Joy is a funny thing. It’s a word that is thrown around to describe as many types of circumstances as one can think of. People speak of joy in many ways. They will say they are overjoyed that: they had enough coffee grounds left to make one last cup of joe they recently found out […]
One could argue that Pope Saint John Paul II is the most beloved saint of this century. His life, however, had humble and quite tragic beginnings. By the age of twenty, Karol Josef Wojtyla had lost everyone he loved most deeply and was living on his own in Nazi-invaded Poland. But amidst great trials and […]
Pope Francis is a wellspring of practical and spiritual instruction in ways perhaps surprising and unlikely. Reading his words in The Name of God Is Mercy and The Church of Mercy is helpful in illuminating the Pope as a man we can all relate to and learn from. Here is a list of quotes from these books that can help us take a second look at some of our spiritual and mental practices.
Throughout his life, especially during his years as pope, John XXIII was known for his genuine joy and a magnificent sense of humor. Considering his story, that is a striking quality and virtue to possess. John XXIII used humor in various types of moments to keep himself humble, to shed new light on situations, or simply to make those with him crack a smile.
Earlier this year, Pope Francis’ St. Valentine’s Day audience held over 10,000 young couples engaged to be married. One couple sent a question to the Pope, which he addressed during the audience: “Many feel that the challenge of living together forever is beautiful, enchanting, but very demanding, almost impossible. We ask your word to enlighten us on this.”
He was especially known for his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and for being a great promoter of the Holy Rosary, so much so that he is called “The Pope of the Rosary.” Pope St. Pius V was given this title for two reasons: for penning an important papal document on the rosary and for establishing a rosary feast day, two important steps in solidifying this powerful tool of prayer for the universal Church.
Pope St. John Paul II was well known for having a deep and abiding love for the Blessed Virgin Mary. His devotion to her was evident in all that he did: his teaching, his prayer life, even his papal motto and coat of arms were dedicated to the Blessed Mother. When he was nearly fatally shot during his papacy he credited the intercession of the Virgin Mary, specifically Our Lady of Fatima, with the miraculous save of his life.
Shortly before the outbreak of World War II, a simple, uneducated, young Polish nun received a special calling. On the night of Sunday, 22 February 1931, while she was in her cell, Jesus appeared to Sr. Faustina for the first time as the “King of Divine Mercy” wearing a white garment with red and pale rays emanating from his heart. For four years she recorded Jesus’ words, her visions, and her own thoughts and prayers in a personal diary.
This beautiful prayer was recited by the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI at Ground Zero on his apostolic visit to New York on April 20, 2008.
We arrive as pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square, and make our way through the first security checkpoint. Then another. Then another still. Swiss guards, resplendent in their livery, examine our invitation and direct us higher.
We reach the landing area where in less than an hour the Pope will speak. Papal ushers, or sediari, lead us to our seats. Mine is better than I’d dared hope. When the Holy Father arrives to address the faithful, I will be directly to his left, about 20 feet from him, with no one in between.