Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday

Today is the 4th Anniversary of Pope John Paul II's death

Okay, so I admit that I might be a little obsessed with Pope John Paul II. I loved (still love) him sooooo much and I miss him. I never met him in person, he doesn't know me from Adam, but I did get to see him three times in my life.

The first time was when he visited New York. I was a junior in high school, and entered a contest to win a trip to NY to see the Pope. I had to answer questions and write an essay, and I actually WON!

There were 16 winners picked from all over the country, they flew us all to NY, and we got treated to a weekend in the City while JPII was visiting. The main event was a Mass he was celebrating in Central Park, and we were all so excited to go...but the day before, myself and another guy were asked to miss out on the Mass in order to be interviewed on tv during that time. I was really bummed out about missing the Mass, and I was so nervous to be on tv, but I couldn't really say no.

We were interviewed, and then because they felt bad we missed seeing the Pope at Mass, they gave us tickets to the Pope's small gathering at St. Patrick's where he was to lead the Rosary. How lucky was that??? Now instead of being in a huge space with a ton of people, we were about 10 pews back from the Pope with only a small group of people.

When Pope John Paul II walked by my pew, I leaned over to touch him, but I couldn't reach. The man next to me ended up shaking the Pope's hand, so I grabbed his hand to get the Pope's cooties :) Anyway, seeing him changed my life. After that, I was much more "into" my faith and decided to go to Franciscan University of Steubenville to get a real Catholic education. Seeing the Pope is AMAZING, you can just feel the holiness and excitement in the air.

The second time I saw the Pope was on Ash Wednesday, 2000 during his Wednesday Audience in Rome. While studying abroad during my junior year of college in Austria, our whole college went to Rome and Assisi for ten days. We all yelled out "JP 2, Steubenville loves you" and were so happy to hear him say he loved us back. Whatta man!

The third time I saw the Pope was at the Easter Vigil a couple months later. My parents and older sister came out to visit and we (including Phil and Annie) were all able to go have Easter Vigil Mass with the Pope. It was sooooo long, but felt like a minute because it was almost supernatural. Can you tell how much I love this man? Actually it was at this time that I decided my first born son would be named after the Pope (it wasn't even up for discussion, good thing Phil approved). That's why I hyphenated John-Paul's name so that nobody would just call him "John", and that's also why I like to dress him up like this:

So, JP II, we all love you and miss you, and as much as you accomplished here on Earth, I'm sure you are accomplishing even more in Heaven by interceding for us. Thank You!!


  1. Oh gosh...when I first clicked on your site and saw that ticker my heart jumped...thinking I missed something lately, and it was a baby ticker!!! Darn it all! :)
    To answer your questions...I didn't name the baby, and you will see in the next 2 days that it happened two more times to me! But I do keep a special little wooden box, with an angel on it, and all my ultrasound photos and little momentos in a special place. I always wonder who they were and what they looked like will hear more in the upcoming days!
    Thanks for your comment!

  2. What a great story! And your little John-Paul looks just like a little pontiff :-) I can't believe it's been four years since he passed, time has flown.

  3. oh-thats why John-Paul had to dress up today!! Now it all makes sense..."all hail the pope"...

    Thats a cool story about winning the trip to NY. I think a good post would be to see the winnign essay :)

  4. oh-thats why John-Paul had to dress up today!! Now it all makes sense..."all hail the pope"...

    Thats a cool story about winning the trip to NY. I think a good post would be to see the winnign essay :)

  5. I also have a great affection for this Pope. I was blessed enough to see him at World Youth Day in 1993 in Denver. I didn't get too close but it was exciting nonetheless. We saw him at Mile High Stadium and again at the mass at Cherry Creek State Park.

    I have CDs on which he is praying the rosary and I love to listen just to hear his voice. It's comforting, as my own grandfather's voice is.

    Many of my friends had an audience with him in Rome at which he blessed their marriage. They have pictures in their homes to prove it! Why didn't we think of that!?

    I would love to name a son after him. I'm glad you got to do it!

    So it is John Paul's feast day! :) Thank you for the reminder!

  6. Hello! I don't know you, but I like reading your blog! :)
    I love JPII too, and I always remember the date he died because I was in my friend's wedding later that day. She's Southern Baptist, and I naively thought that surely the wedding would include some kind of prayer or acknowledgement of his passing, but alas, it did not.
    But anyway, his encyclicals on marriage and family are amazing. He was clearly inspired!

  7. So glad you linked this up with Jenny, since I didn't even know blogs existed in 2009, much less that I would find and love yours. I have a major fangirl crush on JPII, too. Can't wait for tomorrow!


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