“I plead with you! Never, ever give up on hope, never doubt, never tire, and never become discouraged. Be not afraid,” Pope John Paul II
Today, Ocotober 22, 2014, we celebrate the first feast day of Saint John Paul II. He was the longest reigning Pope in modern history, serving from October 16, 1978 until his death on April 2, 2005.
Saint John Paul was canonized this year on Divine Mercy Sunday — an observance he put on the church’s universal calendar in 2000 on the Sunday after Easter. The Polish pope was a longtime enthusiast of the Divine Mercy devotions of St. Faustina Kowalksa, whom he beatified in 1993 and canonized in 2000.
As the first non-Italian pope in 455 years, John Paul saw the fall of European communism and the passage to the third millennium of Christianity.