In many ways, the circumstances that the members of the Church encounter today are similar to those faced by the Apostles at Pentecost. We are called to proclaim the message of Christ to a world that may not readily accept it.
With Christ’s strength, we can go forward with conviction and compassion. We can look for guidance from the Holy Spirit and from other Spirit-led people in our Church whose lives are an example for us.
The Canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII will be held on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 27, 2014.
The Catholic Church’s process leading tocanonizationinvolves three major steps. First is the declaration of a person’s heroic virtues, after which the church gives him or her the title Venerable. Second is beatification, after which he or she is called Blessed. The third step is canonization, or declaration of sainthood.
Just when we needed it most, God gave us a gift: Pope John XXIII, who was pope for only a short time (1959 to 1963) but who had an amazing impact on the church and the entire world. Pope John XXIII
Of course, John XXIII was not the name he was born with. His parents named him Angelo—Angelo Roncalli, born in 1881 in the northern part of Italy. His family farmed for a living, and Angelo was the oldest boy of twelve brothers and sisters.
When he was a teenager, Angelo decided he wanted to be a priest. He studied in the seminary, where he was most interested in the history of the church.
After he was ordained a priest, Angelo expected nothing more out of the rest of his life than that of a normal parish priest back in the part of Italy where he'd grown up. It was what he knew and what he thought God was calling him to. But very soon, it became clear that God had other plans for Angelo.
Over the course of his career, Fr. Angelo held many jobs, some exciting, some difficult. He was a secretary to a bishop for 10 years. He served as a medical worker in battlefields during World War I, and he never forgot the suffering he witnessed there. He represented the church in countries like Bulgaria and Turkey, countries where there were hardly any Catholics, and it was really important to understand and get along with people of different religions.
Finally, when he was 71 years old, Fr. Angelo Roncalli came home. He was appointed to be the leader of the church in the city of Venice, Italy. Fr. Angelo, now archbishop, had come home and, for all he knew, would spend the rest of his life simply tending to the needs of the people of Venice.
But once again, God had something else in mind. In 1958, Pope Pius XII died, and, as always happens when a pope dies, all the cardinals of the church gathered to elect a replacement. Much to everyone's surprise, they elected Angelo Roncalli of Venice. He was seventy-six years old.
John XXIII knew that times had changed, and it was time for popes to stop acting like royalty, which they had been doing for too many years.
John knew that the Spirit had called him to serve the people of God, not to act like a prince among them. But that wasn't the only thing he knew had to change.
John XXIII had a vision and hope. He made a decision based on that hope and based on the virtue of prudence, a virtue that he spoke of a great deal. John, whom today we call Blessed John XXIII, only one step away from sainthood, believed that Jesus' love was for everybody in the world.
He wanted the church to be a strong voice proclaiming that love in modern times to modern people. He looked to the past, present, and future in making his decision to lead the church in that direction.
Karol Wojtyla was born on May 18, 1920, near Krakow, Poland. As a young boy, he enjoyed skiing and swimming. During college he was interested in theater and poetry. When his school was closed by Nazi troops, Wojtyla began studying at a secret seminary run by the archbishop of Krakow. Wojtyla was ordained in 1946. Pope John Paul II
Father Wojtyla was soon recognized as a leading thinker and participated in the second Vatican Council. Wojtyla was named a bishop, then an archbishop, and, eventually, a cardinal.
For 456 years, from 1522-1978, all the popes had been Italian. In 1978, the cardinals of the Church gathered in Rome and selected Cardinal Wojtyla of Poland to be pope. Wojtyla took the name John Paul II and became the 264th pope.
Pope John Paul II was known as a peacemaker and as someone who lived a life of openness and charity. Pope John Paul II spoke out against war, violence, and capital punishment. He was a defender of the dignity of human life and an advocate for human rights.
While pope, he was instrumental in bringing about the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. Often recognized as the pilgrim pope because of his travels to more than 100 countries, Pope John Paul II attracted huge crowds wherever he went.
On April 2, 2005, Pope John Paul II passed away. From the evening of April 2 until his funeral on April 8, more than three million people came to Rome to pay homage to him in Saint Peter’s Basilica.
Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence. --John Paul II
Works Cited Loyola Press A Jesuit Ministry http://www.loyolapress.com/assets/activity/world-youth-day-jubilee-lesson.pdf http://www.loyolapress.com/blessed-john-xxiii.htm Pope Benedict XVI Christ Our Hope Apostolic Journey to the United States 2008 http://www.uspapalvisit.org/def_beatification.htm St Joseph the Worker Adult Faith Formation Blog http://sjwaff.blogspot.com/2013/06/blessed-john-xxiii.html Friends of John Paul II Foundation, Inc. Washington DC Chapter http://jp2friends.org/ John XXIII: key points in the life of 'The Good Pope: You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unI8gWi1W10 John XXIII: key points in the life of 'The Good Pope' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20jU8PJDl04 Alphesus Site for Critical History http://www.alpheus.org/ Stop in Italy http://www.stopinitaly.it/ Brainyquote.com As of March 7, 2014