Showing posts with label Pope John Paul II. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pope John Paul II. Show all posts

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Pope declares John XXIII and John Paul II as saints of the Universal Church

News story from

It's official. Pope Francis has declared John XXIII and John Paul II as saints of the Catholic Church.

Before a crowded square, Card. Angelo Amato presented the decree to elevate the two Popes to the altars. Pope Francis gave his approval through a brief proclamation. 

Afterwards, family members of John XXIII and the woman cured by John Paul II presented the relics of each Pope respectively. 


For the honor of the Blessed Trinity, the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the increase of the Christian life, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and our own, after due deliberation and frequent prayer for divine assistance, and having sought the counsel of many of our brother bishops, we declare and define Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II be saints and we enroll them among the saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole church. In the name of the Holy Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Divine Mercy Sunday at Saint Mary's Church

Photo by Loci B. Lenar

Saint Mary's Catholic Church

St. Mary's Council of Catholic Women invites all parishioners and visitors to join them on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 27, 2014, at 3:00 PM.

Pope John Paul II said that the Divine Mercy portrays the Risen Jesus Christ bringing Mercy to the whole world. Our Lord said to Saint Faustina, "I want the image to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know." St. Mary's will say the Divine Mercy prayers and there will be exposition of the most Blessed Sacrament and close with Benediction.

St. Mary's Catholic Church is located on the corner of Myers Avenue and Route 46, Denville, New Jersey.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

ROME REPORTS releases a special program about John Paul II's miracle

News from

There's a miracle behind this face. On April 8th 2011, Floribeth Mora woke up with a headache so strong she had to be taken to the emergency room.

“I was hospitalized. They told me I had a brain hemorrhage.” 

The doctors didn't have good news for Floribeth's husband. They told him her days were limited. But that was before John Paul II came into the picture. Now, in a special program produced by ROME REPORTS, they share the human drama they went through and the unexpected outcome of their story. A heartwarming and emotional story that saved her life and paved the way towards John Paul II's canonization.  

EDWIN ARCE, Floribeth's husband
“I try not to remember those difficult moments because they were filled with pain.” 

“Then, I suddenly hear a voice in my room that tells me: 'Rise.' I got up and went into the kitchen, where my husband asked me what I was doing. I told him: 'I feel fine.'” 

Now, TV channels from around the world will be able to air the emotional story of John Paul II's miracle narrated by those who were directly affected. 

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Costa Rican woman claims that the late Pope John Paul II cured her of a fatal brain aneurysm

Associated Press

News excerpt from DailyMail Online

Pope John Paul II has finally approved for Sainthood thanks to a Costa Rican woman who claims the late Pope cured her fatal brain aneurysm.

Floribeth Mora, now 50, made a miraculous recovery from a potentially deadly aneurysm in her cerebral artery two years ago, after John Paul II spoke to her, she claims.

Mora's recovery, which her doctor attests there is no scientific basis for, was finally recognized by the Vatican as a valid second miracle for the late Pope's sainthood.

Mora was diagnosed with a swelling in her brain in April 2011, she told reporters at Roman Catholic Church's headquarters in San Jose.

Though originally thought to be a severe migraine, after three days of pain, Mora returned to the hospital, where a series of tests revealed an aneurysm on the right side of her brain that had begun to hemorrhage.

Read More: Pope John Paul II Miracle

Friday, July 05, 2013

It's Official. Pope Francis to canonize John Paul II and John XXIII

News excerpt from Rome

Pope Francis has cleared John Paul II for sainthood. On Friday morning, he signed a decree that attributes a miracle to the intercession of the late Polish Pope. This gives the green light for the Polish Pope to be declared a saint of the Catholic Church.

The Pope also approved the canonization of Blessed John XXIII, who is remembered for calling the Second Vatican Council. A special consistory has been called by the Pope, to set a date for his canonization, even without the required miracle.

