Friday, February 27, 2015

A Second World Youth Day For Poland

Saint John Paul II greets young people at the 1993 World Youth Day in Denver
(CNS photo / Joe Rimkus Jr.) 

The young faithful of Poland celebrated with joy when Pope Francis announced that the 31st World Youth Day would be held in Krakow. During the late summer months of 2016, thousands of young people will gather in Saint John Paul II’s beloved country in order to celebrate the Love that they all share.

Did you know that this will be the second time that World Youth Day is celebrated in Poland? The 6th World Youth Day was hosted in Czestochowa, Poland back in 1991.

Led by the theme, “You have received a spirit of sonship” (Rom 8:15), Saint John Paul II said Mass for thousands of youth there on the solemnity of the Assumption. He noted the presence of those from eastern Europe, “a great gift of the Holy Spirit” after the fall of Communism (Weigel, Witness to Hope, 650-651). The patron saint of World Youth Days challenged those and others to work towards building a civilization of love.

In his message for the 6th World Youth Day, St. John Paul II said:

‘Young people, do not be afraid to be holy!’ Fly high, be among those whose goals are worthy of sons and daughters of God. Glorify God in your lives!

Let us join the sainted pontiff in praying for all of those young people preparing for the 31st World Youth Day in Krakow, that they may glorify God with each day of their lives.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Humbled Heart You Will Not Spurn

Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.

A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.

For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Life of Saint John Paul II

Have you ever wanted to learn more about St. John Paul II? 

If you enjoy our posts, but often find yourself wanting more background information on the life and legacy of the late Holy Father, you should check out our extensive biography on the Saint John Paul II National Shrine website. Complete with pictures, this page includes major facts and stories from the sainted pontiff’s life.

If this isn’t enough, perhaps you should plan a pilgrimage to the Shrine! Visitor information can be found here.

St. John Paul II, Pray for Us!

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Upcoming Canonizations

The final gallery of our permanent exhibit encourages visitors to live out the universal call to 
holiness by reflecting upon the lives of some of the saints beatified and canonized by St. John Paul II.

Pope Francis recently announced that Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified Baouardy, an Arab mystic who became a Carmelite nun, will be canonized on May 17. Sister Mary was beatified by Saint John Paul II in 1983, nearly one hundred years after her death.

St. John Paul II beatified 1,338 people during his papacy, and he often emphasized the truth that all people are called to be saints. Let us ask Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified, whose incredible story can be found here, to pray for us today, that we may all live out the call to holiness as she did.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Return To The Lord

“Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful...” (Jl 2:13).

With this exhortation taken from the book of the prophet Joel, the Church begins her Lenten pilgrimage, the acceptable time for returning: for returning to God from whom we have turned away. This, in fact, is the meaning of the penitential journey which starts today, Ash Wednesday: to return to the Father's house, bearing in our hearts the confession of our own guilt. The psalmist invites us to say over and over: “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions” (Ps 50 [51]:1). With these sentiments, each of us sets out on the Lenten path, in the conviction that God the Father, who “sees in secret” (Mt 6: 4, 6, 18), goes out to meet the repentant sinner as he returns. As in the parable of the prodigal son, he embraces him and lets him understand that, by returning home, he has regained his dignity as a son: “he was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found” (Lk 15: 24).

-Saint John Paul II, Ash Wednesday 1999