Today would have been the 97th birthday of Karol Wojtyla, known to so many as – Pope St. John Paul II. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about him fondly. The reason I do what I do on this blog and in my position at the parish is based on his life and his many great documents. The influence of John Paul II on my own life is truly immeasurable. I was blessed to see him three times in my life – Phoenix, Arizona in 1987, Denver, Colorado in 1993, and in Rome, Italy in 2000. I am the JP2 Generation.
Pope St. John Paul II as a young priest.
For a collection of pictures from a previous post, check out this one I wrote on his birthday in 2014. Below are the Top 5 All-Time Posts (most views) I have written in the past –
During the Funeral Mass of Pope St. John Paul II, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the soon-to-be successor of John Paul II said this about the Saint in his homily,
“‘Follow me.’ The Risen Lord says these words to Peter. They are his last words to this disciple, chosen to shepherd his flock. ‘Follow me’ – this lapidary saying of Christ can be taken as the key to understanding the message which comes to us from the life of our late beloved Pope John Paul II. Today we bury his remains in the earth as a seed of immortality – our hearts are full of sadness, yet at the same time of joyful hope and profound gratitude…None of us can ever forget how in that last Easter Sunday of his life, the Holy Father, marked by suffering, came once more to the window of the Apostolic Palace and one last time gave his blessing urbi et orbi. We can be sure that our beloved Pope is standing today at the window of the Father’s house, that he sees us and blesses us. Yes, bless us, Holy Father. We entrust your dear soul to the Mother of God, your Mother, who guided you each day and who will guide you now to the eternal glory of her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.”
There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think of Pope St. John Paul II in some way. Everything I do in my career, in my teaching of the faith at the parish, and even in these blog posts, I give praise and thanksgiving to Jesus Christ for giving us the man of Pope St. John Paul II. Without him, I may have never known my friend Bobby Kloska, who for the first time really introduced me to John Paul II and his writings. Without him, I may have never studied Philosophy, and eventually Theology. Without him, my love, passion, and dedication to Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church would not be the same.
Over the past three years of writing on this blog, I have written extensively on Pope St. John Paul II, it is my hope that if you have not read these posts yet, that you find the time to begin reading them soon. You can find this post and the others by clicking on the link above.
As we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of his entrance into Heaven, let us give praise and thanksgiving to God Almighty for giving us the man, the priest and the archbishop known as Karol Wojtyla, and the universal shepherd known as John Paul II.
For those of my generation, he is our Pope, he is our Saint, and we will always be his – The JP2 Generation.
Well it’s official, Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II are officially Saints of the Catholic Church. I am sitting in my home with two friends who are fellow JP2 Generation Catholics, Christina and Carrie, watching the Canonization Mass. It’s a glorious day in the Catholic Church and one for the history books. Two Popes at the Canonization of two Popes. Here is the official liturgical program for the Canonization.
We give Praise and Thanksgiving to Our Lord Jesus Christ for giving us these two Holy Men of God. We pray through the intercession of the Holy Mother of God, our Theotokos, and all the great Saints of the Church to watch over the universal Church.
Here is the Formula of Canonization that was read by Pope Francis that formally canonized Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II –
For the honour of the Blessed Trinity, the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the increase of the Christian life, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and our own, after due deliberation and fre- quent prayer for divine assistance, and having sought the counsel of many of our brother Bishops, we declare and define Blessed
and John Paul II
be Saints and we enroll them among the Saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole Church.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Since yesterday was the feast day for the soon-to-be Saint, Pope John Paul II, I wanted to share this video that I found online. It is produced by Rome Reports. Please take the time to watch this short video about John Paul the Great and then share this blog post or the video itself with your family and friends via email or the social media websites.
Those of you who follow my blog know the great love I have for Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church, and of course, Blessed John Paul II. It’s difficult for me to watch videos about JP2 because I miss him so much. He is my Pope – I am the JP2 Generation! So much of what I do on this blog is because of Blessed John Paul II and the inspiration he gives to me each day. It’s my hope to start providing more catechesis on his many documents for those of you that feel his writings are too much to bear.
If you looking to know more about Blessed John Paul II, I would suggest reading some of my blog posts about him here.
If you don’t own it yet, please purchase his CD, Abba Pater. A great CD giving you the voice of John Paul II in prayer.
If you have a Twitter account, please use the hashtag – #StJohnPaul2, from now on when you tweet about JP2. Yesterday, the above hashtag was trending on Twitter during the 6:00pm Eastern Time Twitter Storm.
Even though he was my Holy Father, I mean really mine, since I am the JP2 Generation; I always felt that he was more than just my Pope, it felt like he was my grandfather. Pope John Paul II had a charisma about him that is hard to put into words for the younger generation that just knows about him. For those of you my age, who grew in faith during in his pontificate, we know Karol Wojtyla, we know Pope John Paul II. Although I never met him face-to-face like others I personally know, I still feel a real connection with him. It’s the same connection/feeling I have when I sit in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.
As I sit at my workspace, surrounded by many books on a long dining room table and listening to the track, Cristo E Liberazione and others –
from his CD, Abba Pater, tears are dripping from eyes and rolling down my cheeks. As I glance to the left of my computer screen, I see a pile of papal documents all written by his pen. His many words sit only a few feet away from me. Recently, I told a group of adults at a talk I gave that the reason I do what I do with my theology education is because of John Paul II. Hearing his voice is calming and refreshing. It’s the voice of a saint; it’s the voice of my Pope, my “grandfather” – Blessed John Paul II. Make sure you take a few minutes and listen to it.
Today is the optional feast day and the last one we will celebrate before he is officially canonized a Saint of the Universal Church. On September 30, 2013, Pope Francis announced that Blessed John Paul II, along with Blessed Pope John XXIII, would be elevated to Sainthood. I still can’t believe that John Paul II will be a canonized saint. I am filled with such joy, and yet bewildered. It’s going to be a great day in the life of the 21st century Catholic Church!
More than likely, I will watch the Canonization Mass from my living room as I did with friends for his Beatification Mass. Yes – I threw a Beatification Party for him. If I am blessed enough to be in Rome, I will have an arsenal of blog posts to share with you.
For me, when I am faced with a difficult decision or things are rather hard in my life, I remember the words of Jesus Christ, the words often on the lips of Blessed John Paul II – “BE NOT AFRAID!” These are the words he repeated through his pontificate, these are the words we must hold firm to as we continue to evangelize the Culture of Death and make known the Culture of Life. Like John Paul II, we are On a Mission From God!
Are you ready for the Pope of the New Evangelization to be counted among the Saints of Heaven? Are you ready for the Pope of the Human Person to intercede for your prayers before the Heavenly throne of Jesus Christ? Are you ready for Saint Pope John Paul the Great?
April 27, 2014 (Divine Mercy Sunday) will be here before you know it!
Go here for more on Blessed John Paul II. I hope you can read and share these blog posts with your family and friends.
Blessed Pope John Paul II…Pray For Us!
This blog post is dedicated to Christine Accurso and everyone at 1st Way Pregnancy Center of Maricopa County. There is a lot of connections with Blessed John Paul II and the new building. The work they do and will continue to do will serve many women and men.