Vatican Spokesperson

“The road is open for the canonization of John XXIII, but a decree on a miracle has not yet been approved by the Pope. The Vatican's Causes for Saints has presented the situation to the Pope, so that a canonization can take place even without the second miracle.”
A decree approving a miracle by Alvaro del Portillo, former prelate of Opus Dei, has also been approved, paving the way towards his future beatification.

The Pope also approved additional beatifications and over 40 martyrs who will be recognized for their heroic virtues.


MIRACLES, attributable to the intercession of:
-Blessed John Paul II, Polish (ne Karol Josef Wojtyla), Supreme Pontiff, (1920-2005);

-Venerable Servant of God Alvaro del Portillo y Diez de Sollano, Spanish, bishop and prelate of the personal prelature of Santa Cruz and Opus Dei, (1914-1994);

-Venerable Servant of God Esperanza de Jesus (nee Maria Josefa Alhama Valera), Spanish, foundress of the Congregations of the Handmaids of Merciful Love and the Sons of Merciful Love, (1893-1983).

-Servant of God Jose Guardiet y Pujol, Spanish, diocesan priest; born in 1879 and killed in hatred of the faith in Spain on 3 August 1936;

-Servant of God Mauricio Iniguez de Heredia, Spanish, and 23 companions from the Order of Hospitallers of St John of God, killed in hatred of the faith in Spain between 1936 and 1937;

-Servant of God Fortunato Velasco Tobar, Spanish, and 13 companions from the Congregation of the Mission, killed in hatred of the faith in Spain between 1934 and 1936;

-Servant of God Maria Asuncion (nee Juliana Gonzalez Trujillano) and 2 companions, Spanish, professed nuns of the Congregation of Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood, killed in hatred of the faith in Spain in 1936.

-Servant of God Nicola D'Onofrio, Italian, professed priest of the Order of the Clerks Regular Ministers to the Sick (Camillians), (1943-1964);

-Servant of God Bernard Philippe, French (ne Jean Fromental Cayroche), professed monk of the Institute of Christian Schools, founder of the Hermanas Guadalupanas de La Salle, (1895-1978);

-Servant of God Maria Isabel da Santissima Trinidade, Portuguese, (nee Maria Isabel Picao Caldeira viuda de Carneiro), foundress of the Congregation of Conceptionist Nuns, (1889-1962).

-Servant of God Maria del Carmen Rendiles Martinez, Venezuelan, foundress of the Servants of Jesus, Venezuala, (1903-1977);

-Servant of God Giuseppe Lazzati, Italian, consecrated layperson, (1909-1986).

Finally, the Holy Father approved the votes in favour the canonisation of Blessed John XXIII (Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli) from the Ordinary Session of the Cardinal Fathers and bishops, and decided that a consistory would be convoked, to consider also the canonisation of Blessed John Paul II (Karol Jozef Wojtyla).

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Vatican sources say second miracle approved for John Paul II

The following excerpt is from Gazzetta Del Sud

Vatican City - The process of declaring former pope John Paul II a saint took a major step forward Tuesday, when the board of theologians of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints approved his second miracle. Now, the proclamation of his sainthood needs only the approval of the commission of cardinals and bishops and the final signature of Pope Francis, Vatican sources have told ANSA.    

The first miracle attribute to John Paul was an "inexplicable cure" - the first of two steps on the path to sainthood. The pontiff's successor Pope Benedict XVI, who abdicated earlier this year, sanctioned the beatification after a Vatican commission officially attributed as a miracle the inexplicable recovery of a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, from Parkinson's Disease. The Vatican ruled that that came through the intervention of John Paul II. The second miracle that will be attributed to him remains a closely guarded secret but sources say it will "amaze the world". The Catholic Church has been keenly awaiting the canonization of the charismatic John Paul II, one of the most popular popes in history, since he died in 2005 aged 84.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Vatican doctors approve the miracle to make Wojtyla a saint

Excerpt from the Vatican Insider

By Andrea Tornielli - Vatican City

"A saint now!" The canonisation of Wojtyla is getting closer quickly and it could be celebrated next October. In fact, in the past few days, the medical council of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints has recognized as inexplicable one healing attributed to the blessed John Paul II. A supposed "miracle" that, if it is also approved by theologians and the cardinals (as it is very likely), will bring the Polish Pope, who died in 2005, the halo of sainthood in record time, just eight years after his death.

