On Sunday April 27, 2014, Pope Francis will canonize Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II. These popes have lead busy lives as the have written twenty-two encyclicals between the two of them.
They are men of God. They have lived as saints as they journeyed towards the Father.
Pope John Paul had an incredible relationship with the youth. This bond was visible to anyone who attended any of the World Youth Day’s. In his final message as the young people gathered with the many thousands who came to pray for him, he said, “I have sought you out. Now you have come to me. I thank you…”
He came to serve and when he died, we all were affected by the loss of this Great Pope.
Pope John XXIII became pope in 1958. His favourite title was “Servant of the Servants of God.” Pope John XXIIII initiated the Second Vatican Council. This is what the church needed, a breathe of fresh air and he was exactly that. Pope John XIII at bedtime would in a childlike manner put his trust in God and say, “I’ve done my best I could in your service this day, Oh Lord. I’m going to bed. It’s your church. Take care of it!”
Recognizing his frailty in 1961, in the same spirit as Pope John XIII, Pope John XXIII wrote a simple prayer regarding death, “O Jesus, here I am before you. You are suffering and dying for me, old as I am now and drawing near the end of my service and my life. Hold me closely, and near to your heart, letting mine beat with yours. I love to feel myself bound forever to you with a gold chain, woven of lovely, delicate links…”
Both popes died in the papal apartment surrounded by their closest brothers priests.
Each of them fell in love with the people and trusted God completely in their papacy. They have given us a very good example to follow, putting our confidence in Christ completely and to follow Christ to the very end.
Please stop and say a prayer for Saint John XXIII and Saint John Paul II.