Friday, October 31, 2014

He Would Bless The World

In an interview published earlier this week, Archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki of Lviv, Ukraine shared a little known fact about Saint John Paul II. 

As the late Holy Father’s personal secretary, Archbishop Mokrzycki was very familiar with the former Pope’s daily routine. He said:

By the end of each day, around 10:30 p.m., he would go to the chapel, he would pray for a short period of time, he would go back to his bedroom and come up to the window…. He would dim the lights or turn them off, he would open up the interior window, and then he would bless the world. 

…He would bless the pilgrims walking by St. Peter’s square, the Eternal City of Rome, and the whole world.

Oh beloved St. John Paul II, please continue to bless us with the love of the Father from your place in His Heavenly Kingdom.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Papal Intentions For November

During the month of November, Pope Francis asks us to pray that, “all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.” He also asks us to pray that, “young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.”

Let us pray with the Holy Father this November, for all of the lonely and for all mentors of seminarians and religious.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I Have Searched For You, Now You Come To Me

More than 1,000 pilgrims joined us for the feast of Saint John Paul II last Wednesday! The day’s celebrations included multiple Masses and community prayers, veneration of our first class relic of St. John Paul, and the opening of our new permanent exhibit, A Gift of Love: The Life of Saint John Paul II.

Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, celebrated the second festal Mass. In his homily he said:

This great Holy Father was so close to the family of the Knights of Columbus. How much he loved us; how well he knew us; how constantly he encouraged us! Now in the Providence of God and thanks to the vision of our Worthy Supreme Knight, we are able to transform this building from a center to a shrine, a place of grace and holiness, truth and love, …not only, as it were, to repay St. John Paul II for his kindness to us but much more so, to proclaim the message of his life and pontificate within the Church and before the world.

Pilgrims who visited the Saint John Paul II National Shrine last week heard this message as they walked through our exhibit on the life and legacy of the late Holy Father. They also learned more about John Paul II from Most Rev. Mieczysław Mokrzycki, former personal secretary to the great saint.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Building Up The Body Of Christ

…he gave some as Apostles, others as prophets,
others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers,
to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry,
for building up the Body of Christ,
until we all attain to the unity of faith
and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood
to the extent of the full stature of Christ,
so that we may no longer be infants,
tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching
arising from human trickery,
from their cunning in the interests of deceitful scheming.
Rather, living the truth in love,
we should grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ,
from whom the whole Body,
joined and held together by every supporting ligament,
with the proper functioning of each part,
brings about the Body’s growth and builds itself up in love.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Feast of Saint John Paul II

Today we are celebrating the feast of our beloved Saint John Paul II! On this day in 1978, the late Holy Father officially embarked on his historic pontificate with these words:

Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to welcome Christ and accept his power. Help the Pope and all those who wish to serve Christ and with Christ's power to serve the human person and the whole of mankind. Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors for Christ. To his saving power open the boundaries of States, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development. Do not be afraid. Christ knows “what is in man.” He alone knows it.

At the beginning of his papacy, St. John Paul II reminded the Church of who man is. Man is made in the image and likeness of God. To realize himself, man must open wide to the Redeemer who knows and loves him. He must give himself in love to both God and fellow man.

St. John Paul II made his life a gift of love, and this is what we are celebrating today as we open our new permanent exhibit. As pilgrims journey through our nine galleries that trace the life and legacy of this great Pope, our hope is that they will see how John Paul II glorified God by his life. We also hope that they walk away with the grace and inspiration to do the same.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fifth Luminous Mystery: The Institution Of The Eucharist

Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is my body."

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "By celebrating the Last Supper with his Apostles in the course of the Passover meal, Jesus gave the Jewish Passover its definitive meaning. Jesus’ passing over to his Father by his Death and Resurrection, the new Passover, is anticipated in the Supper and celebrated in the Eucharist, which fulfills the Jewish Passover and anticipates the final Passover of the Church in the glory of the Kingdom" (CCC, 1340).

While meditating on the institution of the Eucharist, a true gift of love, say one Our Father, ten Hail Mary’s, and a Glory Be.

We are near the end of the month of the Holy Rosary, and we have now come to the end of our prayer. Conclude by reciting the Hail Holy Queen and by making a Sign of the Cross (see "How to Pray the Rosary" if you are unfamiliar with any of the prayers).

Monday, October 20, 2014

Blessed Paul VI, Pray For Us!

Pope Paul VI, predecessor to Saint John Paul II, was beatified in Saint Peter’s Square yesterday. The beatification took place at the close of the Synod on the Family, which is fitting. Blessed Paul VI's teachings are pivitol for families in the modern world.

In his historic encyclical, Humanae Vitae, Paul VI described God’s loving design for marriage. He wrote:

Marriage…is far from being the effect of chance or the result of the blind evolution of natural forces. It is in reality the wise and provident institution of God the Creator, whose purpose was to effect in man His loving design. As a consequence, husband and wife, through that mutual gift of themselves, which is specific and exclusive to them alone, develop that union of two persons in which they perfect one another, cooperating with God in the generation and rearing of new lives.
Saint John Paul II, the “pope of the family,” honored Blessed Paul VI by taking his name, and he did much to make Paul VI’s teachings known and understood. 

Let us honor Blessed Paul VI ourselves, by asking him to pray for married couples to remain strong in their unions and open to new life.