Read More: Blessed John Paul II

Friday, February 15, 2013

Wojtyla for saint: A miracle has been presented to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints

The following excerpt is from the Vatican Insider:


There is a presumed miracle that has been attributed to the intercession of John Paul II. The Postulator of the Cause, Mgr. Slawomir Oder presented this inexplicable case of healing to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints headed by Cardinal Angelo Amato, a month ago. The dossier is now in the hands of the medical commission. It all took place in the utmost secrecy and confidentiality. But Amato himself and the Archbishop of Cracow, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz - who had been Pope Wojtyla’s personal secretary and a big promoter of his canonization – had already discussed this three weeks ago. The Polish pope’s “inner circle” therefore hoped Wojtyla would receive the title of Saint by 2013.

A reliable source has confirmed to Vatican Insider that a step forward has been made, even if the alleged healing has not yet been examined by the Congregation’s medical commission, headed by Dr. Patrizio Polisca, Benedict XVI’s personal doctor. As is known, in order for a beatification to take place, the Catholic Church needs to guarantee and recognise a miracle attributed to the intercession of the candidate for sainthood and this miracle needs to have occurred after the death of the person who performed it. A second miracle needs to be confirmed in order to move up a step from beatification to canonization, an act proclaimed by the Pope, which implies infallibility and makes the worship of a saint universal. The second miracle must have been performed after the individual’s beatification. In the case of Wojtyla, it took place after the ceremony on 1 May 2011 in the presence of a huge crowd.

It is now up to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to assess the case and decide whether the case presented has the necessary attributes for the medical commission – composed of various specialists called to give their thoughts on the scientific inexplicability of the healing - to approve it.

Wojtyla was beatified for having healed a French nun, Sister Simon Pierre, who worked in a hospital’s maternity ward, from Parkinson’s disease. She had the same syndrome as John Paul II. The sisters prayed for the Pope when he passed away. And Sister Marie Simon Pierre was suddenly cured. The procedure for the recognition of this case of healing was not at all easy because it is difficult to give a precise diagnosis of certain neurological illnesses. Not all the doctors consulted gave their approval even though the Congregation’s final assessment was positive.

Read More: Pope John Paul II

Friday, March 09, 2012

Pope John Paul II Destined for Sainthood

Pope John Paul II 

Former pope destined for sainthood

The following excerpt is from

A second miracle attributed to the late pope John Paul II has been reported and he could be made a saint soon, Italy's Panorama weekly said on Thursday, citing documents sent to the Vatican.

The miraculous healing occurred just weeks after John Paul II's beatification on May 1 last year, which put him on the path to sainthood just six years after his death and was attended by over a million people.

The first miracle attributed to the late pope was the healing of a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, who recovered from Parkinson's disease.

To be officially certified as a miracle by the Catholic Church, healings have to be instantaneous, irreversible and without scientific explanation.

The second miracle, about which no details were reported, was chosen from among four reported miracles and documented by the promoter of Karol Wojtyla's canonization, Bishop Slowomir Oder, Panorama said.

The magazine said the case was being studied by experts from the Congregation for the Cause of Saints and, if it occurred, could lead to the canonization of the late pope within the next 12 months.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Prayers to Our Lady of Lourdes

Our Lady of Lourdes by Stephen B. Whatley

Intercessory Prayers to Our Lady of Lourdes

Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes

Oh ever immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Health of the Sick, Refuge of Sinners, Comfortess of the Afflicted, you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings. Look upon me with mercy. When you appeared in the grotto of Lourdes, you made it a privileged sanctuary where you dispense your favors, and where many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. My loving Mother, obtain my request. I will try to imitate your virtues so that I may one day share your company and bless you in eternity. Amen.


Hail Mary, poor and humble Woman, Blessed by the Most High! Virgin of hope, dawn of a new era, We join in your song of praise, to celebrate the Lord’s mercy, to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom and the full liberation of humanity.

