I was so happy to learn that a beatification date was set for John Paul II last Friday! During my college years I had a reawakening of my Catholic faith and John Paul II’s incredible papacy was a huge part of that. (You can read more about the beatification announcement here.)
One of the things that stuck with me about JPII was his intense love of the Blessed Mother. I remember reading that when his earthy mother died, he trustingly told Mary, “You will be my mother now.” Later in his life when he was shot during the infamous attack on his life, he uttered, “O Mary, my mother!” after the bullet pierced his stomach. He credited the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima for saving his life. The beautiful and trusting way in which he clung to Our Lady helped me grow in my own personal love and appreciation of Mary. I now turn to her with a childlike love and trust that I don’t think would be possible if it wasn’t for JPII’s example.
I credit a huge part of my devotion to the Blessed Mother to this phenomenal pope. John Paul II, I’m a better Catholic because of you!
As we approach the beatification, you can learn more about JPII and grow closer to him with these two great books:
John Paul II, We Love You!: Young People Encounter the Pope by Fr. Peter Mitchell:
Meet John Paul II: The People’s Pope by Janel Rodriguez: