Here is the Beatification portrait of Blessed John Paul II… It is such a vibrant picture, and seemed to reflect in it the vibrancy and excitement of the day…
What a privilege it was to be in Rome for this great event. It is true that I probably would have understood and seen more if I had been watching it on TV at home. Isn’t it often the way that when you’re present at a beautiful and historic moment, you are rarely able to fully take it in. With big Catholic papal Masses, it is often due to tiredness from getting up at stupid-o’clock, being crushed in a crowd and not having the foggiest about what is being said! However, it still felt extremely graced to be present in Rome for this occasion – one of the great things about being Catholic is that our Faith values the material, the tangible, and there is something great about actually being present at something despite the craziness rather than watching it from afar.
Having being crushed for three hours in a hot, restless queue on Sunday afternoon, we eventually entered St Peter’s to venerate the casket in which Blessed John Paul’s body lay, before being entombed. For me, this was an extremely precious moment, as we could take some time to pray to the newly beatified JP2. There is something so rich about the humanity of JP2 that you feel he knows every human experience and emotion, he understands deeply all kinds of suffering, and will be a powerful intercessor for us in Heaven. The fruits of his intercession can be seen in Sr. Marie Simon-Pierre, the nun cured through John Paul’s intercession, who seemed radiant with joy at the Beatification Mass at what the Lord has done for her. It reminds me of the joy, radiance and holiness which it delights the Lord for each of us to receive – He wants to transform us in Himself!
This weekend has definitely been a great blessing for the Church. May many graces be bestowed on the Church through the intercession of Blessed John Paul II.