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Wednesday 07 December |
Saint of the Day: St. Ambrose of Milan
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And today we celebrate...Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day: Pope St. John Paul II

“A pastor for the world”

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Pope (1920-2005)

His life

+ Karol Wojtyla was born in Poland in 1920. Ordained a priest in 1946, he earned doctorates in theology and philosophy and held the Chair of Ethics at the Catholic University of Lublin.

+ In 1958, he was ordained bishop of Ombi and, in 1963, appointed archbishop of Krakow. As bishop, he took part in the Second Vatican Council.

+ Elected pope on October 16, 1978, he took the name John Paul II.

+ One of the most influential figures of the 20th century, he was a vocal opponent of communism and the “culture of death.”

+ A pastor for the world, he traveled to more than 100 countries during his 26-year pontificate, preaching the universal call to holiness of the Second Vatican Council and calling for a “new evangelization” of the Church.

+ After years of suffering debilitating disease, John Paul II died on April 2, 2005, and was canonized with Pope Saint John XXIII in 2014.

For prayer and reflection

Conversion is directed to holiness, since conversion ‘is not an end in itself but a journey towards God who is holy. To be holy is to be like God and to glorify his name in the works which we accomplish in our lives (cf. Mt 5:16).’ On the path of holiness, Jesus Christ is the point of reference and the model to be imitated: he is ‘the Holy One of God,’ and was recognized as such (cf. Mk 1:24). It is he who teaches us that the heart of holiness is love, which leads even to giving our lives for others (cf. Jn 15:13).”—Pope Saint John Paul II in Ecclesia in America

Spiritual bonus

On this day the Church also Saint Apollo of Bawit. After living as a hermit near Thebes, Egypt, for four decades, he became the abbot of a community of monks he founded in the desert of Bawit (the monastery was known as Deir Abu Abullu). Saint Apollo died in 395 and was honored as a saint immediately after his death.

Prayer

O God, who are rich in mercy
and who willed that Saint John Paul the Second
should preside as Pope over your universal Church,
grant, we pray, that instructed by his teaching,
we may open our hearts to the saving grace of Christ,
the sole Redeemer of mankind.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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