Hail Mary, lowly handmaid of the Lord, Glorious Mother of Christ! Faithful Virgin, holy dwelling-place of the Word, Teach us to persevere in listening to the Word, and to be docile to the voice of the Spirit, attentive to his promptings in the depths of our conscience and to his manifestations in the events of history.

Hail Mary, Woman of sorrows, Mother of the living! Virgin spouse beneath the Cross, the new Eve, Be our guide along the paths of the world. Teach us to experience and to spread the love of Christ, to stand with you before the innumerable crosses on which your Son is still crucified.

Hail Mary, woman of faith, First of the disciples! Virgin Mother of the Church, help us always to account for the hope that is in us, with trust in human goodness and the Father’s love. Teach us to build up the world beginning from within: in the depths of silence and prayer, in the joy of fraternal love, in the unique fruitfulness of the Cross.

Holy Mary, Mother of believers, Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

Regarding the painting of Our Lady of Lourdes, artist Stephen B. Whatley writes, "It was cloudy and gray in London on February 11, 2011 as I prayed in preparation to paint this tribute from my heart and soul - but just as I began, the sun broke through the clouds: my prayers were for healing for all those I know who are sick and suffering. I hope viewers will be blessed with peace, hope and healing, through faith, by seeing this painting" 

In need of prayer?  Send requests to

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Catholic Church studying possible miracle of John Paul II in Yucatan, Mexico

Catholic Church studying possible miracle of John Paul II in Yucatan, Mexico

The following news story from is regarding a miracle attributed to Blessed John Paul II:

( - In the coming days, an official study will look at an alleged miracle obtained through the intercession of the Blessed John Paul II in the state of Yucatan, Mexico.

The case is the healing of this woman, Sara Guadalupe Fuentes García. She was suddenly cured of a tumor that blocked 80% of her throat and required emergency surgery.

It was during the recent visit of John Paul II relics to Mexico. The woman says that she had placed a picture of the pope on her chest and throat to ask for healing.

The bishop of Yucatan will investigate the case. If confirmed, it could become the miracle to be submitted to the pope to declare the Blessed John Paul II as a saint.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Mass of thanksgiving for beatification of Pope Blessed John Paul II

YouTube - Mass of Thanksgiving for Beatification of Pope Blessed John Paul II

The following excerpt is from Catholic Online:

VATICAN CITY, (VIS) - At 10:30 Monday morning in St. Peter's Square, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., secretary of state, presided over the thanksgiving Mass for the beatification of Pope John Paul II. The liturgical texts were those of the new Blessed.

The celebration included music performed by the Choir of the Diocese of Rome, with the participation of Warsaw's Polish Union of Choirs and the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra of Katowice. Preparation for the holy rite began at 9:30am with the reading of poems by Blessed John Paul II in alternation with pieces performed by the orchestra and choir. Before Holy Mass, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow, addressed those present.

"The dialogue of love between Christ and the human person characterized the entire life of Karol Wojtyla ...", Cardinal Bertone said in his homily. "We all recall how, on the day of his funeral, during the ceremony there was a moment when the wind shut the book of the Gospels placed on the coffin. It was as if the wind of the Spirit wanted to signal the end of the spiritual and human existence of Karol Wojtyla, illumined by the Gospel of Christ. With this Book he discovered God's plan for humanity and for himself, but he also learned of Christ, His face and His love, which was always a call to responsibility for Karol".

"He was a man of faith, a man of God," the cardinal emphasized. "His life was a constant prayer that lovingly embraced all who inhabit our planet, created in the image and likeness of God, and therefore worthy of the greatest respect; redeemed by Christ's death and resurrection the human person is therefore truly become the living glory of God. Thanks to the faith that he expressed, above all, in prayer, John Paul II was a true defender of the dignity of every human person and not a mere activist for political or social ideologies".
Read More: Pope John Paul II

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Woman says Pope John Paul II behind miracle cure

Statue of Pope John Paul II
Photo by Loci B. Lenar

Lockport woman says Pope John Paul II behind miracle cure - Herald News

The following excerpt is from the Herald News:

LOCKPORT, IL — Mary Kern says a miracle cured her of eyelid spasms that could have caused blindness.

