Pope John Paul II passed away yesterday after 27 years of extraordinary service as leader of the Catholic church. More than one billion strong, the Catholic denomination now relies on 160 cardinals to vote in the new face of Catholicism.
A beloved preacher of the Gospel, John Paul II is among the longest reigning popes in history. The first non Italian pope in over 500 years, this Polish actor-poet joined the Catholic priesthood at a young age of 22 after his home country’s communist government imposed atheism on it’s citizens. He chose the priesthood and we can all be thankful for his decision.
John Paul survived assassination attempts, illnesses and infirmity as he continued to advocate peace and eternal life through Jesus Christ. The most powerful religious man alive was known for his strong political views and, most importantly, for pushing his aides aside reaching out to children along his path. He will surely be canonized.
Most of us will never taste the fruit of such devotion. This man truly gave his life to the church and is a Saint in my book. Many agree he will be remembered as one of the greatest pope in history, not a bad fate for a communist rebel!
“He showed us how to live and he showed us how to die,” said one parishioner, Joan McDermott. “He reached out to people of all faiths, not just Catholics and Christians.”
It is unfortunate he leaves behind a struggling U.S. church. More than 65 million strong, U.S. Catholics continue to debate recent sexual abuse allegations involving priests and more importantly, homosexual church leaders. Add to this a rapid decline in church attendance, shrinking priesthood and divide over gay marriage and it’s obvious the Catholic church is greatly troubled in America.
Maybe the church needs an American pope however, I’m not so sure that would go over well in Europe!
Independently of the U.S. pope John Paul II will go down in history as one of the most influential man of the late 20th century. He is well deserving of all the accolades he has received and, those to come.
He is in three words, a righteous man.
I look forward to seeing him in Heaven.
We thank you for your blessings in our lives
For your inspiration and for your strength,
We thank you for the life of Pope John Paul II
And for all you have accomplished through him.
God we pray you will continue to look after us,
And after our Catholic brothers and sisters,
And answer the prayers of those in need
Like only you can.
Father we pray you will guide our footsteps in this life
So we may rejoice with you in the next,
Earning eternal joy through Jesus Christ.
God we love you and thank you for all that surrounds us!
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre