Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Heal Our Wounds

The present-day Church seems to repeat with ever greater fervor and with holy insistence: “Come, Holy Spirit!” Come! Come! “Heal our wounds, our strength renew; On our dryness pour your dew; Wash the stains of guilt away; Bend the stubborn heart and will; Melt the frozen, warm the chill; Guide the steps that go astray.”

            -Saint John Paul II, quoting the Sequence for Pentecost

This weekend, a unique experience will be offered for those who carry with them the pain of their parents’ divorce. If you find yourself in this situation, consider joining us at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine. If you do not carry this burden, tell a friend who does, and please pray for all of those on this Recovering Origins retreat.

Saint, John Paul II, Pope of the Family, Pray for Us!  

Monday, April 27, 2015

One Year Ago Today

Unveiling the sign of the newly named Saint John Paul II National Shrine during the April 27, 2015 ceremony.

April 27th marks the anniversary of Saint John Paul II’s canonization, which was a time of great excitement at the Shrine last year.  We hosted an all-night vigil with a Eucharistic procession, live entertainment, and a viewing of the canonization in Rome. We also unveiled our “Saint John Paul II National Shrine” signage and followed this with Mass and veneration of the great saint’s relics.

It was a joyous day that we remember fondly, and we hope that you will join us today in our reminiscing. We also suggest reflecting upon Pope Francis’s words about Sts. John XXIII and John Paul II at their canonization Mass:
In these two men, who looked upon the wounds of Christ and bore witness to his mercy, there dwelt a living hope and an indescribable and glorious joy (1 Pet 1:3,8). The hope and the joy which the risen Christ bestows on his disciples, the hope and the joy which nothing and no one can take from them. The hope and joy of Easter, forged in the crucible of self-denial, self-emptying, utter identification with sinners, even to the point of disgust at the bitterness of that chalice. Such were the hope and the joy which these two holy popes had received as a gift from the risen Lord and which they in turn bestowed in abundance upon the People of God, meriting our eternal gratitude. 
St. John Paul II, on this anniversary of your canonization, we thank God for you, and we ask you to remember us in your prayers!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Open The Hearts Of Your Children

Ordination by Nicolas Poussin (1640)

Please join us in prayer on this World Day of Prayer for Vocations:
O God, Father of all Mercies,
Provider of a bountiful Harvest,
send Your Graces upon those
You have called to gather the fruits of Your labor;
preserve and strengthen them in their lifelong service of you.

Open the hearts of Your children
that they may discern Your Holy Will;
inspire in them a love and desire to surrender themselves
to serving others in the name of Your son, Jesus Christ.

Teach all Your faithful to follow their respective paths in life
guided by Your Divine Word and Truth.
Through the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary,
all the Angels, and Saints, humbly hear our prayers
and grant Your Church's needs, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
 Saint John Paul II, Pray for Us! 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Special Call To Virtue

"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us" (Rom 5: 3-5). Suffering as it were contains a special call to the virtue which man must exercise on his own part. And this is the virtue of perseverance in bearing whatever disturbs and causes harm. In doing this, the individual unleashes hope, which maintains in him the conviction that suffering will not get the better of him, that it will not deprive him of his dignity as a human being, a dignity linked to awareness of the meaning of life. And indeed this meaning makes itself known together with the working of God's love, which is the supreme gift of the Holy Spirit. The more he shares in this love, man rediscovers himself more and more fully in suffering: he rediscovers the "soul" which he thought he had "lost" because of suffering. 
-Saint John Paul II, Salvifici Doloris, 1984
If your family is suffering with infertility or pregnancy loss, consider attending A Morning for Hope and Healing this Saturday at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine. For those who do not carry this burden, please join us in praying for all of those suffering during this National Infertility Awareness week

Saint John Paul II, Pope of the Family, Pray for Us!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Our Strength And Our Food

In the humble signs of bread and wine, changed into his body and blood, Christ walks beside us as our strength and our food for the journey, and he enables us to become, for everyone, witnesses of hope. If, in the presence of this mystery, reason experiences its limits, the heart, enlightened by the grace of the Holy Spirit, clearly sees the response that is demanded, and bows low in adoration and unbounded love.