That miracle, she says, came in 2009 after her prayers to the late Pope John Paul II that asked him to intercede on her behalf before God.

Now the Lockport woman is petitioning the Vatican to have her miracle recognized as a grounds to elevate John Paul to sainthood.

This Sunday, John Paul will be beatified based upon a miracle reported in France. That brings the former pontiff one step closer to sainthood.

A second confirmed miracle — and Kern is hoping it is hers — would make John Paul eligible for full sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church.

Kern prays to God every day. She had a strong prayer life before her illness struck in 2006. In 2008, she began to pray particularly for healing. And since her healing in 2009, she has prayed every day in gratitude.

“I had a good prayer life before this, but this has made me more aware of miracles in life, miracles in other people’s lives that they take for granted,” Kern said. “It makes me more aware of the goodness of God, of the greatness of God, and that he does answer prayers — not always in the way we want them, but he does answer prayers.”

Read more: Mary Kern

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Sister Marie Simon-Pierre to Speak at Beatification of Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II
Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

The Canadian Press: 'Miracle nun,' John Paul II aides to be protagonists in beatification ceremony

The following excerpt is by Nicole Winfield of The Associated Press:

VATICAN CITY — A French nun whose inexplicable cure from Parkinson's disease was the miracle needed to beatify Pope John Paul II will have a starring role in the Vatican's three-day, around-the-clock beatification extravaganza, officials said Tuesday.

Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, as well as John Paul's closest aide, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, and longtime spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls, will all speak about their experiences with the beloved pope at a prayer vigil at Rome's Circus Maximus on the eve of the May 1 beatification.

The Vatican on Tuesday released details about the ceremonies, which are expected to draw some 300,000 people to the Eternal City on charter trains, planes and boats. Tent cities are being planned at two locations outside the city in case hotel rooms become scarce.

Eight churches in Rome's historic centre will remain open all night from April 30 to May 1 for a "white night" of prayer reminiscent of the all-night cultural events that Rome and many other cities organize, said Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the pope's vicar for the diocese of Rome which is organizing many of the events.

St. Peter's Basilica itself is expected to keep its doors open well into the night of May 1 to accommodate the faithful who want to pray before John Paul's tomb, which will be moved upstairs from the grottoes underneath the basilica for the occasion.

Shortly after John Paul died, Sister Simon-Pierre says she experienced an inexplicable cure of her Parkinson's disease. Benedict earlier this year confirmed that her healing was indeed miraculous, setting the stage for the beatification.

Beatification is the last major step before possible sainthood, and means John Paul can be publicly venerated. No feast day has yet been set, Lombardi said.

Read more: Beatification of Pope John Paul II

Monday, January 17, 2011

Nun tells of healing after intercessory prayers to Pope John Paul II

Nun tells of healing after praying to John Paul II -

The following excerpt is from

AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France – A French nun says she felt new inner strength and vitality as her Parkinson's disease suddenly disappeared in 2005 — a recovery the Vatican attributes to the miraculous intercession of Pope John Paul II.

Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, who works at a Paris maternity clinic, told reporters in a rare appearance Monday that she felt "reborn" on waking June 3, 2005 after she had prayed for healing to John Paul.

"There was a new strength inside me, and my body was rediscovering its vitality and fluidity," Simon-Pierre, appearing in good health, told reporters in the southern French city of Aix-en-Provence.

The 49-year-old nun — who has largely been shielded from the media — said she still sometimes talks to John Paul.

"For this news conference, I told him to stay right beside me!" said Simon-Pierre, who appeared smiling and wearing a white habit at the news conference.

Pope Benedict XVI has set May 1 as the date for his predecessor's beatification, a step toward possible sainthood.

Church authorities have studied Simon-Pierre's cure and determined it was inexplicable and due to the intercession of John Paul, who also suffered from Parkinson's. Benedict approved the miracle last week, paving the way for the beatification.

