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#write31days ~ Day 22: St. John Paul the Great

WYD-2000-Pope-John-Paul-II

WYD-2000-Pope-John-Paul-II

 

A little #tbt today seemed appropriate today….
{so technically these are old pictures — but great to revisit, nonetheless!}

It is the feast of one of my favorite heavenly friends — St. John Paul the Great. I was blessed to be in his presence on two occasions — World Youth Day in Rome in 2000 and the one in Canada in 2002. These photos I am sharing today are from Rome.

It was my first time traveling abroad and I can say for certain, at the time, I did not realize the immensity of the privilege I was given, both in terms of travel and being in the presence of a living saint. I was just sixteen. I was excited to be there with my friends. And I was inching my way to catch a glimpse of this holy man just like every other pilgrim. But it wasn’t until much later in life, after he had passed onto his eternal reward, that I started to more fully appreciate those sweltering days back in the summer of 2000.

His exhortations and encouragement to the youth that I have read over and over again — “Do not be afraid!” “Duc in altum: Put out into the deep!” “We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures…”  “I propose to you the option of love, which is the opposite of escape.” “From the depths of my heart I want to give thanks to God for the gift of youth, which continues to be present in the Church and in the world because of you.” “I look with confidence to this new humanity which you are now helping to prepare. I look to this Church which in every age is made youthful by the Spirit of Christ and today is made happy by your intentions and commitment.”  — his seemingly endless thoughts on true love {living the gift of self}; his delving deeper for us in his encyclicals into the intersection of faith and reason, the value of human life, the Rosary, the dignity and vocation of women, the value of family, better ecumenism, the greatness of Truth, etc.; and his wonderful example of redemptive suffering up to his final breath.

My life, my vocation, who I am today has been shaped by the thoughts and prayers of this great man. Thank you, John Paul II. We love you!

 

WYD-2000-Pope-John-Paul-II

2 Thoughts on “#write31days ~ Day 22: St. John Paul the Great

  1. This is so cool! I am so bummed that I wasn’t Catholic when he was a live and doing all these amazing things. He is such a special man. I’m doing the Endow study right now that focuses on his Letter to Women. It’s beautiful. Your pictures are so neat, what a special experience!

  2. Amen! Love all the posts about him. What a man! What an incredible Saint!

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