NOVENA to St John Paul the Great: DAY EIGHT – 20 OCTOBER
Little Known Fact #8: In addition to meeting with the sick at a parish visitation, Bishop Karol Wojtyla signaled out married couples and gave them a special blessing. Often the parish priest would personally invite married couples to be present for the blessing. Wojtyla did this so that it would be a model for his priests in parish ministry. He sought to show them that married couples formed the basic cell of the parish. He stressed this point in a document in 1960, where he stated:
“Through [the sacrament of marriage], the family is created within the Church but, at the same time, the family in some measure created the Church as a living community of the people of God. The meeting of the Bishop with married couples during the visitation of a parish is like touching this very basic bond of the human community which is shaped in the Church and which in turn shapes the Church.”
Reflection: “Dear brothers and sisters, today our eyes behold, in the full spiritual light of the risen Christ, the beloved and revered figure of John Paul II. Today his name is added to the host of those whom he proclaimed saints and blesseds during the almost 27 years of his pontificate, thereby forcefully emphasizing the universal vocation to the heights of the Christian life, to holiness, taught by the concilliar Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium. All of us, as members of the people of God – bishops, priests, deacons, laity, men and women religious – are making our pilgrim way to the heavenly homeland where the Virgin Mary has preceded us, associated as she was in a unique and perfect way to the mystery of Christ and the Church. Karol Wojtyla took part in the Second Vatican Council, first as an auxiliary Bishop and then as Archbishop of Kraków. He was fully aware that the Council’s decision to devote the last chapter of its Constitution on the Church to Mary meant that the Mother of the Redeemer is held up as an image and model of holiness for every Christian and for the entire Church. This was the theological vision which Blessed John Paul II discovered as a young man and subsequently maintained and deepened throughout his life. A vision which is expressed in the scriptural image of the crucified Christ with Mary, his Mother, at his side. This icon from the Gospel of John (19:25-27) was taken up in the episcopal and later the papal coat-of-arms of Karol Wojtyla: a golden cross with the letter “M” on the lower right and the motto“Totus tuus”, drawn from the well-known words of St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort in which Karol Wojtyla found a guiding light for his life: “Totus tuus ego sum et omnia mea tua sunt. Accipio te in mea omnia. Praebe mihi cor tuum, Maria – I am totally yours and all that I have is yours. I accept you for my all. O Mary, give me your heart.” Pope Benedict XVI at the Beatification Ceremony
Let us Pray:
O Holy Trinity, we thank You for having given to the Church Pope John Paul II and for having made him shine with Your fatherly tenderness, the glory of the Cross of Christand the splendour of the Spirit of love.
He, trusting completely in Your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, has shown himself in the likeness of Jesus the Good Shepherd and has pointed out to us the way of holiness as the path to reach eternal communion with You Grant us, through his intercession, according to Your will, the grace that we implore,
………………….. [state your intention here].
Continue, beloved St John Paul, we implore you, to sustain from heaven the faith of God’s people. We praise and thank You Father that St John Paul has been numbered among Your saints and make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God forever.
Totus Tuus, Amen.
Quote Day 8: “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.”