Sunday, April 03, 2005

A dear Pope passes away....thoughts and recollections

I left the television on last night even as I slept. Somehow I sensed something might happen to the Pope. All of a sudden I woke up at around 4am with the news that Pope John Paul II has just passed away.

I suddenly remembered it was the feast of the Divine Mercy as well as first saturday. The Lord appeared to the then Sisten Faustina (now saint) in Poland, the birthplace of Pope JPII, which then brought about the devotion to the Divine Mercy. First Saturday is the day of Our Lady and we all know the pope has great devotion to the Blessed Mother. Karol Wotyla then served his priesthood at Kracow the site of the Divine Mercy Apparition.

The Holy Father firmly believed that it was Our Lady of Fatima who saved him from the almost fatal bullet fired by a Turk several years ago. As soon as he healed, he visited Portugal and offered the bullet to Our Lady. Today one can see this bullet embedded inside the crown of Our Lady of Fatima at the Apparition Chapel. Too bad I was not able to take a photo when I last visited the place.

The news has stated that he has been pope for 26 years. The number and date is very memorable for 26 years ago, I graduated from college, got my first job, went to my first trip of europe in Sept. to meet with the then Pope John Paul I. My parents and I had a private audience and I was able to take only one photo which seemed to be foreboding since it was cut on the head when I developed it. The following month, when we returned to Rome a new Pope was installed, Karol Wotyla, who chose the name Pope John Paul II.

A few years later, we visited his hometown in Watowice. His former residence is now a museum where one has to wear gigantic slippers prior to entry to the home. It keeps the house clean as well as acts as a cleaning agent as you walk the wooden floors.

I have kissed the hand of Pope Paul VI as a young kid when he visited Manila but as an adult, I was fortunate enough with my parents to have attended some of Pope John Paul II's private masses, easter celebrations, kissed his hand, offered some gifts, received communion and even lunched at his summer home. Dad is a Knight Commander, the highst honor given by the Pope to a lay person.

Another thought entered my mind before the pope's death. I somehow thought that the Pope was trying to hang on to dear life at all costs in order to delay the coming of the anti christ. Scary but try reading the book of revelation. He maybe somewhere on earth roaming and surely is eyeing the Vatican.

I also thought of the empty frames at the ceiling of St. Paul outside the walls in Rome. Soon it will be decreased when a new Pope is proclaimed. As I stated in a previous post, legend says, once all the frames in that ceiling is filled up, it will be the end of the world. The last time I visited, there was just a handful of empty frames left. One can never tell how long a Pope will reign specially knowing what happened to Pope John Paul I.

Right now I am sure the Holy Father is smiling at us in heaven. I am sure he will pray for continued peace, solidarity, and the englightenment of leaders towards preserving the family.

I prayed to him earlier and asked him to greet my mom.


bizdriven said...

Hi Maan,

yes, the pope has had a full life, and we can only wish the next one will be like him.

pinay in netherlands said...

Hi Maan! Just saw your comment on my first entry and so sorry to be replying just now. Anyway, you can check out my reply to that.

See you :)