Happy Birthday to my hero – Pope St. John Paul II

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 –

1. 12 Quotes from Blessed Pope John Paul II on the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World 

2. 12 Quotes from Pope St. John Paul II on Our Lady of Guadalupe

3. “Mondays with Mary” – 5 Quotes from Pope St. John Paul II on the Mother of Mercy

4. 5 Quotes on Pentecost from Pope St. John Paul II

5. 10 Quotes on the Holy Family from Pope St. John Paul II

For the complete collection of my writings on him, click here.

Pope Saint John Paul II…Pray For Us 

The Rookie Card of Pope St. John Paul II

Today is the feast day for Pope St. John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla) as well as the 37th Anniversary of his Installation to the Papacy of the Catholic Church. Below you will find two pictures – the front and back of a prayer card from October 1978.

In some aspects, this prayer card for Pope St. John Paul II is like a baseball rookie card. It states the dates of his birth, ordination to the priesthood, elevation to the episcopate, cardinal creation, election to the papacy, and installation to the papacy.

If the prayer card below is like his baseball rookie card, then my blog post titled, Pope Saint John Paul: Mission Accomplished, is his induction to the Hall of Fame, well in this case, the Heavenly Kingdom.

In the 3½ years of writing through this blog, I have written about Pope St. John Paul II 47 different times. He is one of the main reasons why I teach and write about the Catholic faith so much. His inspiration in my life, which began through Bobby Kloska, has fueled many of my projects on here and in different parish/school positions.

JP2 Rookie Card, Side 1JP2 Rookie Card, Side 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For your reading pleasure today, here are the Top 5 most read blog posts that I have written on the Great Polish Saint, John Paul II –

1. 12 Quotes from Blessed John Paul II on the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World

2. “Mondays with Mary” – Pope John Paul II on Mary’s Witness to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

3. “Mondays with Mary” – 5 Quotes from Pope St. John Paul II on the Mother of Mercy

4. 5 Quotes on Pentecost from Pope St. John Paul II

5. 12 Quotes from Pope St. John Paul II on Our Lady of Guadalupe

This link will take you to the many other blog posts I have written on him.

Pope St. John Paul II…Pray For Us!

JP2, We Love You! 

Be Not Afraid! 

Beatification Pic of JP II

Pope St. John Paul II Rockin’ the Brown Scapular

JP2 and the Brown Scapular MemeSince today is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, I wanted to share one of my favorite photos of the young Karol Wojtyla, the future pope and now saint, Pope Saint John Paul II, wearing the Brown Scapular. 

To learn more about Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Brown Scapular, I recommend my three blog posts –

1. Catholic Dog Tags

2. “Mondays with Mary” – Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Our Lady of Mount Carmel 

3. “Mondays with Mary” – The Synthesis of Marian Spirituality in the Brown Scapular 

Our Lady of Mount Carmel…Pray for us. 

Happy Birthday Pope Saint John Paul II

Here are some pictures of the great life of Karol Wojtyla before his election to the Papacy in 1978. He would become Pope John Paul II.

He is now Pope SAINT John Paul II.  

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JP2!!!

Karol Wojtyla as a young child with his parents.

Karol Wojtyla as a young child with his parents.

Karol Wojtyla as a young boy.

Karol Wojtyla as a young boy.

Young Karol Wojtya as a young factory worker and wearing a brown scapular.

Young Karol Wojtya as a factory worker and wearing a brown scapular.

Karol Wojtyla as a young priest. He was ordained on November 1, 1946.

Karol Wojtyla as a young priest. He was ordained on November 1, 1946.

Fr. Karol Wojtyla hiking.

Fr. Karol Wojtyla hiking.

Fr. Karol Wojtyla rocking the sneakers (maybe Chuck Taylors) and eating a pastry.

Fr. Karol Wojtyla rocking the sneakers (maybe Chuck Taylors) and eating a pastry.

Fr. Karol Wojtyla shaving on a camping trip.

Fr. Karol Wojtyla shaving on a camping trip.

Fr. Karol Wojtyla rocking the black hat.

Fr. Karol Wojtyla rocking the black hat.

Bishop Karol Wojtyla.

Bishop Karol Wojtyla.

Bishop Wojtyla wearing the black beretta.

Bishop Wojtyla wearing the black beretta.

With Cardinal Wysznnski.

With Cardinal Wysznnski.

Receiving the "red hat" from Pope Paul VI.

Receiving the “red hat” from Pope Paul VI.

Cardinal Wojtyla on the ski slopes.

Cardinal Wojtyla on the ski slopes.

Cardinal Wojtyla with his predecessor, Pope John Paul I.

Cardinal Wojtyla with his predecessor, Pope John Paul I.

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

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

 

Pope John Paul the Great

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.

JP II in sombrero

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 PaterA 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.

Blessed John Paul II…Pray For Us! 

Blessed Pope John Paul II: The Soon-To-Be Saint of the Catholic Church

I miss him! I really miss Pope John Paul II!

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.

pope-john-paul-II

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!

ROSARY IS 'FAVORITE PRAYER' OF POPE JOHN PAUL II

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. 

Habemus Papam – 35 Years Ago Today!

Thirty five years ago today, we heard the words from the center loggia of Saint Peter’s Basilica – HABEMUS PAPAM – WE HAVE A POPE! His name was Karol Wojtyla and he came from behind the Iron Curtain. He would take the name, John Paul II, and history would change forever.

On April 27, 2014, this great Pope will be canonized a saint for the Universal Church. Are you fired up yet? I know I am because I am the JP2 Generation! Below is short video of his election and his first words to the world as Papa.

Thanks to my friend, Angela (in NYC), who inspired this short blog post.