a brother to humanity. His love for the human person has always been at the forefront of his many writings. I was blessed to see him three times in my lifetime – two World Youth Days (Denver and Rome) and on his second visit to the USA in 1987 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Third – He brings health, enkindles love, and saves the world – John Paul II brought a spiritual renewal and awakening to every place he visited. He was the Medical Resident to the Divine Physician. He loved every person, no matter who they were and where they resided. His life was an action of love to the human person. In saving the world, he didn’t do it on his own, but brought forth Jesus Christ to the world as the Vicar of Christ. It can be argued that he saved the world he knew, his homeland Poland, from the evils of Socialism and Communism as well as the lands that surrounded Poland, the lands of the Slavic people.

Whether this poem is written about John Paul II or some other future Slavic Pope can be left up to an academic discussion, but for now, let us celebrate that 40 Years Ago Today, the Cardinals of the Church gave us Pope Saint John Paul II.

Pope Saint John Paul II…Pray for Us 

 Authors Note: I am connected to Fr. Carlos Martins on social media. He posted the poem about John Paul II this morning. I borrowed it from him and wrote this article.

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10 replies »

  1. It couldn’t be about John Paul II as according to the prophetic Pope Pius XI he was a false teacher:

    “74. The same false teachers who try to dim the luster of conjugal faith and purity do not scruple to do away with the honorable and trusting obedience which the woman owes to the man. Many of them even go further and assert that such a subjection of one party to the other is unworthy of human dignity, that the rights of husband and wife are equal; wherefore, they boldly proclaim the emancipation of women has been or ought to be effected.”

      • That’s from Casti Connubii. I don’t know how a JPII specialist could possibly fail to make the connection. But in case youre not being disingenupus, in every document JPII wrote about the family he does exactly what Pope Pius XI warns us about in that passage…

    • JPII said Ephesians 5:22 could only be understood in context of Ephesians 5:21 which says “defer to one another out of love for Christ” He said only in this context is it possible to live out the mutual call to total self donation. Scripture calls for a surrender of both persons in the marriage and only in this way can two become one. The onus of leadership placed on the husband is “love your wife as Christ loved the church sacrificing himself for her”. Without sacrificial love on the part of the husband, the “trusting obedience the wife owes the man” becomes slavery and sexual slavery at that. I know of many good Catholic men who did not understand this and whose wife bore 10, 15 and 20 or more children. The self sacrifice called for by Christ in His Word needs to be preached and that is especially true now when pathological responses to this lack of sacrificial leadership by men have resulted in a demand for evils like abortion and “reproductive rights”!
      The holiness and purity of JPIIs encyclicals speak for themselves. Who are you to criticize another’s servant? JPII was a servant in His Master’s house not your house! The Lord is Lord! He reigns! Everything that is hidden will be revealed and that is the essence of judgement. “What is done in secret will be shouted from the mountain tops”. Satellites? The Lord is the Just Judge. In the end “all shall be well…”. He is a mighty redeemer. We have everything we need to attain the salvation of our souls and co-operate with Him and the most Blessed Virgin with whom He shares His divine nature and great glory to help others attain the only true goal of their life. He also shares His Divinity and glory with all who are joined to Him. We have sacraments, scripture, apostolic tradition and teaching, and the lives of the saints to direct our path. Let us go forward trusting in Our Lord and His plan since we know that His word goes forth and does not return until it has accomplished the purpose for which it was sent” May you be bless and all you love!

      • That’s a false teaching according to Pope Pius XI. He said the wife is subject to the husband and that people who, like you and JPII, say that “such a subjection of one party to the other is unworthy of human dignity” are false teachers (liars).

        But I guess this means no one knows of any Church document that discusses the rights of men and the duties of women. It honestly doesn’t surprise me because I’m pretty sure it doesn’t exist outside old encyclicals like Casti Connubii (which is just more evidence that the so called “pope of the family” never broached that subject).

  2. It it helps, here’s one example, from Mulieris Dignitatem, in which he teaches that subjection of one party to the other is unworthy of human dignity and that the rights of husband and wife are equal.

    The author of the Letter to the Ephesians sees no contradiction between an exhortation formulated in this way and the words: “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife” (5:22-23). The author knows that this way of speaking, so profoundly rooted in the customs and religious tradition of the time, is to be understood and carried out in a new way: as a “mutual subjection out of reverence for Christ” (cf. Eph 5:21). This is especially true because the husband is called the “head” of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church; he is so in order to give “himself up for her” (Eph 5:25), and giving himself up for her means giving up even his own life. However, whereas in the relationship between Christ and the Church the subjection is only on the part of the Church, in the relationship between husband and wife the “subjection” is not one-sided but mutual.

    • I think it’s a stretch to say that Pius XI was saying this about John Paul II. I don’t know you Patrick, so I can’t so for sure, but your understanding of Ephesians 5 may not be complete theologically. Practically speaking – are you a married man?

      I wouldn’t call myself my JP2 “specialist” either.

      • I was speaking in general terms, so to the extent that the shoe fits he’s a false teacher according to Pius XI. In other words, JPII is one of the many false teachers who promote those particular falsehoods.

        Ok well a JPII dilettante then.

        That’s possible, do you know of any Catholic document that discusses the rights of men and the duties of women?

        No, single.

  3. However, the same Polish poet (albeit in a different context), wrote: “Poland, your undoing lies in Rome!” (Juliusz Slowacki, Beniowski, 1841).

  4. Without a “thus saith the LORD”, nothing is a prophecy. Cherry-picking casual statements that seem to have come true only makes Catholics seem gullible and desperate, like the people who get excited over “an image of the Virgin Mary” in a grilled cheese sandwich.

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