In Loving Memory of His Holiness, John Paul II

His Holiness John Paul II died in Rome in his apartment at 9:37pm April 2, 2005. Born in May of 1920 he was 84 years old at the time of his death. Known for his love of the people, he gave all he had for the sake of the faithful and lost souls. His final word before he died was, "Amen." Personally for me, I will always remember him as a major driving force for human right and the fight against Communism. The world has lost a true hero. Please keep John Paul in your daily prayers.

About John Paul

John Paul was born in Wadowice, Poland, where later he moved to Krakow begining his journey in the priesthood. Five years after his birth, Helena Kowalska from Glogowiec, Poland applied for the second time to the "Congregation of The Sister's of Our Lady of Charity" On August 1, 1925. This time she was accepted. She was nearly 20 at this time. After completion of her postulancy she received her veil, and on April 30, 1926 she received her habit and her name in religion. From now on Helena would bear the name of Sister Mary Faustina.

Sister Faustina began to have a number of religious experiences far from what one might consider the norm. Having mentioned these unusual occurrences to her spiritual advisors, ( Rev. M. Sopocko and Fr. J. Andrasz, S.J.) Sister was instructed to keep a diary of these events. In the coming years Mary Faustina would receive many visitations from Heavenly Hosts. During some of these visitations Sister Faustina was instructed by Jesus for a devotional painting which today we call the "Image of Divine Mercy". Sister was also instructed with rosaries prayers known as the "Chaplet of Divine Mercy".

An artist was hired to work with Faustina to paint the image. Though Faustina was never really happy with the image the final painting was considered finished. For a time this devotional was widely accepted. During this time is when John Paul heard of Sister Faustina and he believed in this attentiveness. Sad to say the Pope at that time did not believe in the Chaplet or the image of Divine Mercy and thus they were removed.

When John Paul became Pope he renewed interest in the Divine Mercy image and Chaplet. The diaries of Sister Faustina were published in Polish and later published in English in 1987. To read "Divine Mercy In My Soul" is an undertaking, it totals 697 pages. However, it is one of the most moving and inspirational books I have ever read.

On March 10, 2000 the Vatican announced that Polish nun, Sister Maria Faustina Kowalska would be canonized on April 30, 2000. The canonization took place as stated at, St. Peter's in Rome. The event also was joyously held at the National Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge, MA. USA. Our beloved Pope, John Paul announced during the canonization in Rome that from now on the second Sunday of Easter is declared Mercy Sunday. On the evening of April 2, 2005 John Paul was near death. The next day was Divine Mercy Sunday. The usual vespers for the preparations of the "Divine Mercy" had started when John Paul passed away at 9:37, Rome time. There is no question that one of the greatest missions of John Paul was to bring back this awesome devotion. It is therefore fitting that he should pass away during the vespers in preparation of Divine Mercy Sunday. It is also fitting to note that his Holiness died in the year of the "Holy Eucharist."

On April 2, 2005 rumors started circulating that Medjugorje visionary Ivan saw John Paul during his apparition of Our Lady. Medjugorje USA confirmed this unofficial report through our Medjugorje sources. Medjugorje sources tell us that Ivan was recommending intentions to Our Lady when John Paul appeared on her left. He was smiling, young and very happy. He was dressed all in white with a long gold cape. Our Lady said to Ivan: "This is my son; he is with me."

Facts About John Paul

John Paul was the 264th Pope. He was the 3rd longest serving Pope in the history of the Church. As Pontiff, he served 26 years, 5 months and 17 days. He was instrumental to the fall of Anti-Semitism and Communism in Europe. He suffered with a crippled hip and Parkinson's disease.

Below are some thoughts about John Paul from Father Paco from Massachusetts.

Let us pray for a saint of our time,

a holy man that kept the light of Christ burning brightly in our midst.

Let us pray for the Catholic Church as well, that we may find mercy, healing and hope, as we move forward preaching the Good News of Jesus, the risen Lord; the Gospel of Life.

We will remember his legacy forever,

We keep his love in our hearts, his teachings in our minds, his zeal in our souls....

"Come Holy Spirit, enkindle in us the fire of your love!"

Father Paco

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