It was six years ago today that John Paul II returned to the Father's house. It happened at 9:37 pm Roman time, and quite magnificently on both the first Saturday (Our Lady of Fatima) and the liturgical beginning of Divine Mercy Sunday. On May 1 of this year, he will become Blessed John Paul. How to celebrate the feast? May I suggest praying the prayer for his intercession:
“O Blessed Trinity, we thank You for having graced the Church with Pope John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your Fatherly care, the glory of the cross of Christ, and the splendor of the Holy Spirit, to shine through him. Trusting fully in Your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd, and has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you. Grant us, by his intercession, and according to Your will, the graces we implore, hoping that he will soon be numbered among your saints. Amen.”And if you are looking for some reflections on the gift of his life and witness, may I offer you two I have written for the past two anniversaries of his death: Venerable John Paul the Great: Example in Life, Witness in Death and The Anniversary of John Paul the Great.