Blessed Pope John Paul II

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As many of you know, Pope John Paul II was beatified in Rome yesterday before more than one million faithful followers.  St. Peter’s Square was filled to the brim and many of those present were dignitaries, royalty, and heads of state.  Lech Walesa, the leader of the solidarity movement in Poland, was also present.

Pope Benedict XVI declared that Pope John Paul II is blessed, and will be canonized once a second miracle can be attributed to him.  The first miracle was the cure of a nun in France who had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease, the same affliction that the late Pope suffered from.  She awoke one night, after having prayed to him for his intercession, completely cured of her symptoms.

Pope John Paul II performed many wonderful deeds during his 26 years as the head of the Catholic Church, but his greatest achievement was most likely his involvement with the fall of Communism in his beloved Poland and the rest of the countries behind the Iron Curtain.

I never had the privilege to meet the Pope in person, but I do have family members that did.  They described a feeling of knowing that they were before a very spiritual person while in his presence.  His demeanor and mannerisms were “holy”, and he truly exuded something indescribable.  Here a couple of pictures of my cousin and his visit with the Pope.  You can see how much he loved the children 🙂

A bit of Pope John Paul II hit close to home yesterday while attending Mass at St. Anne’s of the Sunset Church in San Francisco (this was where I attended elementary school) .  There was a chair sitting on a side altar which hadn’t been there before.  It was adorned with gold cords and on it was a plaque that the Knights of Columbus had placed.  Evidently, back in 1972, while Pope John Paul II was still a cardinal, he visited St. Anne’s and sat in that very same chair.  If and when he becomes a Saint, that chair will be a Holy Relic that will remain at St. Anne’s.  BIG NEWS for this little neighborhood church!!!  The priest couldn’t help but show it off during the homily!  He was so proud!

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