Monday, August 8, 2022

Saints For Today: John Paul II, Pope (1920-2005)

Must Read

A History of the Spanish Colonists of San Mateo Parish

From several accounts, the village of San Mateo, New Mexico was founded in 1862. In the push of the...

“La Fiesta de Colores” Marks 20 Years of Hispanic Cultural Celebration

It may be one of the best-kept secrets in New Mexico. Twenty years ago, a group of artists decided to...

When bread and wine become literal Flesh and Blood: The Lanciano Eucharistic Miracle, 1300 years later

When he said the Words of Consecration, with doubt in his soul, the priest saw the bread change into living flesh and the wine change into blood.
Dr. Jean Lee
Jean M. Lee, M.A., D.Min., is a licensed behavioral health and substance abuse counselor, founding a nonprofit, state-licensed behavior health counseling agency and Christian gift/book store. Volunteer work includes: Jail ministry, Legion of Mary membership, door-to-door evangelization, and writing a weekly newspaper column titled “Faith and Inspiration: Encyclopedia of Saints for Today.” A Catholic revert after 32 years away from the Church, she is devout in the Catholic faith, loves the saints, and lives a deeper spiritual/religious and more joyful life since returning to the Church.

October 22

Pope John Paul II, born in Poland as Karol Józef Wojtyła and the youngest of three children, had been afflicted in childhood by the loss first of his mother and then of a much-loved elder brother. He’d lost all his family members before he became a priest. In youth, Wojtyla had been a brilliant student and, more broadly, an intellectual. He was fluent in a number of languages, was widely read, and wrote both poems and plays himself. Wojtyla loved sport too and had a sociable side that he was able to draw on when making his public appearances as pope.

A young John Paul on a hiking trip.
A young John Paul on a hiking trip.

An attempt was made upon Pope John Paul’s life as he entered St. Peter’s Square to address an audience on 13 May 1981. He was shot and critically wounded by Mehmet Ali Ağca, an expert Turkish gunman who was a member of the militant fascist group Grey Wolves. The assassin used a Browning 9 mm semi-automatic pistol, shooting the pope in the abdomen, and perforating his colon and small intestine multiple times. The pope was rushed into the Vatican complex and then to the Gemelli Hospital. On the way to the hospital, he lost consciousness. Even though the two bullets missed his mesenteric artery and abdominal aorta, he lost nearly three-quarters of his blood. He underwent five hours of surgery to treat his wounds. Surgeons performed a colostomy, temporarily rerouting the upper part of the large intestine to let the damaged lower part heal. When he briefly gained consciousness before being operated on, he instructed the doctors not to remove his Brown Scapular during the operation. The pope stated that Our Lady of Fátima helped keep him alive throughout his ordeal.

John Paul II was so unrestrainedly loved, not just among Catholics but also beyond the Church. This was attributable not only to his immense charisma but also to his instinctive gifts as a communicator. He visited 129 different countries, taking his papacy to ordinary people around the world. Wherever he went, he kissed airport runways, cuddled babies, showed himself to vast crowds in his “pope mobile” and celebrated Mass to millions at a time. He is recognized as helping to end Communist rule in his native Poland and eventually all of Europe. He significantly improved the Catholic Church’s relations with Judaism, Islam, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion. He upheld the Church’s teachings on such matters as artificial contraception and the ordination of women, but also supported the Church’s Second Vatican Council and its reforms.

John Paul II had an enthusiasm for canonizing saints (it was said that he beatified more men and women than all his predecessors put together). By canonizing many new saints, he showed the world that sanctity and holiness don’t belong to a clerical minority. Heaven is open to anyone who wants it and is willing to live a good and holy life.

Since his canonization, he is referred to as Pope Saint John Paul II or Saint John Paul the Great, for example as a name for institutions. He was the second longest-serving pope in modern history after Pope Pius IX who served for nearly 32 years from 1846 to 1878. Pope John Paul II was the first non-Italian pope in half a millennium and he was an intensely serious, scholarly man whose faith had a strongly private, even mystical aspect.

Pope Saint John Paul II, pray for us!

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Paul, Tessa, and Consultant, Reverend Ronald Creighton-Jobe. “An Illustrated Dictionary of Saints.” Wigston, Leicestershire: Anness Publishing, 2011.
Trigilio, Rev. John, Ph.D, Th.D, and Rev. Kenneth Brighenti, Ph.D. “Saints for Dummies.” Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing, 2010.
Wikipedia. 2014. Los Angeles. Web. 22 Oct 2014.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

Aging and a Season of Fruitfulness

‘The fast pace of the world can lead seniors to implicitly accept the idea that they are useless. My uncle never succumbed to this temptation.’

Advertisement

Other recent stories:

How Love of the Eucharist Helps With the Challenges of Raising a Family

Here it was, my suffering, presented to me in the darling chubby cheeks of delight of the incredibly beautiful children entrusted to me.

The Eucharist and Daily Living

Jesus gifted us with the greatest gift ever offered - Himself to us in the form of Holy Communion.

Jesus is Calling You: How the Eucharist Reveals Our Vocation

When you spend privileged time with Jesus, He will invite you to follow Him more closely. And, when the time is right, He will make His call to you clear.

Mary and the Eucharist

How Our Lady points the way to her Son.

Advertisement

More Articles Like This