May 1st will see the beatification of Pope John Paul II. In celebration of this momentous event, the CTS has updated their biography of the beloved Polish Pope. We spoke to the author, Jim Gallagher, about what has been included in this new text.
“I am delighted that the Catholic Truth Society is issuing an updated version of our earlier biography of Papa Wojtyla,” he told us.
“In this expanded and updated edition, we have included the testimony of the French nun – a member of the Little Sisters of Catholic Motherhood – who was cured of Parkinson’s Disease after her superior told her to seek John Paul’s intercession.”
“There are also reflections from the Polish priest who promoted John Paul’s Cause for Beatification, the Postulator, Fr Slawomir Oder.
“He highlights key aspects of Karol Wojtyla’s life which illustrate his sanctity. And he points out that it is no accident that Pope Benedict will beatify his predecessor on Divine Mercy Sunday (the first Sunday after Easter), the feast which John Paul himself instituted, when he canonised Sister Faustina, the Polish sister who received divine messages about the mercy of God.
“This will be the first time in more than a thousand years that a pope has beatified his immediate predecessor!”
A fitting resting place
After the beatification in Rome, which is set to be a huge event, the former Pope’s mortal remains will be moved to a new chapel, for Gallagher, even this, shows what kind of man he was:
”For ease of access, his remains will be entombed in the first chapel after the one housing Michelangelo’s Pieta.”
“That chapel also happens to be right next to the basilica’s Blessed Sacrament chapel – where John Paul instituted ongoing daily exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
“Could there be a more fitting resting place? Laying in between the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar and the world’s most famous representation of the Madonna, in death as in life, Totus Tuus, Totally Thine!”
An extract – A genuine man of God
“And in the second half of the twentieth century, a time of growing utilitarianism and increasingly aggressive secularism, humanism, atheism, everyone – friend or foe – recognises that John Paul II was a great defender of the dignity of the human person; defender of the inalienable right to life, defender of the family, promoter of the Culture of Life.
He was fearless in his attempts to call the world to Reason, a work continued equally fearlessly by his successor, who prayed at his own inauguration that he would ‘not flee from the wolves’.
John Paul’s outreach to the young was successful because they recognised that he genuinely did love them, that he was a genuine man of God and true pastor.”
From John Paul II – The Road to Sainthood by Jim Gallagher
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