25 April 2014

Faith Friday: The Greatest Man I Never Knew

Welcome to Faith Fridays here on Mars! On Fridays on the blog, I share a post celebrating my Catholic Faith. Thank you for joining me here! 


So, I found all of the JPII images on Pinterest
Besides being a great Reba McEntire song, these are the words I usually use to describe Bl. Pope John Paul II. The fact that I have seen this man be Pope, die, and be canonized in my lifetime, let alone in about a decade of my lifetime, simply floors me. I knew that the man would become a saint. There was no way someone so good couldn't possibly be holy. When he died, I wrote my high school Junior Research Paper on the man. I cried. I literally shed tears for a man that I had never even met and who probably had no idea who I was. I remember going past my local parish and seeing the black flags, a symbol that the pope had died. I was filled with dread and sorrow. For the first time in my sixteen years, I truly knew what sorrow felt like. I wandered around dazed and confused- I had no idea how the Catholic church would continue without him. I thought the whole world was going to fall apart.

He traveled more than any other pope. He held the second-longest papacy. He showed total forgiveness after his assassination attempt. He was humble, modern, but held steadfast on the Church's teachings and Tradition. JPII to me is simply what a Catholic is. He was a compassionate, merciful, and humble leader who help end communism in troubled times and brought me about to the Church. On Sunday, Divine Mercy Sunday, he will be canonized as Saint John Paul the Great. Which he was. He was great. He was the leader the Church, no, the WORLD needed for all of those years. Truly a Holy Man, I am simply honored that I got to walk the same Earth as he.

The canonization process can take years- hundreds for some (like Saint Juan Diego, the man to whom Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared) or just a few years, like JPII. Officially, to be recognized as a saint, two miracles must have been brought about through intercession of the person, after their earthly death. They will be granted a feast day, where we as Catholics celebrate their lives and their holy work, and churches can be built in their honor.


The Image of Divine Mercy that Jesus instructed St. Faustina to have
painted and venerated. [source]
This Sunday is also important because it is Divine Mercy Sunday. On February 22, 1931, a polish nun named Sr. Faustina had a vision of Christ in which he instructed her to paint his image in a certain way. Over the next seven years, she had many more visions of Christ, in which she recorded in her Diary, which included her conversations and instructions from Christ. He ordered her to pray the Divine Mercy Novena, the Chaplet, and to observe the Hour of Mercy, which is 3 o'clock in the afternoon (also the hour of Christ's death on Good Friday). Divine Mercy Sunday was proclaimed as the Sunday after Easter by JPII in 2000. Sr. Faustina was also canonized on that same date [source]. The Divine Mercy is truly the entire message of Christianity- that we are all sinners, but Christ's love through His Passion and Sacrifice, can redeem us all, if we accept it.


How are you celebrating the #2PopeSaints/Diving Mercy weekend?

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