Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 17 September |
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

US Bishops Designate St. John Paul II National Shrine

Via Tsuji

Catholic News Agency - published on 03/20/14

“This national shrine is truly America’s fitting tribute and remembrance of his legacy."

Ahead of Bl. John Paul II’s April 27 canonization, the U.S. bishops have named a D.C.-based facility as a national shrine to commemorate the beloved Roman Pontiff.

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, said the action reflects “the love of Catholics in America for John Paul II.”

“This national shrine is truly America’s fitting tribute and remembrance of his legacy,” said the archbishop, who signed a March 19 decree recognizing the shrine.

Patrick Kelly, the shrine’s executive director, voiced gratitude for the designation, saying the shrine is “dedicated to a great saint who bore courageous witness to the love of God and the dignity of the human person.”

The Saint John Paul II National Shrine will mark its namesake’s canonization with liturgical celebrations, a reception, and a gathering for young people.

The shrine, currently known as the Bl. John Paul II Shrine, was acquired by the Knights of Columbus in 2011 to create a memorial to the Polish Pope and to teach about his contributions to the Church and society.

The shrine hosts a relic of the saint: a vial of his blood given to the Knights of Columbus by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, the Pope’s longtime personal secretary.

Carl Anderson, head of the Knights of Columbus, said that the late Pope “shaped an entire generation of Catholics,” adding that the shrine will serve as a reminder of John Paul II’s saintly life and “his call to holiness for each of us.”

“This shrine gives us the opportunity and privilege of continuing Pope John Paul II’s mission of the new evangelization for future generations of Catholics and we gladly accept it.”

Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington said the late Bishop of Rome was “an important force for good in America.” He said D.C. Catholics are “particularly honored” to have his shrine and to be “one of the first places of worship in the world to bear his name.”

He said the facility, in its three years as a local shrine, has become “a place of pilgrimage and prayer” that attracts many people from beyond the city.

The shrine’s main floor will be converted to a church, and its chapel will serve as a reliquary chapel. Both places of worship will have mosaics from floor to ceiling.

Beginning later this year, the shrine’s lower level will host a 16,000 square foot permanent exhibition on the Pope’s life and teaching.

John Paul II served as Pope from 1978 until his death in 2005. He was the first Polish-born Roman Pontiff, and played a key role in the end of the Cold War.

Courtesy of Catholic News Agency

Tags:
Pope John Paul II

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Top 10
1
CELEBRITIES
Cerith Gardiner
Our favorite stories of celebrities who inspire us in daily life
2
communion
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
3
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
4
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
5
As irmãs biológicas que se tornaram freiras no instituto Iesu Communio
Francisco Veneto
The 5 biological sisters who joined the religious life in just tw...
6
CROSS
Philip Kosloski
Why is the feast of the Holy Cross celebrated on September 14?
7
SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been known to f...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.