Today we are blessed with 2 new saints to our army of intercessors, friends to pray with us, friends to pray for us and friends who were once Pope. Jenny is hosting a little gathering of memories of Saint Pope John Paull II and there are a ton of great stories, photos and pictures, a great way to remember the man and to celebrate the saint!
My contribution contains no personal photos of up close and in person with JPII and no earth-shattering and profound moments except that when I came back to my faith in the late 90s, early 2000s, John Paul II was Pope, when my world fell apart in 2003, John Paul II was Pope, when we entered our season of separation and survival, John Paul II was Pope, as we ended our first school year in that season, John Paul II passed away. The foundation had been poured and the example of his own mercy, forgiveness and love for humanity penetrated deep into my own heart and has since been lived out in ways that can only be accredited to “By the Grace of God” through the living example of Pope John Paul II. Not only did he pray for mercy for the whole world (see a portion of the Divine Mercy Chaplet below), he sought to bring his whole flock to the faith and love of Christ and he fought hard for the youth, knowing that the young are our future. Perhaps that is the message that sticks with me the greatest. And so today, Divine Mercy Sunday, we welcome 2 new Saints and rejoice in the example of faith in their lives and hopefully go forward sharing our own faith with all we come in contact with, that we may all come to love and trust in the saving power of Christ in His endless Mercy, Compassion and Grace.
Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
I’ve tried to find out a bit more about Saint John XXIII as well and just loved his quotes I found this morning on the Catholic News Service…because we should all find some humor in life (which I often struggle with among the daily “must-dos”)!
1. Visiting a hospital he asked a boy what he wanted to be when he grew up. The boy said either a policeman or a pope. “I would go in for the police if I were you,” the Holy Father said. “Anyone can become a pope, look at me!”
2. “It often happens that I wake up at night and begin to think about the serious problems afflicting the world and I tell myself, I must talk to the pope about it. Then the next day when I wake up I remember that I am the pope.”
3. In reply to a reporter who asked, “How many people work in the Vatican?”, he reportedly said: “About half of them.”
4. When a cardinal complained that a rise in Vatican salaries meant a particular usher earned as much as the cardinal, the pope remarked: “That usher has 10 children; I hope the cardinal doesn’t.”
5. When he went to visit a friend at the nearby Hospital of the Holy Spirit in the evening, the nun answering the door said: “Holy Father, I’m the mother superior of the Holy Spirit.” He replied: “Lucky you! What a job! I’m just the ‘servant of the servants of God.'”
6. Not long after he was elected pope, Blessed John was walking in the streets of Rome. A woman passed him and said to her friend, “My God, he’s so fat!” Overhearing what she said, he turned around and replied, “Madame, I trust you understand that the papal conclave is not exactly a beauty contest.”
7. He once wrote: “There are three ways to face ruin: women, gambling and farming. My father chose the most boring one.”
8. When he was cardinal and patriarch of Venice, the future pope was talking with a wealthy city resident and told him, “You and I have one thing in common: money. You have a lot and I have nothing at all. The difference is I don’t care about it.”
9. When a journalist asked the then-patriarch of Venice what he would be if he could live his life all over again, the future pope said, “Journalist.” Then he said with a smile, “Now let us see if you have the courage to tell me that, if you could do it all over again, you’d be the patriarch!”
10. A Vatican official told the pope it would be “absolutely impossible” to open the Second Vatican Council by 1963. “Fine, we’ll open it in 1962,” he answered. And he did.
Today as we welcome these Saints we can pray,
“Saint John Paul II and Saint John XXIII, pray for us and the whole world.”