This week we marked the 12th Anniversary of the passing of Pope St. John Paul II. This beloved Pope traveled the world several times over and was seen by more people than anyone in history. In his honor we thought it would be fun to remember some of the moments when he totally did the ‘Pope thing’ like a boss.
That Time He Went Skiing and Didn’t Tell Anyone
John Paul II was an avid sportsman and he occasionally had it arranged so he could sneak away for a ski trip. According to those closest to him, even on his trips he would stop for times of prayer. Then he would be back on the slopes!
That Time He Wore Feathers…And Owned It
John Paul II understood the importance of culture. He knew that by showing a respect and understanding for the many cultures he encountered, he was demonstrating that the Church carries Christ, not the culture of any particular race. (Also, photos like this just endeared him to us all even more.)
When He Vested for Mass…in a TeePee
What did we just say about entering into different cultures to bring Christ?
When He Looked Completely Comfortable in a Hard Hat
Not everyone can totally rock a Knights of Columbus hard hat, but when you do, you’re probably JPII.
That Time He Lovingly Scolded a Dissident Priest…In Public
Instead of allowing Fr. Ernesto Cardenal, who was part of the Sandinista Government and a champion of Liberation Theology, to make a political statement and use the Papal Pilgrimage to Nicaragua as a tool to advance this heresy, John Paul II stopped and paused to offer some stern fraternal correction, in public, to this wayward son. This adds JPII to the pantheon of Saints who had a thing or two to say to the heretics of their time! (At least he didn’t throw a punch!)
When He Came to St. Louis and Reminded us That he Used to be An Athlete
The Holy Father received these gifts from excited young Americans when he came to St. Louis. He seemed just as excited as they were! (And we have it on good authority that they forgave him for gripping the hockey stick wrong as he swung it around!)
That Time a Little Spider Man Hugged Him
It was no secret that John Paul II loved children. He understood that they are the future of the Church and that their innocence and faith are how we should relate to God the Father. In his travels JPII often took extra time to pay attention to children, and children seemed to be just as enamored with him as he was with them!
Holding a Koala
John Paul II holding a koala….there is truly nothing more to say. (Except “awwww!”)
Forgiving the Man Who Tried to Kill Him
This is epic forgiveness. To meet with, pray with, and then offer forgiveness to the man who wanted you dead and almost succeeded….you don’t get more bosslike – or Catholic – than this.
When He Sported This Look…And Made it Work
He may not have ever been fashion conscious, but somehow this slightly disheveled, high socks and white hat look works. (Especially for a hike in the mountains!)
When He Showed Us Christ
Jon Paul II was a priest. he considered this his first and most important vocation. He was the world’s pastor and we never loved him more than when he was giving us Jesus – by his witness, his life, his writing, his humor, and in the Eucharist.
“It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your heart your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle.
“It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be grounded down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.” (Pope St. John Paul II, World Youth Day – Rome, August 19, 2000)
St. John Paul II, we STILL love you.
Pray for us!