It was May 1, the day that would be remembered not only in the whole Catholic Community but in the whole world as Pope John Paul II will now become BLESSED JOHN PAUL II. The Beatification was held during the Feast of Divine Mercy as all Catholics gathered in St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City. The biggest delegation came all the way from Poland, the birth land of the most-loved Pope. Karol Wojtyla, the Pope’s real name, served 26 years as Pope and has the second longest term in history. The ceremony was led by Pope Benedict XVI which started 4PM (Manila Time) and witnessed by millions in different countries around the world.
I gathered some facts about my beloved Pope that I want to share with you:
– He was born May 18, 1920 and died April 2, 2005. He’s 84.
– He attended a drama class during his childhood. There’s a thespian blood running through his veins eversince.
– At the age of 26, he was ordained to be a priest. One of youngest in history.
– He’s the only Pope from Poland.
– During his pontificate, Pope John Paul II made trips to 129 countries.
– He visited the Philippines twice, in 1981 and 1995
– There were a few times Pope John Paul II was assassinated. First was on May 1981, where a Turkish shot him and the Pope was severely wounded. The Pope personally visited the assassin in his prison and forgave him for what he did.
– He’s always been an advocate of the youth’s prosperity. He started the World Youth Day in 1984 and our country was one of the most fortunate that served as its ground in 1995.
I was in grade school then. I remember our school sent a delegation to join other youths from other provinces and countries. I was asked to join but I don’t know why I refused. 15 years later, I realize how I let a great chance of a lifetime slipped my hands. It’s not that I regret it but I could’ve been one of the luckiest Filipinos who experienced such a historical gathering. But looking at the future, I might have not gotten a chance to see my hero while he’s living, I know I’ll be able to see his relic and tomb up close in the next 3 years.
He’s such a good, kind hearted man. May his teachings live in the next 5, 10, 20 hundred, thousand of years. I’ll be forever be his follower.