Pope John Paul the Great ! Probably the most famous man of the 20th Century, and probably the greatest. More people saw him in person than any other man in the 20th Century, and maybe ever. Over a billion people watched his funeral live on TV, some even getting up in the middle of the night to do so. Josef Stalin, the most notorious mass murderer of the 20th Century, once asked a rhetorical question about the impact of the Papacy - "The Pope? How many divisions does he have?", which was supposed to mean that the Soviet Union with all of its military might was safe from any impact that the successor to Peter might have on his people. Well, guess what Josef? The Soviet Union, which began with a communist workers' revolt in the streets of Moscow in the early 20th Century, was brought down by a Catholic worker's revolt in the streets of Gdansk in the late 20th Century, and it was inspired by their fearless (BE NOT AFRAID!) leader, Pope John Paul II !! And all without firing one shot! It is very interesting that the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to the three shepherd children at Fatima in 1917, the year that the Communists took over Russia, to warn the world about the coming bloodshed caused by Russia. The date was 13 May, 1917. On 13 May 1981, the shepherd Pope John Paul II, who was totally dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, was shot by the Russian KGB's hit man, Ali Agca. Then in 1989, the whole Communist apparatus in the Soviet Union came tumbling down, because of the Catholic workers in the Mary-loving country of Poland going on strike, all spiritually led by the Marian Pope John Paul II. 13 May 1917 was also the very date that Pope Pius XII, one of the great anti-Nazi and anti-Communist Popes, was ordained an Archbishop in the Sistine Chapel.
His motto was "Totus tuus", or "Totally yours" (of the Blessed Virgin Mary). One of the most athletic Popes, he would sometimes sneak out of the Vatican in disguise to go skiing. In later life, God decided to take away his athletic abilities, saddling him with Parkinson's disease. Sometimes he would just fall down for no reason. Before his death, he suffered mightily with his breathing, and he had much pain. He decided to unite his suffering with that of Christ. May all of us who have joyful gifts of our youth taken away from us in our later years imitate him in his suffering.
Here are some great quotes from this great man for you to ponder. May he soon be a Saint!
The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency.
Be not afraid!
The question confronting the Church today is not any longer whether the man in the street can grasp a religious message, but how to employ the communications media so as to let him have the full impact of the Gospel message.
The United Nations organization has proclaimed 1979 as the Year of the Child. Are the children to receive the arms race from us as a necessary inheritance?
The unworthy successor of Peter who desires to benefit from the immeasurable wealth of Christ feels the great need of your assistance, your prayers, your sacrifice, and he most humbly asks this of you.
The vow of celibacy is a matter of keeping one's word to Christ and the Church. a duty and a proof of the priest's inner maturity; it is the expression of his personal dignity.
There are people and nations, Mother, that I would like to say to you by name. I entrust them to you in silence, I entrust them to you in the way that you know best.
To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others.
Today, for the first time in history, a Bishop of Rome sets foot on English soil. This fair land, once a distant outpost of the pagan world, has become, through the preaching of the Gospel, a beloved and gifted portion of Christ's vineyard.
Violence and arms can never resolve the problems of men.
War is a defeat for humanity.
Wars generally do not resolve the problems for which they are fought and therefore... prove ultimately futile.
What we talked about will have to remain a secret between him and me. I spoke to him as a brother whom I have pardoned and who has my complete trust.
When freedom does not have a purpose, when it does not wish to know anything about the rule of law engraved in the hearts of men and women, when it does not listen to the voice of conscience, it turns against humanity and society.
You are our dearly beloved brothers, and in a certain way, it could be said that you are our elder brothers.
You are priests, not social or political leaders. Let us not be under the illusion that we are serving the Gospel through an exaggerated interest in the wide field of temporal problems.
You will reciprocally promise love, loyalty and matrimonial honesty. We only want for you this day that these words constitute the principle of your entire life and that with the help of divine grace you will observe these solemn vows that today, before God, you formulate.
Young people are threatened... by the evil use of advertising techniques that stimulate the natural inclination to avoid hard work by promising the immediate satisfaction of every desire.An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded.
As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.
Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.
Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.
From now on it is only through a conscious choice and through a deliberate policy that humanity can survive.
Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.
Humanity should question itself, once more, about the absurd and always unfair phenomenon of war, on whose stage of death and pain only remain standing the negotiating table that could and should have prevented it.
I have a sweet tooth for song and music. This is my Polish sin.
I hope to have communion with the people, that is the most important thing.
I kiss the soil as if I placed a kiss on the hands of a mother, for the homeland is our earthly mother. I consider it my duty to be with my compatriots in this sublime and difficult moment.
Love is never defeated, and I could add, the history of
proves it. Ireland
Marriage is an act of will that signifies and involves a mutual gift, which unites the spouses and binds them to their eventual souls, with whom they make up a sole family - a domestic church.
Pervading nationalism imposes its dominion on man today in many different forms and with an aggressiveness that spares no one. The challenge that is already with us is the temptation to accept as true freedom what in reality is only a new form of slavery.
Radical changes in world politics leave
with a heightened responsibility to be, for the world, an example of a genuinely free, democratic, just and humane society. America
Science can purify religion from error and superstition. Religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes.
Social justice cannot be attained by violence. Violence kills what it intends to create.
Stupidity is also a gift of God, but one mustn't misuse it.
The cemetery of the victims of human cruelty in our century is extended to include yet another vast cemetery, that of the unborn.
The future starts today, not tomorrow.
The great danger for family life, in the midst of any society whose idols are pleasure, comfort and independence, lies in the fact that people close their hearts and become selfish.