Posts Tagged ‘Pope John Paul II’

Be Not Afraid! St. John Paul II’s Key to Building a Culture of Life

The recent canonization of Saint John Paul II offers an impetus to reflect on both his life and his papacy. The Pope’s leadership of the Catholic Church was exemplified by his signature phrase “Be not afraid!” Yet, what exactly was he exhorting the faithful to face without fear?  Pope John Paul II first uttered t…

The 47-Year Epoch of The Two Great Popes 1958-2005

The great burst of energy that John Paul II infused into humankind by his emphasis on the culture of life cannot be understood apart from his other purposes. It is fitting that the canonization of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II are occurring …

Analysis: John Paul II continues to challenge UN development regime

by Susan Yoshihara May 2, 2014 (C-FAM) – During a week celebrating his canonization, many credited Pope John Paul II with defeating the campaign for an international right to abortion and founding the international pro-life movement. But his reach went further, to a critique of the UN’s approach to human development…

Obama’s Statement on Canonizations of John XXIII and John Paul II

Here is an April 28 statement from U.S. President Barack Obama regarding Sunday’s canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. * * *
Today, Michelle and I join Catholics around the world in celebrating the canonization of Pope John XXIII and…

Academic institute carries forward JPII’s vision of marriage, family

Rome, Italy, Apr 29, 2014 / 04:17 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope John Paul II’s enthusiasm for the vocation of marriage and family life is being carried forward today through an academic institute dedicated to studying his theology and related issues.

The Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family “was born after the synod on the family that John Paul II had desired from the beginning of his pontificate,” Msgr. Livio Melina, the Rome institute’s president, told CNA April 16.

The pontiff “did not want us to concentrate principally or mostly on the problems but above all on a complete and positive vision of the mystery of the family,” Msgr. Melina explained. He wanted the Institute “to offer to the Church a new and positive school of thought, rising up, regarding the family.”

In the years since its foundation in 1981, the Institute has “sought to take up that vision,” placing itself “in the path of this great legacy which he left us,” continued Msgr. Melina, whose own journey began when John Paul II personally handed him a copy of “Familiaris Consortio.”

He said that as a young priest, receiving the apostolic exhortation from the Pope’s hands “was like receiving a mandate.” He went on to write his doctorate on the topic, and after several years working at the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, took over leadership of the Institute in Rome.

The Institute’s central location is in Rome; there are seven other major sections throughout the world in the U.S., Mexico, Spain, Brazil, Africa, India, and Australia. Other associated institutions are located in Lebanon, the Philippines, Korea, and Zambia.

John Paul II’s perspective on marriage and family life can be described as “a vision of wonder and respect for the mystery of man and woman willed thus by God, and which…manifests in a small way the mystery of God and at the same time shows the mystery of man,” reflected Msgr. Melina.

This attitude of reverence and respect offers an antidote to a kind of “puritanism” present in many cultures, he suggested. “John Paul II, in his catechesis, in his testimony, has completely overturned this situation,” offering “a Christian vision” of the body and human sexuality “that values human love” as a “gift of self.”

“He put (all these human things) in light of the hope of the revelation of God, and in this he exalted… the relationship between man and woman, the possibility of becoming a gift of self, and in this gift also becoming a font of giftedness also for children.”

Sr. Alessandra Diriart teaches sacramental theology at the Institute. She noted that John Paul II’s theological legacy also includes his “fascination” with the initial chapters of Genesis, which tell the story of the creation and reveal the meaning of human existence.

“He was in love with the first two chapters of Genesis. John Paul II recommended that his collaborators read these first two chapters every day because he truly saw in these two (creation) accounts the whole truth about man,” Sr. Diriart explained.

“For John Paul II, the person finds himself or herself, his or her ‘mystery,’ his or her ‘who I am,’ only in the gift of self,” the sister reflected. “This is accomplished through either marriage between man and woman or through the total gift of self in virginity for the Lord, which is a total gift of the person, body and soul.”

Professor Oana Gotia, who teaches moral theology at the Institute, recounted the focus of many of John Paul II’s Wednesday audiences as “the beauty of the love between man and woman.”

These audiences which have been collected and popularized under the title of the “Theology of the Body,” emphasize “the dignity of the body as being always a personal body – not something to be objectified but being part of who we are, and part of our vocation to love, to accept love, to welcome love.”

The Institute’s focus on John Paul II’s positive vision of human love has a real impact on the lives of its students.

Eleanora Stefanya received her license degree in theology and is now pursuing her doctorate there. “For me personally, studying at the Institute was a great gift in understanding myself, understanding what I’m called to,” the laywoman from Georgia said.

Studying alongside priests and religious has brought about “beautiful friendships with people from all over the world,” she reflected, “because at the end, we have the same vocation, the vocation to love.”

Poor Brazilian parish becomes first to take St. John Paul II’s name

Brasilia, Brazil, Apr 28, 2014 / 04:33 pm (CNA).- A small parish in the poor neighborhood of Alagados in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, has become the first in the world to be named after St. John Paul II, after the late pontiff’s canonization April 27.

Sara Gomes, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Salvador, told AFP that the “small church of Notre Dame of Alagados will now be called ‘Notre Dame of Alagados and of St. John Paul II.’ It is the first in the world to be named after the new saint.”

The official name change took place the morning of April 27 after Mass at the parish. Pope John Paul II was declared a saint alongside Pope John XXIII at a Vatican Mass earlier that day.

Archbishop Murilo Krieger signed a decree authorizing the new title for the parish, which was inaugurated in 1980 by John Paul II during the first of three trips he made to Brazil.

Capuchin Father Jorge Rocha recalled meeting St. John Paul II at the parish three decades ago.

“The saints live among us,” he told the Globo website. “The Church does not invent them, she recognizes what already exists.”

 

John Paul II’s ‘We Are to Imitate Saints, Rather Than Applaud Them’ Recalled at Mass of Thanksgiving

Two Masses of Thanksgiving have taken place this Monday morning in St. Peter’s Square for the two saints canonized Sunday by Pope Francis. Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of the Vatican basilica, celebrated a Mass to give thanks for the life and lengthy pontificate of Pope John Paul II. Thousands of mainly P…

Fathers of Holiness and (Divine) Mercy

By The Editors | Editorial on Sts. John Paul II and John XXIII | In 1981, when Pope John Paul II awoke in the intensive care unit, following life-saving surgery for gunshot wounds he sustained during an assassination attempt, he asked his secretary,…

Pope Francis: St. John Paul II was ‘the pope of the family’

by Patrick B. Craine ROME, April 27, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pope John Paul II was the “pope of the family” declared Pope Francis Sunday to great applause as he canonized the late pontiff along with Pope John XXIII before a packed congregation in St. Peter’s Square that overflowed across the streets…

John Paul II Impacts Youth Still Today

By CINDY BROVSKY | Pope John Paul II’s impact on a new generation of youth is evident as thousands of young people worldwide arrived in Rome in anticipation of his and Pope John XXIII’s canonization.
Youth waving their homeland flags and wearing…

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