He will be Blessed

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 Nicajoice 0 Comments

10 years ago, I remember writing “to meet Pope John Paul II” as one of my dreams. At that young age, I dearly loved, respected and admired the Pope as much as most people did (even non-Christians looked up to his great character and leadership). As one resident in Chicago, IL puts it “I felt very close to him. For what reason? I don't know. But I felt close to him” (article here). I think a lot of us feel the same way – PJPII touched our lives in very intimate ways – ways that transcend physical presence, an actual encounter. The late Pope had reached us through his unselfish deeds, his unfaltering principles that include keeping man’s inherent dignity, as well as his great love for peace and harmony among people with different faiths.
On May 1, Pope John Paul II will be beatified, the third step towards sainthood. Key to the process of beatification is a Church-recognized miracle attributed to him. One such miracle is the cure of a French nun who got cured of Parkinson’s disease ( story here). From then on, before his canonization, he will be called Blessed. I think the fourth step won’t take that long, because even when he was still alive, there were miracles.

The years that John Paul II served as Pope were not free from criticisms. There were failures and supposed “inactions” that people could easily throw against him, but his effort to live a holy life, was without a doubt worthy of emulation.

Some people often wonder why the Catholic Church declares a person a saint, saying that we should pray to God alone. I don’t have a theological answer for this, but I believe that we recognize great deeds of martyrs and holy men to proclaim to the world that it is possible for us, mere humans, to live holy lives. As my ReEd teacher once said, we should all aspire for sainthood.

The life of the late Pope John Paul II is a memory worthy of veneration. As we anticipate his journey towards being a saint, the fact that he has once walked here on Earth and made so much difference shall be made known even after his death. And thus, he’d always remain as the loving Pontiff that most of us wished we had the chance to meet.