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 LASTING LEGACY

OF JOHN PAUL II: “THE GREAT”

 

                                                                 

 

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he 20th Anniversary of the visit of Pope John Paul II to San Antonio, (September 13-14, 1987) was observed at the Annunciation of the BVM church in September with the thanksgiving Mass presided by Archbishop Jose H. Gomez and concelebrated by a number of religious and priests of the Archdiocese.  Then, a special program dedicated to the Pope’s visit was held in the Center where Msgr. Lawrence Stubben and other members of the coordinating team shared their memories of that historical visit.  In his closing remarks, Archbishop Gomez put the Pope’s life in beautiful perspective when he  said: “His life spanned the biggest of tragedies and greatest of accomplishments of the modern world.  He lived through the destruction of his nation, Nazi and Soviet mass murder, global nuclear stalemate, and yet he led millions across the world to see in the human person the image of God’s beauty and love. He renewed the Church and never wavered in his deep love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

 

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o promote the legacy of this great pope, “The Friends of John Paul II Committee” was formed.  Reaching out to all parishes, twice a year they invite the youth and faithful of the Archdiocese, especially Jubilarians, to  celebrate the anniversary of the Pope’s election and death.  Following the Mass celebration, usually with the presence of a bishop who knew the Pope personally, a special program is being held in the John Paul II Center  to review some of his teachings, pastoral visits, books, encyclicals, poetry and movies.  We know our Beloved Pope is gone, but he still lives in the hearts of the faithful and his written messages are important spiritual nourishments for us and the generations to come. 

The beatification ceremony of Pope John Paul II was held on 1 May 2011 and was presided over by Pope Benedict XVI.  A vigil in preparation for the celebration was held the night before in the Circus Maximus. The casket in which he was interred was exhumed and placed before Saint Peter's tomb on 29 April 2011.

Prayer to Saint John Paul II

 Oh, St. John Paul, from the window of heaven, grant us your blessing! Bless the church that you loved and served and guided, courageously leading it along the paths of the world in order to bring Jesus to everyone and everyone to Jesus. Bless the young, who were your great passion. Help them dream again, help them look up high again to find the light that illuminates the paths of life here on earth.

May you bless families, bless each family! You warned of Satan's assault against this precious and indispensable divine spark that God lit on earth. St. John Paul, with your prayer, may you protect the family and every life that blossoms from the family.

Pray for the whole world, which is still marked by tensions, wars and injustice. You tackled war by invoking dialogue and planting the seeds of love: pray for us so that we may be tireless sowers of peace.

Oh St. John Paul, from heaven's window, where we see you next to Mary, send God's blessing down upon us all. Amen.