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Special Feature
The Beatification of Pope John Paul II
  • New Pope Greets Church

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    Karol Wojtyla waves to waiting crowds in St. Peter's Square after being elected pope Oct. 16, 1978. (CNS file photo)

    Orange Fish
  • Pope in Popemobile

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    Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger ride in the popemobile during the late pontiff's visit to Germany in November 1980. (CNS from KNA)

    The Beatification of Pope John Paul II
  • Pope with Assailant

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    Pope John Paul II visits with his assailant, Mehmet Ali Agca. in a Rome prison Dec. 27, 1983. (CNS file photo by Arturo Mari)

    The Beatification of Pope John Paul II
  • Pope in Assisi

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    Pope John Paul II attends an interreligious ecounter in Assisi, Italy, in 1986. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano)

    The Beatification of Pope John Paul II
  • Pope in Denver

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    Pope John Paul II is pictured in a 1993 photo during World Youth Day in Denver. (CNS photo/Joe Rimkus Jr.)

    The Beatification of Pope John Paul II
  • Pope and Mother Teresa Meet

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    Pope John Paul II greets Mother Teresa of Calcutta at the Vatican in June 1997. (CNS file photo by Arturo Mari)

    The Beatification of Pope John Paul II
  • Pope at the Holy Door

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    Pope John Paul II kneels at the open Holy Door before shutting the large bronze door in St. Peter's Basilica Jan. 6.

    The Beatification of Pope John Paul II
  • Pope at Wailing Wall

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    Pope John Paul II places a prayer in a crevice of the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, March 26, 2000. (CNS file photo by Arturo Mari)

    The Beatification of Pope John Paul II
  • Pope Prays Rosary

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    John Paul II prays the rosary Oct. 7, 2003, at the Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Holy Rosary in the center of Pompeii, Italy. (CNS photo from Reuters)

    The Beatification of Pope John Paul II
  • Pope Prays

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    Pope John Paul II prays during a ceremony marking the opening of the Year of the Eucharist in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican Oct. 17, 2004. (CNS photo from Reuters)

    The Beatification of Pope John Paul II
  • Pope Blesses Crowd

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    Pope John Paul II blesses the crowd from his apartment overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican in 2005. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

    The Beatification of Pope John Paul II
  • Tomb of Pope

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    Pope John Paul II's tomb is pictured in the crypt of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican in this Nov. 18, 2010, file photo. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

    The Beatification of Pope John Paul II

Follow the links below for more on Blessed John Paul II.

Blessed John Paul II: Witness to Hope
from St. Anthony Messenger

Video Reflections on Blessed John Paul II's Impact

Coverage of the Beatification of John Paul II from Catholic News Service

Saint of the Day Pope John Paul II entry

From Our Archives

Share your own reflections on what John Paul II has meant to you. Please note that editors will review all posts before they are visible on the website.

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Anthony Grassi: Anthony’s father died when his son was only 10 years old, but the young lad inherited his father’s devotion to Our Lady of Loreto. As a schoolboy he frequented the local church of the Oratorian Fathers, joining the religious order when he was 17.
<p>Already a fine student, he soon gained a reputation in his religious community as a "walking dictionary" who quickly grasped Scripture and theology. For some time he was tormented by scruples, but they reportedly left him at the very hour he celebrated his first Mass. From that day, serenity penetrated his very being.
</p><p>In 1621, at age 29, Anthony was struck by lightning while praying in the church of the Holy House at Loreto. He was carried paralyzed from the church, expecting to die. When he recovered in a few days he realized that he had been cured of acute indigestion. His scorched clothes were donated to the Loreto church as an offering of thanks for his new gift of life.
</p><p>More important, Anthony now felt that his life belonged entirely to God. Each year thereafter he made a pilgrimage to Loreto to express his thanks.
</p><p>He also began hearing confessions, and came to be regarded as an outstanding confessor. Simple and direct, he listened carefully to penitents, said a few words and gave a penance and absolution, frequently drawing on his gift of reading consciences.
</p><p>In 1635 he was elected superior of the Fermo Oratory. He was so well regarded that he was reelected every three years until his death. He was a quiet person and a gentle superior who did not know how to be severe. At the same time he kept the Oratorian constitutions literally, encouraging the community to do likewise.
</p><p>He refused social or civic commitments and instead would go out day or night to visit the sick or dying or anyone else needing his services. As he grew older, he had a God-given awareness of the future, a gift which he frequently used to warn or to console.
</p><p>But age brought its challenges as well. He suffered the humility of having to give up his physical faculties one by one. First was his preaching, necessitated after he lost his teeth. Then he could no longer hear confessions. Finally, after a fall, he was confined to his room. The archbishop himself came each day to give him holy Communion. One of Anthony’s final acts was to reconcile two fiercely quarreling brothers.</p> American Catholic Blog God of love, as I come to the end of this Advent season, my heart is ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I join with Mary in saying, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Nothing is impossible with you, O God.

 
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