Posted in ON the SAINTS, POETRY, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Thought for the Day – 22 October – Happy feast day of St John Paul the Poet!

Thought for the Day – 22 October – The Memorial of St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

Happy feast day of St John Paul the Poet!

Many know that St John Paul II’s talents included acting and athletics but did you know the Saint is also an accomplished poet?   He loved to write about nature, humanity and God and wrote poetry throughout his life – as a student, a quarry worker, a priest, bishop and Pope, beginning in 1939 and publishing under pseudonyms in Poland.   It wasn’t until he became Pope that his poetry was published throughout the world.

Known to family and friends as Lolek (a nickname that translates as “Chuck”), the future John Paul II learned about suffering at an early age when his mother died of heart and kidney problems in 1929, shortly before his ninth birthday.  This poem below, “Over This, Your White Grave”” was written before he was twenty.

Over This, Your White Grave

Over this, your white grave
the flowers of life in white—
so many years without you—
how many have passed out of sight?
Over this your white grave
covered for years, there is a stir
in the air, something uplifting
and, like death, beyond comprehension.
Over this your white grave
oh, Mother, can such loving cease?
for all his filial adoration
a prayer:
Give her eternal peace—

over this your white grave poem to his mother st john paul 22 oct 2019.jpg

“Veronica?”
“Bernice Veronica” – both names referring to the Woman who wiped the Face of Jesus, commonly depicted in every Catholic church, at the Sixth Station of the Cross.

Did she exist? And what does it mean to be “a Veronica?”

St Pope John Paul II expressed the answer to the question of Veronica most beautifully in his poem, “Name”

“Name”

In the crowd walking towards the place

[of the Agony]–

did you open up a gap at some point or were you

[opening it] from the beginning?

And since when? You tell me, Veronica.

Your name was born in the very instant

in which your heart

became an effigy: the effigy of truth.

Your name was born from what you gazed upon.

Karol Wojtyla

name-st-veronica-karol-wotyla-st-john-paul-12-july-2018 and 22 oct 2019

St Peter’s Square had a special meaning for St John Paul.   In earlier days he wrote a poem about it.   Below is an excerpt from it:

Marble Floor

Marble floor
our feet meet the earth in this place,
there are so many walls,
so many colonnades,
yet we are not lost. If we find
meaning and oneness,
it is the floor that guides us….
Peter, you are the floor, that others
may walk over you… You guide their steps…
You want to serve their feet that pass
as rock serves the hooves of sheep.
The rock is a gigantic temple floor,
the cross a pasture.

St Peter’s name means “a rock” and Christ said of him “on this Rock I will build my Church.”   The poem is about the role of the Holy Father, who is a shepherd to his flock, a guide to the Church.marble-floor-by-st-john-paul-22-oct-2018 and 22 oct 2019

St John Paul, keep being our Shepherd by your Prayers!st-jp-pray-for-us-22-oct-2017-2.and 22 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in MORNING Prayers, POETRY, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The HOLY FACE

Thought for the Day – 12 July – The Memorial of St Veronica

“Veronica?”

“Bernice Veronica” – both names referring to the Woman who wiped the Face of Jesus, commonly depicted in every Catholic church, at the Sixth Station of the Cross.

Did she exist?   And what does it mean to be “a Veronica?”

The Catholic Church tells us that a veil bearing a miraculous image of the Face of Jesus has existed since the earliest centuries, recorded in history and in art.   About the time this miraculous veil first appeared in Rome, in the Middle Ages, the name “Veronica” referred to the veil itself–“Veronica” meaning “vera” or true, and “icon” meaning image, or even more precisely, “to be present.”   Those who gazed upon the veil bearing the true Face of Jesus stood in God’s presence.   They were turned toward His Face.
Legends sprang up sometime later about a woman named “Veronica,” who was sometimes associated with the woman “Berenice” or “Bernice,” the bleeding woman who touches the hem of Jesus’s garment in the Gospel.
“These pious traditions cannot be documented but there is no reason why the belief that such an act of compassion did occur should not find expression in the veneration paid to one called Veronica.” —The Catholic Encyclopedia.
St Pope John Paul II expressed the answer to the question of Veronica most beautifully in his poem,

“Name”

In the crowd walking towards the place

[of the Agony]–

did you open up a gap at some point or were you

[opening it] from the beginning?

And since when? You tell me, Veronica.

Your name was born in the very instant

in which your heart

became an effigy:  the effigy of truth.

Your name was born from what you gazed upon.

–Karol Wojtylaname - st veronica - karol wotyla - st john paul - 12 july 2018

When a soul performs an “act of compassion,” Jesus leaves His image on the “veil” of the soul.   In other words, while contemplating the Face of Jesus in an image, in the Word of God in the Scriptures, in a person made in the image and likeness of God, or above all, in the Eucharist, the soul places itself in the Presence of God.   When we are turned completely toward the Face of God, through a daily face-to-face encounter in prayer–by the power of the Holy Spirit–God gradually transforms the soul into the “True Image” of His Son, Jesus Christ.   As Pope St. John Paul II says, our hearts must become an “effigy of truth,” a “true icon.”   

Then our name too will be born from what we gaze upon.  It will be “Veronica.”

St Veronica pray for us!st-veronica-pray-for-us-21 - 12 JULY 2017