Monday, April 04, 2005

John Paul II: 1920-2005

It may be a cliche, but it really is the end of an era.

I got to see him briefly when he said Mass at the Phoenix Park in Dublin, 29th September, 1979. The altar was a long way away, so we couldn't see him except through binoculars (though I didn't have binoculars in those days!). But after Mass, he came around the crowds in his Popemobile, and I did actually get to see him for about one second.

When I heard the news Saturday evening, I was in a hotel in Edinburgh. I really feel privileged for the fact that I grew up during his pontificate, and I doubt I will experience a Pope like him; I also know that every Pope we have for the next twenty years or so will be in his shadow, so to speak.

For what will he be remembered most in future? My prediction is two items: first, the adding of the five Luminous Mysteries to the Rosary; second, the growth of the promotion of the devotion of Divine Mercy.

May God and his Mother welcome him into his eternal reward.

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