May 2, 2011 by Knight Errant
“A man, who became a pope. A pope, who remained a man”
For most people the word “blessed” is associated with often prayers, miracles and the stereotype of a god-fearing person. It doesn’t have to look like that. “Blessed” means “happy”, and you don’t have to actually live in a church, to be blessed. Our pope certainly didn’t stay in one place, and although He used to pray often and sometimes for quite a long time, we commemorate Him mostly with his pilgrimages and journeys, because He always seemed to be going somewhere. This Sunday, 1 May 2011, Benedict XVI announced to the whole the world, that John Paul II’s journey ended in His Father’s Home.
Karol’s friends admit that they never suspected he would become a priest. He was a promising young man, who could easily become a good actor. Instead, he not only became a pope, but has also been carried to altars all over the world.
Every person who met Him recalls Him as a man who was always cheerful, full of talents, humor and surprises. A man who became an unusual resident in the Vatican. The reason why we remember the Polish Pope as a very kind person, is because He didn’t exactly follow the “pope’s etiquette”. He often did things nobody suspected He could do, and which were believed to be inappropriate for “His Excellency”. He made unexpected visits, came out to the crowds, took children on His hands, hugged the sick, let people touch and kiss Him. He had a swimming pool built in Castel Gandolfo, He skied, made mountain walks, visited highlanders and ate canned sardines. None of these things were done by His predecessors. He was a person, who could see God’s love on every step of His life. That may be the reason why today, on the Divine Mercy Sunday, He was honored before the whole world.
The other reason are the many miracles which happened, as we believe, thanks to His intercession. Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease, asked John Paul II, in her prayer, for cure, shortly after His death… And her prayers were answered. Doctors confirmed the miracle – the nun was healthy again, cured from an incurable disease. There are many more, similar situations, but they aren’t documented well enough to bring evidence to the beatification process. Nonetheless, one case was enough.
Karol Wojtyla is probably the first person, who was declared blessed so soon. This only proves, what an extraordinary person He was. Finally, we can officially pray to God through His hands. Next stop: canonization.