Friday, January 14, 2011

Santo Subito!

John Paul II will be beatified on May 1st, the feast of Divine Mercy! Pope Benedict will celebrate the ceremony, which will take place in Rome and will most likely draw hundreds of thousands of people. The normal five-year waiting period was waived by the Pope and his beatification is the fastest on record, coming just over six years after his death.

I saw John Paul II for the first (and only) time when I was 15 years old at the 2002 World Youth Day in Canada, three years before he died. It was such a joy and privilege to see his interior strength and love, even though it was getting very difficult for him even to speak or hold his head up. It really made a deep impression on me, and he is a Pope that will forever be very close to my heart.

"It is the nature of human beings, and especially youth, to seek the Absolute, the meaning and fullness of life. Dear young people, do not be content with anything less than the highest ideals! Do not let yourselves be dispirited by those who are disillusioned with life and have grown deaf to the deepest and most authentic desires of their heart..." - Pope John Paul II

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