Emailed to Pope John Paul II last Wednesday:
DEAR HOLY FATHER,
A very happy and blessed 25th silver jubilee to you!
Thanks to a timely reminder by an online church friend, i tried to fast (for one meal a day) and to pray for you for the past one and a half week or so. Not very successful on certain days though -- such as last Friday and over the weekend. Still, it's been a long time since i've done anything like that.
i've never met you, Holy Father, in person. When you were in Singapore, i wasn't a Catholic. When i entered St Peter's Basilica in Rome with a friend on a group tour, i wasn't a Catholic. But i was quite overawed by the majesty of the basilica.
i've admired you from afar, reading news and pictorial biographies about you. You seemed to have had everything worth having. You are handsome, athletic and intelligent. You have demonstrated deep spirituality (to have forgiven your assasin), great humility (to have apologised for past errors of the Church) and wise leadership (to have spoken up openly and strongly for justice and peace, as well as against abortion and violence).
i'm especially thankful that you have repeatedly advised us to pray the rosary, and more recently, introduced the five Luminous Mysteries which completed the whole mystery of Jesus' incarnation and mission on earth.
As that online friend has written, "I thank God that we have had such a captain in charge of Peter's barque these years", Amen!
May God bless you and your cardinals always.
What's so great about Pope John Paul II? (Thanks, Jomar Hilario.)
Q: My wife asked me what Pope John Paul II has done specifically that makes him so great. Your help is appreciated because as my evangelizing about the faith is starting to make headway, and an intelligent answer will sway her.
A: Among the things that are most commonly cited in praise of John Paul II:
1. He has provided an extraordinarily large body of orthodox, articulate, intellectually rigorous teaching in his encyclicals and other documents.
2. He helped reestablish stability in many Catholic circles during the turbulence following Vatican II. (There is generally a period of turbulence following each ecumenical council as its directives are implemented.)
3. He promulgated the 1983 Code of Canon Law (for the Western rite) and the 1990 Code of Canons for the Eastern Churches (for the Eastern rites), the latter being the first time that the Eastern Catholic churches have had a complete code of canon law.
4. He promulgated the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the first catechism of its kind since the Roman Catechism in the 1500s.
5. He personally helped bring about the fall of Communism and the destruction of the Iron Curtain.
6. He has served as a staunch pro-life, pro-family advocate--among other ways, by standing up to attempts made at the Beijing Women's Conference and the Cairo Population Conference (both by the United Nations) to force anti-family, anti-child policies on the nations of the world.
7. He is remarkably holy and a man of deep prayer who sets a great example for others.
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