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Saint of the Day: St. Paul of the Cross
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Going Home for Easter – The Death of Pope John Paul II

AP Photo/Teh Eng Koon

Fr Dwight Longenecker - published on 04/03/15

In the ten years since his death a few voices have pointed out some his weaknesses as a pope and as a man, but the voices are remarkably few and faint. Some say he was not firm enough with abusive and sinful priests. Perhaps he erred on the side of mercy. Some say he was naive to be taken in by the fraudulent and corrupt Marcial Maciel Delgollado, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ. Perhaps he erred on the side of trust and optimism. Some say he was too harsh with modernist theologians and liberation theology. Perhaps he had seen first hand that Marxism does nothing for the poor in the long run.

In the end, in a series of connections that Vatican watchers get used to, Pope John Paul II lived out in the final days of his life a mystical configuration with Christ his Lord. In his final days the world watched him walk his own Way of the Cross, live through a final Easter only to “go home to the Father’s House”—the Father of All Mercies on the Eve of the Feast of the Divine Mercy—the great feast he championed. In doing so he showed the world not only the way to live, but the way to die—walking with Christ through death to the final triumph of life and mercy.

Join Fr Dwight Longenecker, Steve Wood and EWTN host Johnette Benkovic for a special Divine Mercy Conference in Greenville, South Carolina on April 11-12. For more information go to

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EasterPope John Paul II
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