St. John Paul II? And John Paul I??

I have read various reports recently that the Vatican is being flooded with reports of miracles attributable to the intercession of Blessed Pope John Paul II and that Office responsible for examining these claims has given its stamp of approval to one of them and will forward this to Pope Francis soon.

If all of that is true, then the second miracle needed for Blessed John Paul II to be canonized a saint is present, and his canonization maybe in in the relatively near future.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful, in so many ways?

I am left not only with great admiration for John Paul II — whom I saw in person more than once in 1978, although regrettably from a distance of a few feet — but also with a greater wonder for his predecessor, John Paul I.

Pope Francis in so many ways reminds me of John Paul the First (Papa Luciani). Luciani was a theologically conservative, pastorally focused pontiff.  Luciani began the process of simplification and reformation of the papacy and the Vatican’s offices. He always seemed to challenge his listeners to live out the Gospel in concrete ways with the people who were on the margins. His preaching was marked by a catechetical style. The people of 1978 loved him just like so many do Francis in 2013.

No one shouted santo subito! at John Paul I’s funeral. I know, because I was there in the rain. We all were too dumbfounded and stunned at the loss of such a great and holy man. Our hearts were torn, and in a state of grief. We had had no time to mourn, as we had with John Paul II and his lengthy illness which afforded us grieving time. But I know that I wasn’t the only one thinking that day that Luciani was already one of God’s holy elect.

Let us pray for Luciani’s cause of canonization.

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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