Celebrating Blessed John Paul II’s 91st birthday

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Yesterday, May 18 would have been Pope John Paul II’s 91st birthday, and it seems the new blessed is working as hard from his new ‘headquarters’ as he ever did in the Apostolic Palace.

To celebrate the occasion, there are two news stories we would like to bring to your attention.

Maternal Protection

The first is about the mosaic of Our Lady that was prominent during his beatification ceremony, alongside the moving photograph of the smiling Pontiff.

Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, told how, since the assassination attempt made on the Holy Father in 1981, there had been a desire to show a symbol of Our Lady’s divine protection in the square.

“John Paul II, convinced that the Virgin Mary had protected him on that day, immediately expressed the desire that an image of the Madonna be placed in the square.”

December 8th 1981 saw John Paul II bless the new mosaic, its image taken from an ancient painting of the Madonna and child with a long history. It was housed in the old St. Peter’s Basilica, built in the 4th century by the Emperor Constantine, and is known as ‘Mary, Mother of the Church’.

You can read the whole story here.

Demons fear John Paul

The second story is about revelations by Rome’s diocesan exorcist, Fr. Gabriele Amorth, that demons are frightened by the name of John Paul II.

David Kerr reported that Fr. Amorth points to two aspects of the new blessed’s work which have infuriated the Devil.

“I have asked the demon more than once, ‘Why are you so scared of John Paul II and I have had two different responses, both interesting. One, ‘because he disrupted my plans.’ And, I think that he is referring to the fall of communism in Russia and Eastern Europe. The collapse of communism.”

“Another response that he gave me, ‘because he pulled so many young people from my hands.’ There are so many young people who, thanks to John Paul II, were converted. Perhaps some were already Christian but not practising, but then with John Paul II they came back to the practice. ‘He pulled so many young people out of my hands.’”

You can read the full story here.

Fr. Amorth also drew attention to the fact that people need to be reminded that the devil is real and is powerful – but clearly the man born on May 18th 1920 in Poland is another proof that the battle against the old adversary has been won, and we just have to pick the winning side.

Blessed John Paul II, pray for us.


Of related interest:

John Paul II: The Pope who Made History – A unique and monumental 5-DVD collection that chronologically follows Pope John Paul II’s life, including his childhood in Poland, his appointment as Pope, his most important foreign visits, and his last days.
John Paul II: His Life his Pontificate – his DVD contains two feature-length documentaries: His Life (30 mins) and His Pontificate (60 mins). They consider the two parts of John Paul’s life, before and after his election as Pope.
How Saints are Canonised – Through baptism, all Christians are called to be saints, and yet there are also ‘saints’ who are ‘canonised’ by the Church. This booklet gives an overview of the history and process of beatification and canonisation in the Catholic Church.

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