We can tend to think of saints as coming from long ago, from centuries long past. Nothing could be further from the truth. In each and every age the church has produced men and women outstanding in holiness. Our own time is not an exception. The Pope recently canonised Archbishop Oscar Romero who was gunned down while saying Mass in El Salvador in1980, and on the same day Pope Paul VI who died in 1978
On Tuesday we celebrate one of Pope Paul’s successors, John Paul II. Those who can remember his election in 1978 will recall the stunned shock of not only seeing the first non-Italian Pope for centuries appear on the balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square, but also that the Cardinals had had the courage to elect someone from the Communist block. #
From the start John Paul II was convinced that God this unlikely choice was the will of God, and he set about a series of visits to the Catholics of the world to confirm them in their faith. A warm hearted, charismatic and energetic man, John Paul II connected with people of all ages, colours and creeds.
We have similarly been chosen by God for the tasks he entrusts to us. We may not stride across the world stage but we have a task to do that only we can. May St. John Paul II pray for us and for his successor that the love of Jesus Christ may become ever better known in the our doubting, disturbed and needy 21stcentury.