Simon-Pierre's healing came about two months after John Paul's death on April 2, 2005, at age 84. Soon before her mysterious recovery, she had asked to stop working, saying she was "ready to finish out her days in a wheelchair," her former mother superior recalled.

"When she came to ask me to replace her, I noticed that she was very worn out. I told her to wait. I told her that John Paul II hadn't had his last word on the subject," Sister Marie-Thomas recalled.

Read More: Nun Tells of Healing

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Pope John Paul II's beatification Approved for May 1, 2011

John Paul II's beatification approved for May 1, Divine Mercy Sunday : Catholic News Agency (CNA)

The photograph and following excerpt is from the Catholic News Agency:

Vatican City, Jan 14, 2011 (CNA/EWTN News).- The much-anticipated beatification of Pope John Paul II will take place on May 1, the Sunday after Easter, the Vatican announced.

The healing of a French nun with Parkinson's disease is to go down in history as the miracle that made John Paul II a "blessed." The title is given to martyrs and other Christians to whom a miracle has been officially attributed, thus bringing them one step closer to sainthood.

Pope Benedict XVI approved the decree for the beatification of his predecessor during a Jan. 14 audience with the head of the Vatican department for saints' causes, Cardinal Angelo Amato.

John Paul II's cause arrived in the current's Pope's hands for approval after doctors studied the miraculous healing of Sister Marie Simon Pierre Normand and concluded it was "scientifically unexplainable." Following approval from theologians and Church officials, Pope Benedict promulgated the decree with his signature.

The atmosphere was electric at noon in the the Holy See's Press Office with journalists from all over the world expecting news of the beatification decree.

During the rather cheerful press briefing, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi explained some of the details of the process and revealed preliminary plans for the ceremony.

In what some have called "record time," the Pope's cause was seemingly expedited through the trials to prove his sainthood. Fr. Lombardi admitted that the cause for the Pope was "facilitated" because of his "great fame of sanctity."

At Pope Benedict's bidding, norms stipulating that saints' causes begin five years after the individual's death were waived. His cause, as those of others Popes and special cases, also leapfrogged others in what is usually a "first in, first examined" process.

This being the case, no corners were cut, the Vatican spokesman assured. He insisted that "each of the legislative steps of the inquiry have been fulfilled, they have been taken with care. They have not been facilitated, rather the cause has proceeded with great attention and fidelity."

Pope John Paul II’s cause is extraordinary in the history of the Church both for the speed with which it was advanced to beatification and because it will be his immediate successor to preside over the ceremony.

The Pope's cause was brought to beatification in just over five years, rivaling that of his good friend Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta for its speed.

His beatification will be celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square on May 1, the first Sunday after Easter.

As Fr. Lombardi explained, the choice is full of significance for the late-Pope, who died just a day before the celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday in 2005. That year, it fell on April 3.

The date changes from year-to-year, but is always the first Sunday after Easter.

"For those who followed John Paul II's pontificate, it is a special Sunday," said Fr. Lombardi.

It is a "fundamental date in his life and his encounter with the Lord," the Vatican spokesman said. He explained that it is the day the Church celebrates the apparition of Jesus to the disciples in the upper room and the institution of Confession.

The day was particularly important to the late-pontiff because it was the day in 2000 that he celebrated the canonization of St. Faustina Kowalska and declared that the Sunday after Easter should henceforth be known as "Divine Mercy Sunday."

Sister Faustina, known for promoting the Divine Mercy chaplet, which is prayed using a rosary, said that all who go to Confession and receive the Eucharist at Mass the Sunday after Easter will be given full remission of their sins.

Divine Mercy is "absolutely fundamental" to the pontificate of John Paul II.

"It's precisely the vision, we could say, of the pontificate of John Paul II that has this theme of the Divine Mercy," Fr. Lombardi said.

