Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Two Popes and a Peak

There are two popes whom we should pray to especially today, May 18, 2005.

The first is St. John I, pope and martyr, whose feast day we celebrate today. John I was elected Pope in 523. The Arian King Theodoric sent him as his ambassador to Emperor Justin in Constantinople. On his return, he was captured by the king, who was displeased at the outcome of the embassy, and cast into prison at Ravenna where he died a few days later. As pope he was responsible for introducing the Alexandrian computation of the date of Easter; it came to be accepted throughout the west. (Catholic Culture)

The second is Pope John Paul II who would have celebrated his 85th birthday today. In today's general audience, the Holy Father remembered his predecessor and recalled "our beloved Pope John Paul II would have been 85. We are certain that he is watching us from on high and that he is with us. We wish to give thanks to the Lord for the gift of this great Pope, and for everything he did and suffered."

Okay, now what's this about a peak, you say? Well, the Holy Father noted that another significant event was taking place today in honor of the great John Paul II. He said, "today, in the Italian region of Abruzzo, a very significant act is taking place, which I join spiritually. A mountain peak of Italy's Gran Sasso mountain chain is being named for the unforgettable Pope John Paul II, who so loved these splendid mountains and visited them many times. I greet and thank the promoters of such a praiseworthy initiative and I hope that all those who will visit this peak will be encouraged to raise their spirit to God, Whose goodness shines forth in the beauty of creation." (EWTN).

I recall back in 1984, shortly after a tragic event in my life, I had written a letter to Pope John Paul II asking for his apostolic blessings and for his prayers. In my letter I told him that I believed him to be the closest person in the world to God. Today, I am comforted to hear of Pope Benedict's affirmation that the great John Paul II is with God and is looking down from Heaven and of knowing that somewhere here on earth, there is a place called John Paul II which can bring us closest to God and to Heaven.

Things we should do today and everyday is to pray especially for the Holy Father. Make sure your children know the Morning Offering in which we pray for the Holy Father's intentions. (Catholic Culture)

The Morning Offering:

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, reparation for sin, and the reunion of all Christians. I offer them for the intentions of our bishops and of all Apostles of Prayer, and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month. Amen. (say one Pater, one Ave and one Gloria)


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