Hat Tip: A Catholic View
Today's remembrance in his native country of Poland is particularly special and poignant:
Krakow, Poland, Apr 2, 2009 / 03:50 am (CNA).- On Thursday Poland will mark the fourth anniversary of the death of Servant of God Pope John Paul II with prayers, poetry and music as a website advocates for his beatification. A web page has been created where readers can sign in and endorse the “Saint now” appeal launched in St. Peter’s Square on the day of the pontiff’s funeral.As he does so eloquently & with such elan, Deacon Keith Fournier has a magnificent post today regarding the significance of the late, great Vicar of Christ:
“The page was not opened to pressure people or try to speed up the beatification process, but to send a tangible sign that the words ‘Saint now’ were not just uttered on the spur of the moment,” the page organizers said, according to SIR.
The appeal says “John Paul II exerts great influence on the moral attitudes of the Polish population and lives in our hearts as a saint.”
Signatures to the appeal are displayed under a short prayer thanking God for the gift of Pope John Paul II and asking that he be beatified soon, SIR reports.
The Polish-language website is located at http://www.beatyfikacjajp2.pl/
Also on Thursday, Pope Benedict XVI will preside at a Mass marking the anniversary of John Paul II. Young people from the diocese of Rome are particularly welcome at the ceremony as a preparation for World Youth Day, which is celebrated on the diocesan level on April 5.
CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) - It is hard to believe that it has been four years since the one whom I call with deep affection, “My Champion”, the beloved late Servant of God John Paul II went to the Fathers house. As I grow older it has become so clear that he is the man who has most influenced my life and shaped my thought. He is also the one who singlehandedly turned my whole plan for my own future upside down through the witness of his life and the wisdom of his writings.
Wednesday, his beloved successor, the Servant of the Servants of God, Pope Benedict XVI, told the Pilgrims gathered in Rome "With you, I pray for the gift of beatification," during the General Audience in Saint Peter's Square. To honor his memory I offer this article which I wrote on the day he died and I join my prayer to the chorus of millions “Sancto Subito”!:
“I am happy. You should be too. Let us pray together with joy” Pope John Paul II right before he died.
"I feel that my mission is about to begin, my mission to make God loved as I love him, to teach souls my little way ... the way of trust and absolute surrender ... I will spend heaven doing good on earth." St. Therese
"The words were just announced to a waiting world “Pope John Paul II has died.” The heart of that world has broken. The tears of the faithful will fill rivers. We will pray, and reflect on the life and example of this incredible gift, Pope John Paul II, for centuries to come. We had in our midst, John Paul the Great.
With millions of the faithful throughout the world, I watched and prayed throughout these painful days for our Pope. He showed us how to live for Jesus Christ. He showed us how to love, poured out for others. He showed us that suffering, joined to the Savior, can become a sign of God’s continued mercy and an occasion of grace. Then, he showed us how to die, not with fear, but with faith. Just this morning, he spoke these words to a friend at his bedside “I am happy. You should be too. Let us pray together with joy.”
It seems like only yesterday that he stepped out on to the balcony in St. Peters Square and proclaimed: "Be Not Afraid! Open up, no; swing wide the gates to Christ. Open up to his saving power the confines of the State, open up economic and political systems, the vast empires of culture, civilization and development…. Be not afraid!" He strode onto that platform with strength and vitality.
This mountain climbing Polish Pope was so filled with the love of God that it was contagious. A talented and gifted "man of letters", a playwright, a philosopher, an intellectual giant, a poet, but more importantly, a genuine human being with a heart that embraced the whole world, like the Heart of the One whom he represents on earth. He was truly the “Vicar of Christ”, representing the Lord, the King of Kings, for us all. We had him but a short time.
Now, he is home with the Lord. (Read entire commentary here)