The staff at St. Peter's Basilica is already preparing for what is sure to be a grand occasion, drawing pilgrims from all over the globe. Workers are already cleaning the mosaics in the Chapel of St. Stephen, just next to Michelangelo's Pietà, where the soon-to-be "blessed's" body will lie.

John Paul II's body will be taken from the crypt below and set below the chapel's altar.

Because the process came about so quickly after his death, Fr. Lombardi said that the body will not be exhumed for examination.

Read More: Pope John Paul II

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel - East Hanover, NJ

Mosaic of Pope John Paul II and Our Lady of the Rosary
Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

By Loci B. Lenar

On Easter Sunday, Christians celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the Catholic calendar, the Easter Season begins with the celebration of the Easter Vigil and ends 50 days later on Pentecost Sunday. It’s also an appropriate time to remember our loved ones who have passed away.

During the Easter season, I decided to visit the Gate of Heaven. Both my parents are desceased and were laid to rest more than 20 years ago in the Catholic cemetery, which is located on 225 Ridgedale Avenue in East Hanover, NJ.  In our family, my father and mother are the only two that are buried in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery.

This year was more difficult than before, because my brother, Frank, passed away on April 9 from his battle with cancer.

Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel
Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

During my visit, I went into Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel, which can be found inside the mausoleum. The chapel has a new beautiful mosaic of Pope John Paul II and Our Lady of the Rosary. The image is magnificent to say the least. The chapel also has a display of the Stations of the Cross and pays respect to all who have passed away.

I lit an electric votive candle and prayed to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to Our Lady for the souls of my parents and brother. I also remembered through prayer, my nephew, Lance, and my brother-in-law, Joe, both who have passed away as well. I also prayed for members on my wife's side of the family and for the souls of the departed.

Mosaic of Jesus Christ
Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

In Revelation 21:1-7, God reminds us of the following scripture: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Look! God's dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children."

Through scripture, God the Father reassures us of eternal life.  Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we become heirs to the Heavenly Kingdom.  Our lives on earth are a stepping stone to God's greater plan.  A plan which joins are spiritual being with God's love and everlasting peace as we enter through the Gates of Heaven.  God awaits us with open arms and embraces everyone that believes in His promises. 

God's word resonates through the gospels of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with the following scripture:

In John 11:25-26, Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

Through Jesus Christ, we are raised on the last day to eternal life.  What a great promise of an inheritance to hold dear to our heart!

Gate of Heaven Mausoleum
Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

The chapel is a place of worship and gives reverence to all who have passed away and entered into the Kingdom of God through the Gates of Heaven. The mausoleum is enormous and has many places to sit and pray for loved ones. It’s beautifully designed with mosaic art and stained glass windows of Jesus and Our Lady.  There is also several stained glass windows of saints, including St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and St. Frances Xavier Cabrini as well as Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha.

Mosaic of John the Baptist and Jesus
Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

On Saturday, May 22, 2010 a dedication service will be celebrated with Mass for the new expansion of the mausoleum. The servce will be held inside Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel. Holy Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop John J. Myers. For additional information, call 877-301-3372.

Photographs Copyright 2010 Loci B. Lenar

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Possible John Paul II Miracle?

The following article regarding a possible miracle associated with Pope John II apeared on the Catholic News Agency:

Vatican City - (CNA/Europa Press).- The prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, explained this week that the possible miraculous healing of a French nun attributed to the intercession of John Paul II has not yet been examined by the Vatican Medical Commission.

Cardinal Saraiva made his statements to a group of reporters in Rome in reference to reports published a month ago in Poland claiming that the Vatican commission had dismissed the miracle supposedly experienced by Sister Marie Simon Pierre. The cardinal said the miracle could not have been rejected “because the doctors have not examined it yet.”

The nun had been suffering from Parkinson's, a degenerative disease of the nervous system, since 2001, but has testified that she was cured in the night of June 2, 2005 after praying to John Paul II, whose final years were also marked by the disease.

“All I can tell you is that I was sick and now I am cured. It is for the church to say and to recognize whether it is a miracle,” Sr. Marie Simon Pierre told reporters in 2007.

