Feast of St John Paul II

Posted: October 22, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

I don’t know if I had said it before but I have always had a great fondness for Pope John Paul II. I had looked upon him as a saint while he was still alive. And teared whenever I saw him in the news where he was to be found bent over and unable to speak in his latter years. Even then you could see the towering strength of His faith and love for Jesus in that frail body of his. I sobbed bitterly when he passed on and rejoiced when he was canonized a Saint.

I took the first half of a day’s leave today only with the intention of sleeping in. But I woke up at 5am and decided to go the Eucharistic Celebration oblivious that today is the feast day of St John Paul II. As the celebration was about to begin someone motioned for me to animate the hymns. I quickly chose the hymns and we began with Holy God We praise Your name.

The parish priest gave a sermon about the life of Karol Jozef Wojtyla and how He had brought the light of Christ into the world. At the end of the celebration he gave us a rare opportunity and invited us to come a up after the recessional hymn to come up and place our hands on the altar to pray for Saint John Paul II’s intercession remembering his opening address as Pope when he began with, “Be not afraid…” The altar in our church is a third class relic of Saint John Paul II who had celebrated Mass on this altar when he first visited Singapore in 1986.

After the meeting with President Wee and Prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, the pope proceeded to the National Stadium, where a special welcoming ceremony began with the playing of the national anthems of Singapore and the Vatican. He was driven round the track of the stadium in a jeep. He approached 400 disabled, aged and sick people seated at the football pitch and said special prayers for them. Standing at an elaborate altar, he then conducted a two-hour mass, including a half-hour sermon in English, with simultaneous translations in Mandarin and Tamil. He also distributed communion to the sick, aged and disabled. With him in the stands were Archbishop Yong, some 40 cardinals, 200 priests and 100 lay ministers.11 Some 80,000 Catholics, including those from Malaysia and Thailand, attended the papal mass. In his sermon to Singapore’s 105,000 Catholics, the pope spoke of love and peace. He also reaffirmed the Church’s stand against artificial forms of birth control, saying it was up to Catholic couples themselves to decide how many children they wanted.12

That elaborate altar is now in our Parish the Church of St Anthony.

St John Paul II pray for us. Amen

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