In Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad), he enjoins us to embark on our Christian journey of holiness by embracing the ordinariness of everyday. Throughout his exhortation, Pope Francis calls out more than 40 saints who can assist us on our mission of Christian faith, and to teach us how to rejoice and be glad in all of life’s challenges, mysteries, and joys.
During the 34 weeks of Ordinary Time, we will introduce you to some of the saints mentioned in Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation. #OrdinarySaints for #OrdinaryTime #HolyOrdinary
St. John Paul II
Holiness is the most attractive face of the Church. But even outside the Catholic Church and in very different contexts, the Holy Spirit raises up ‘signs of his presence which help Christ’s followers.’ St. John Paul II reminded us that ‘the witness to Christ borne even to the shedding of blood has become a common inheritance of Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans and Protestants.’ #9 Rejoice and Be Glad
St. John Paul II warned of the temptation on the part of those in the Church who are more highly educated ‘to feel somehow superior to other members of the faithful.’ In point of fact, what we think we know should always motivate us to respond more fully to God’s love. Indeed, ‘you learn so as to live: theology and holiness are inseparable.’ #45 Rejoice and Be Glad
Holiness, then, is not about swooning in mystic rapture. As St. John Paul II said: ‘If we truly start out anew from the contemplation of Christ, we must learn to see him especially in the faces of those with whom he himself wished to be identified.’ #96 Rejoice and Be Glad
Of all the saints mentioned in Pope Francis’ encyclical, St. John Paul II is perhaps the most well known. He was pope from 1978-2005 and during that time was instrumental in promoting ecumenical and interfaith initiatives.
During the 27 years of his pontificate, St. John Paul II write 14 encyclicals and five books, canonized 482 saints, and beatified 1,338 people. He even canonized our founder, St. Daniel Comboni in 2003.
Volumes could be written on the contributions St. John Paul II made to the Church – he established a relationship between the Holy See and Israel, participated in Vatican II, introduced World Youth Day, and on and on.
St. John Paul II was canonized by Pope Francis in 2014.