The procedure for approving a miracle through the intercession of a specific person involves first “that it be approved by a Medical Commission, which certifies that the event is scientifically unexplainable and that the healing is instantaneous, complete and lasting,” the cardinal explained.

Before beginning the final examination, “the Congregation usually gets the opinion of two doctors beforehand” and keeps the information confidential. However, in the case of the French nun, one of the doctors expressed doubt and “the news came out,” the cardinal said. He added that even so, this does not mean that the miracle has been rejected, but rather, as is usually the case, the Congregation will ask for a third opinion before beginning the official examination.

If the evaluation by the doctors is positive, the miracle will be evaluated by a Theological Commission, which will study whether or not the event is due to the intercession of John Paul II. Then, it must pass analysis by the 30 members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, who are like the “Parliament” of the Congregation.

Asked if this might delay the date of John Paul II’s beatification, Cardinal Saraiva said, “It’s not a case of delaying because a date was never set in the first place."

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

John Paul the Great Catholic University Launches Program in New Evangelization

The following press release is from John Paul the Great University:

Answering John Paul the II's Call

JP Catholic Launches program in New Evangelization
SAN DIEGO, CA - John Paul the Great Catholic University is pleased to announce the launch of its major in New Evangelization starting in 2010. At the turn of the new millennium, Pope John Paul II exhorted young people to spread the Gospel to all nations. The third millennium has ushered in an explosion of new media channels through which to spread the Good News. John Paul the Great called us to embrace these new means of communications to impact the culture for Christ. The New Evangelization major embraces John Paul's exhortation to bring the light of the Gospel to all nations by passionately articulating the faith using new forms of communication.

The New Evangelization major is the next step in forwarding the university's mission to impact culture for Christ. "It not only answers the call of Jesus, but also that of John Paul II, to use the media to evangelize the world" says JP Catholic President Derry Connolly. "We're leveraging the strengths that we have in other areas to create a program which we feel is a direct call of both Jesus and John Paul II." The core focus of the program is the melding of theology and new media. The New Evangelization major gives students a well-rounded education in both these disciplines, thus empowering them to create cutting-edge media and build sustainable apostolates.
Each JP Catholic student, regardless of his or her major, is given a firm grounding in Catholic thought. New Evangelization students obtain a particularly rigorous formation in Scripture, theology, and philosophy. They take classes with both their fellow undergraduates and with Masters in Theology students. These include courses in the Old and New Testaments, the Sacraments, and Catholic social teachings. Students are equipped to defend the teachings of Holy Mother Church. Each professor in this program is joyfully loyal to the Magisterium. The theological formation is bolstered by courses in philosophy. "Bad theology," says Michael Barber, Professor of Theology, Scripture and Catholic Thought, "often emanates from a bad philosophical foundation." The philosophical formation offered in the New Evangelization major anchors students in the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas, an invaluable foundation for those seeking to study Scripture and theology.

On the practical side, the New Evangelization major focuses on three areas: creating new media, teaching others, and building apostolates. Students take a comprehensive mix of classes in media production, including screen writing, editing, and directing. New Evangelization majors take these classes alongside the Entertainment Media majors. Both receive a foundational education in the world of media; the chief difference between the two majors is the emphasis on theology. While Media majors become more specialized in a particular field in the entertainment industry, Evangelization majors delve deeper into Catholic thought. "With the New Evangelization major," says Dr. Connolly, "we're producing a generalist, not a specialist."

Through the Apostolate Launch Pad, students take the skills they have learned and apply them to an evangelization project. Entertainment Media majors are encouraged to focus more on reaching a secular audience with a solid moral message. "Evangelization majors," say Provost Dominic Iocco, "will do media projects that focus more on the Christian message." They will use new media to spread the Gospel. "We want our Evangelization majors to be the Saint Pauls of the twenty-first century," says Dr. Connolly.

By integrating the theology and Scripture education with the practical tools of media, JP Catholic hopes the New Evangelization program will further its mission to impact culture for Christ. To request a brochure for the New Evangelization, click here. For further information on the program, please visit our academic page. - click here

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