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Papa Francis The First | His Holiness Papa Francisco

Santo Subito!...

Pope John Paul II hasn’t even been dead for ten years, and he’s a saint; amazing! How did this happen so quickly?

Today we celebrate his first feast day as a saint. When he died on April 2, 2005, the crowds that gathered throughout the Vatican shouted “Santo, subito!” — “Sainthood, now!” It seems certain their cries reached the right ears, for the canonization process moved swiftly for John Paul II, as it somewhat did for Pope John XXIII, although he had been dead for almost 50 years when he was canonized in April. Now Pope Paul VI has been beatified, also on the fast track to sainthood.

There is no doubt in my mind that Pope John Paul II was a saintly and gifted pope. The fact alone that he was instrumental in facilitating the fall of the USSR and in particular, restoring Poland to a state more resembling a democracy was a phenomenal achievement. By his many trips to countries around the world and time spent in actual contact with believers he showed that the pope could be a man of and for the people, and not an inaccessible figurehead. Many criticized his conservative ways regarding Church teaching and tradition, but to others he blended a modern response to the world with a unique sense of what the Catholic Church represented in that world.

Kerry Walters has written a brief biography of John Paul II — and one of John XXIII, as well — that will give you an IMG_0456excellent overview of Karol Wojtyla before he became pope, and of his many works during his time as Pope John Paul II. Here you’ll start to discover why this pope was on the fast track to sainthood, and what makes him an enduring figure for our times. Here’s a quote from the Introduction to that book:

“What makes a saint … is not ecclesial and worldly titles or unquestionable moral and spiritual purity, but a yearningly tenacious cleaving to the Creator, a heartfelt resolution to embrace in word and deed our own God-likeness despite the realization that we’ll often fall short, and a willingness to spend ourselves in loving service to God and one another.”

That certainly describes Saint John Paul II, a saint for our times indeed.

 

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"And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will."

-Papa Francis quote

He does not know you, yet he prays for you.
He will most likely never meet you, yet he loves you.

This is your chance to show your love, for as the Bible teaches, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."