Sunday, April 2, 2017

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One of the JPII generation pays tribute to the saintly pontiff

On, April 2, 2005, I was standing in St. Peter’s Square praying for our very frail Pope John Paul II.
Along with thousands of others, I had gathered to pray a Rosary led by a few cardinals. The prayers reverberating across the Square were a testimony from the throngs that had come to keep vigil, as we anticipated that our Papa was about to depart for his heavenly home.

He had a great love for the youth and his last words to us that evening were, “I have looked for you. Now you have come to me. And I thank you.”
We indeed had come to look for him, to say goodbye.
At 9:37 p.m. the light in his papal apartments went dark. The light that had always shined until the late hours of the night, had finally been extinguished.
The bells of St. Peter’s began to toll: 84 times for the years he had spent as a pilgrim on this earth. He had finally returned to “the Father’s house.”
Six days later I found myself looking across St. Peter’s again. The ocean of people stretched all the way down Via della Conciliazione and passed the Tiber. The people joyfully exclaimed, as their many signs read, Santo Subito! Sainthood Now!
St. John Paul II had already been canonized in millions of hearts around the world. His life had been proof that holiness was possible, even in our modern world.

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