What led St. John Paul II to greatness? Was it because of his apostolic success, his impressive figure, or his untiring travels? Why is he so beloved by Catholics?
No doubt, all this is important, but it isn’t enough. John Paul the II has been recognized a saint for a different reason…
Now, allow us to answer with this entertaining animation, an original production by Catholic-Link!
The Life Of Pope John Paul II (Animated Video)
“Only in Christ can men and women find answers to the ultimate questions that trouble them. Only in Christ can they fully understand their dignity as persons created and loved by God. Jesus Christ is “the only Son from the Father…full of grace and truth.” —John Paul II. World Youth Day, 1993. Denver, Colorado.
Prepare to celebrate and honor the life of this modern-day Saint on his feast day, which is October 22nd. Saint John Paul II loved the outdoors especially hiking, canoeing and skiing. A wonderful way to celebrate his life would be to get out and experience the beauty of the world God created for us. Put down your cell phone and turn off the television as a way to show your regard for this great Saint. Go to daily Mass or read some of the insightful reflections that Saint JP II has left us with as a way of showing your devotion to this holy man of God.
He is living proof that saints can change the world! If we decide to accept Christ into our lives and live out his teachings in a radical way, we too can be a light to others as Saint John Paul II has been with us!
The Wisdom Of St. John Paul II
On family life
“To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others and share their burdens.” – From his homily at a Mass in Washington DC (October, 1979).
On the meaning of true holiness
“True holiness does not mean a flight from the world; rather, it lies in the effort to incarnate the Gospel in everyday life, in the family, at school and at work, and in social and political involvement. – From his message to participants in the Seventh International Meeting of the Catholic Fraternity of Covenant Communities and Fellowships (November, 1996).
On society’s role in upholding life
“The first and most fundamental of all human rights is the right to life, and when this right is denied all other rights are threatened … A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members; and among the most vulnerable are surely the unborn and the dying.” – From the address to the new ambassador of New Zealand to the Holy See (May, 2000).
On choosing God over worldly pleasures
“Faced with problems and disappointments, many people will try to escape from their responsibility: escape in selfishness, escape in sexual pleasure, escape in drugs, escape in violence, escape in indifference and cynical attitudes. But today, I propose to you the option of love, which is the opposite of escape. If you really accept that love from Christ, it will lead you to God.” – From a homily given in Boston (October, 1979).
On God as the author of life
“Man’s life comes from God; it is his gift, his image and imprint, a sharing in his breath of life. God therefore is the sole Lord of this life: man cannot do with it as he wills.” – From Evangelium Vitae (March, 1995).
On living life in Christ
“We do not pretend that life is all beauty. We are aware of darkness and sin, of poverty and pain. But we know Jesus has conquered sin and passed through his own pain to the glory of the Resurrection. And we live in the light of his Paschal Mystery – the mystery of his Death and Resurrection. We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!” – From an Angelus address in Adelaide, Australia, during JPII’s apostolic journey to the Far East and Oceania (November, 1986).
I greet you all most cordially,
women throughout the world!
Taking up the themes I addressed in that document, I would now like to speak directly to every woman, to reflect with her on the problems and the prospects of what it means to be a woman in our time. In particular I wish to consider the essential issue of the dignity and rights of women, as seen in the light of the word of God.
This “dialogue” really needs to begin with a word of thanks. As I wrote in my Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem, the Church “desires to give thanks to the Most Holy Trinity for the ‘mystery of woman’ and for every woman-for all that constitutes the eternal measure of her feminine dignity, for the ‘great works of God’, which throughout human history have been accomplished in and through her” (No. 31).– St. John Paul II
Jesus, Son of God,
in whom the fullness of the Divinity dwells,
You call all the baptized to ” put out into the deep”,
taking the path that leads to holiness.
Waken in the hearts of young people the desire
to be witnesses in the world of today
to the power of your love.
Fill them with your Spirit of fortitude and prudence,
so that they may be able to discover the full truth
about themselves and their own vocation.
The divine breath of the Creator Spirit reaches out to human genius and stirs its creative power. He touches it with a kind of inner illumination which brings together the sense of the good and the beautiful, and he awakens energies of mind and heart which enable it to conceive an idea and give it form in a work of art.”
Lord God, from you every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.
Father, you are Love and Life.
Through your Son, Jesus Christ, born of woman, and through the Holy Spirit, fountain of divine charity, grant that every family on earth may become for each successive generation a true shrine of life and love.
Grant that your grace may guide the thoughts and actions of husbands and wives for the good of their families and of all the families in the world.
Suffering, in fact, is always a trial—at times a very hard one—to which humanity is subjected. The gospel paradox of weakness and strength often speaks to us from the pages of the Letters of Saint Paul, a paradox particularly experienced by the Apostle himself and together with him experienced by all who share Christ’s sufferings. Paul writes in the Second Letter to the Corinthians: “I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me”(72). In the Second Letter to Timothy we read: “And therefore I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed”(73). And in the Letter to the Philippians he will even say: “I can do all things in him who strengthens me”(74).
Those who share in Christ’s sufferings have before their eyes the Paschal Mystery of the Cross and Resurrection, in which Christ descends, in a first phase, to the ultimate limits of human weakness and impotence: indeed, he dies nailed to the Cross. But if at the same time in this weakness there is accomplished his lifting up, confirmed by the power of the Resurrection, then this means that the weaknesses of all human sufferings are capable of being infused with the same power of God manifested in Christ’s Cross. In such a concept, to suffer means to become particularly susceptible, particularly open to the working of the salvific powers of God, offered to humanity in Christ. In him God has confirmed his desire to act especially through suffering, which is man’s weakness and emptying of self, and he wishes to make his power known precisely in this weakness and emptying of self. This also explains the exhortation in the First Letter of Peter: “Yet if one suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but under that name let him glorify God”(75).– St. John Paul II