Blessed John Paul II
18 May 1920 – 2 April 2005
Perhaps today's events don't have the same romantic appeal, but an electric one none the less. Today marks the beatification of Pope John Paul II. An event of the same pageantry and awe as the events of Friday.
There weren't gowns to see or flower girls to delight but millions of people lined the streets of Rome as well as watched around the world. The day marked the recognition of a life lived in heroic faith and service to others.
Beatification and the further process of being named to sainthood, does not "make a saint." It is the Church's way of naming what already is. An official way to declare what has already been done through faith and the grace of God. What all those of faith hope to do, to live in union with God in this life so that we too may live with Him in eternity.
In his first Mass of Thanksgiving upon being elected Pope, John Paul II spoke these words to the faithful that would become a treatise of his pontificate. "Do not be afraid! Open, open wide the doors to Christ!"
He was a very charismatic man, a media savvy pontiff, a forgiving man, playful, prayerful, as well as a faithful man. He was not perfect as none of us are perfect. That is one of the greatest gifts of the saints. They teach us that even in our humanity, in our frailty, in our imperfections; we are redeemed and how to live a life that speaks to that redemption. They teach us how to stay the course.
Pope Benedict XVI"Blessed are you, beloved Pope John Paul II, because you believed! Continue, we implore you, to sustain from heaven the faith of God’s people. Amen."
During the Beatification of Blessed John Paul II