Today is the feast of Saint John Paul II! If you are in the Washington, D.C. area, please consider joining us for our celebrations this evening. Whether you are able to join us or not, we invite you spend a few moments of this joyous day reflecting upon the pilgrimage we’ve been hosting here on Open Wide the Doors.
We’ve walked through each of the nine galleries of our permanent exhibit, A Gift of Love: The Life of Saint John Paul II, so that you can get a taste of the spiritual and informational journey that awaits you here at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine. At the conclusion of the exhibit, a timeline wall of poignant large scale images leads visitors through significant moments in the life and papacy of St. John Paul II, beginning with his birth in 1920 and ending with his death in 2005.
Pilgrims look back on the late Holy Father’s growth in holiness and sanctity throughout his life. They remember the dark world that he grew up in, and how he shone as a light in the world amidst many challenges and much suffering.
They recall John Paul II’s election to the papacy, and how he reminded the Church of who the human person is and of the importance of defending the dignity of all. They also remember his devotion to the Blessed Mother and his witness to her mercy. Finally, they see again his “last encyclical,” in which, through old age and sickness, St. John Paul II loved the Church to the end.
We thank you for joining us on this pilgrimage over the past weeks, and we hope that a closer look at the galleries has inspired you to plan a visit to see them in person. Most importantly, we hope that you have found St. John Paul II to be a source of inspiration for your own call to holiness.
Let us all end this pilgrimage with a prayer to our beloved Holy Father, asking him to intercede for us and our intentions.
St. John Paul II, Pray for Us!