Let us make our own the words of Saint Thomas Aquinas, an eminent theologian and an impassioned poet of Christ in the Eucharist, and turn in hope to the contemplation of that goal to which our hearts aspire in their thirst for joy and peace:

Bone pastor, panis vere,

Iesu, nostri miserere...

Come then, good Shepherd, bread divine,

Still show to us thy mercy sign;

Oh, feed us, still keep us thine;

So we may see thy glories shine

in fields of immortality.

O thou, the wisest, mightiest, best,
                              Our present food, our future rest,

                              Come, make us each thy chosen guest,

                              Co-heirs of thine, and comrades blest
                              With saints whose dwelling is with thee.

               -St. John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

How To Be A Disciple Of St. John Paul II

Just in case you missed Andreas Widmer, author of The Pope and the CEO and former Swiss Guard for Saint John Paul II, here is a video of the talk he gave here at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine on Saturday.

St. John Paul II, Pray for Us!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Jesus, I Trust In You

Today I repeat these simple and straightforward words of Saint Faustina, in order to join her and all of you in adoring the inconceivable and unfathomable mystery of God’s mercy. Like Saint Faustina, we wish to proclaim that apart from the mercy of God there is no other source of hope for mankind. We desire to repeat with faith: Jesus, I trust in you!

This proclamation, this confession of trust in the all-powerful love of God, is especially needed in our own time, when mankind is experiencing bewilderment in the face of many manifestations of evil. The invocation of God’s mercy needs to rise up from the depth of hearts filled with suffering, apprehension and uncertainty, and at the same time yearning for an infallible source of hope.

-Saint John Paul II, Dedication of the Shrine of Divine Mercy, 2002

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Hero Of Evangelization

In celebration of his upcoming canonization, Columbia Magazine dedicated their most recent issue to Blessed Junípero Serra, who was beatified by Saint John Paul II in 1988. In his article about the life of the soon-to-be-saint, Msgr. Francis J. Weber wrote:

One year before he beatified Fray Junípero Serra in 1988, St. John Paul II made a pilgrimage to the grave of the Franciscan priest at Mission San Carlos Borroméo in Carmel, Calif. Standing on the site of Serra’s former missionary headquarters, the pope reflected on the historical impact of the friar’s Christian witness.

“At crucial moments in human affairs, God raises up men and women whom he thrusts into roles of decisive importance for the future development of both society and the Church,” the pope said. “We rejoice all the more when their achievement is coupled with a holiness of life that can truly be called heroic. So it is with Junípero Serra, who in the providence of God was destined to be the Apostle of California.”

Read more here.

Bl. Junípero Serra, please pray for the American Church, that she may be full of heroic 
evangelizers, just like you!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

In Case You Missed It

Many things happened last week, as the Church journeyed through Christ’s Passion and Resurrection. We’ve put together a quick recap here, just in case you missed any of the happenings at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine and other John Paul II news.

-Hundreds came to the Shrine on Saturday, March 28, to venerate eight rare relics as part of the Relics of the Passion Prayer Program. See photos here.

-The Shrine took part in a Seven-Church Pilgrimage on Holy Thursday.

-A Knights of Columbus Documentary, John Paul II in America: Uniting a Continent, began airing on national television this past weekend. It will continue to air throughout the month of April. Check the current schedule here.

-There is a beautiful Easter Reflection on the Shrine’s website, as well as reflection for the upcoming Feast of Divine Mercy.

-This Saturday, April 11, Andreas Widmer, author of The Pope and the CEO and former Swiss Guard for Saint John Paul II, will be speaking at the Shrine. After the talk there will be time for veneration of the relics of St. John Paul II, followed by a Vigil Mass of Divine Mercy. 

-Finally, here are a few of our favorite stories from the tenth anniversary of Saint John Paul II’s death:

St. John Paul II, Pray for Us!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Papal Intentions For April

Pope Francis during his visit to the Philippines earlier this year (CNS photo / Paul Haring)

This month, Pope Francis asks us to pray for our creation, that we may learn to respect it and “care for it as a gift of God.” He also asks us to pray for persecuted Christians, that they “may feel the consoling presence of the Risen Lord and the solidarity of all the Church.”

Creation is often disregarded in our “culture of waste,” and Christians are being increasingly persecuted throughout the world. Please join us in praying with the Holy Father, that these evils might stop and that those who love Jesus might feel the presence of His mystical body, even in the midst of great suffering.