Almost everyone knows of Pope John Paul II (now a saint!), but did you know that the Church officially celebrates his feast day on October 22?
For many of our friars, St. John Paul was the Pope for a major part of their lifetimes. He was, after all, Pope for over 25 years, 1978 until his death in 2005. Along with being partially responsible for the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, St. John Paul was also known for his desire to spread the Gospel throughout the world. He traveled the world, and the world paid attention. Whether he was in St. Peter’s Square in Rome, Australia, Africa, or his beloved homeland of Poland, he echoed the words with which he began his pontificate, “be not afraid” – do not be afraid to be holy, to be saints.
EWTN was founded soon after his pontificate began and the network not only covered much of his pontificate, it also followed his call to “cast out into the deep” and evangelize. He was, as well, an inspiration for our community. Fr. John Paul even took his religious name after him! Fr. Joseph had the opportunity to meet the great pope personally and a few of the friars were able to attend his canonization.
Noting St. John Paul’s love of youth, of married couples, and of all people called to follow Christ across the world, we ask for his intercession. Saint John Paul II, pray for us!