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Friday of the twenty-ninth week in ordinary time; Optional Memorial of Saint John Paul II, Pope
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Previous calendar: Sainte-Marie Salomé (Hist)
The Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship has approved the inclusion of the optional Memorial of Pope Saint John Paul II in the calendar of the dioceses of the United States for today.
Karol Jozef Wojtyla was born in 1920 in Wadowice, Poland. After his priestly ordination and his theological studies in Rome, he returned to his homeland and took up various pastoral and academic tasks. He became the first auxiliary bishop and, in 1964, archbishop of Krakow and participated in the Vatican Council II. On October 16, 1978, he was elected pope and took the name of John Paul II. His exceptional apostolic zeal, especially for families, young people and the sick, led him to numerous pastoral visits throughout the world. Among the many fruits that he left as an inheritance to the Church, there is especially his rich Magisterium and the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church as well as of the Code of Canon Law for the Latin Church and for the Eastern Churches. . In Rome on April 2, 2005, the eve of the second Sunday of Easter (or of Divine Mercy), he left peacefully in the Lord.Historically today is the feast of Saint Mary Salome, the mother of James the Greater and John the Evangelist, the “sons of Zebedee”. She was among the women who remained while Jesus was on the cross, according to the Gospels, she is one of the women who discovered the empty tomb.
Saint John Paul II
Karol Jozef Wojtyla, elected Pope on October 16, 1978, was born in Wadowice, Poland on May 18, 1920.
He was the third of three children of Karol Wojtyla and Emilia Kaczorowska, who died in 1929. His older brother Edmund, doctor, died in 1932, and his father, Karol, an army non-commissioned officer, died in 1941 He was nine years old when he received his first communion and eighteen when he received the sacrament of confirmation. After graduating from high school in Wadowice, he enrolled at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow in 1938. When the Nazi occupation forces closed the University in 1939, Karol worked (1940-1944) in a career then in the Solvay chemical plant to earn a living. and to avoid deportation to Germany. Feeling called to the priesthood, he began his studies in 1942 at the major underground seminary in Krakow, headed by Archbishop Adam Stefan Sapieha. During this time he was one of the organizers of the “Rhapsodic Theater”, which was also underground. After the war, Karol continued his studies at the newly reopened major seminary and at the theological school of the Jagiellonian University, until his priestly ordination in Krakow on November 1, 1946. Father Wojtyla was then sent by the cardinal. Sapieha in Rome, where he obtained a doctorate in theology (1948). He wrote his thesis on faith as understood in the works of Saint John of the Cross. While a student in Rome, he spent his vacations pastoral ministry to Polish emigrants in France, Belgium and Holland.
In 1948, Father Wojtyla returned to Poland and was appointed vicar in the parish church of Niegowi ?, near Krakow, and later in Saint Florian in the city. He was university chaplain until 1951, when he resumed studies in philosophy and theology. In 1953, Father Wojtyla presented a thesis at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow on the possibility of founding Christian ethics on the ethical system developed by Max Scheler. Later he became professor of moral theology and ethics at the major seminary in Krakow and at the theological faculty in Lublin. On July 4, 1958, Pope Pius XII appointed Father Wojtyla auxiliary bishop of Krakow, with the titular see of Ombi. Archbishop Eugeniusz Baziak ordained him in Wawel Cathedral (Krakow) on September 28, 1958. On January 13, 1964, Pope Paul VI appointed Bishop Wojtyla Archbishop of Krakow and subsequently, on June 26, 1967, the created cardinal. Bishop Wojtyla participated in the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and made a significant contribution to the drafting of the Constitution Gaudium et Spes. He also participated in the five assemblies of the Synod of Bishops before the start of his pontificate. On October 16, 1978 Cardinal Wojtyla was elected Pope and on October 22 he began his ministry as Universal Pastor of the Church. Pope John Paul II made 146 pastoral visits to Italy and, as Bishop of Rome, he visited 317 of the current 322 Roman parishes. His international apostolic journeys numbered 104 and were the expression of the constant pastoral concern of the Successor of Peter for all the Churches. Its main documents include 14 Encyclicals, 15 Apostolic Exhortations, 11 Apostolic Constitutions and 45 Apostolic Letters. He also wrote five books: Cross the threshold of hope (October 1994); Gift and mystery: on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of my priestly ordination (November 1996); Roman triptych, meditations in poetry (March 2003); Get up, let’s be on our way (May 2004) and Memory and Identity (February 2005). Pope John Paul II celebrated 147 beatifications, during which he proclaimed 1,338 blessed, and 51 canonizations, for a total of 482 saints. He convoked 9 consistories, in which he created 231 cardinals (plus a in pectore). He also chaired 6 plenary meetings of the College of Cardinals. From 1978, Pope John Paul II called 15 assemblies of the Synod of Bishops: 6 ordinary general sessions (1980, 1983, 1987, 1990, 1994 and 2001), 1 extraordinary general session (1985) and 8 special sessions (1980 , 1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998 (2) and 1999). On May 13, 1981, an attack was committed on the life of Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square. Saved by the maternal hand of the Mother of God, after a long stay in the hospital, he forgave the attempted murderer and, aware of having received a great gift, intensified his pastoral commitments with heroic generosity. Pope John Paul II also manifested his pastoral concern by erecting numerous dioceses and ecclesiastical circumscriptions, and by promulgating Codes of Canon Law for the Latin and Eastern Churches, as well as the Catechism of the Catholic Church. He proclaimed the Year of Redemption, the Marian Year and the Year of the Eucharist as well as the Great Jubilee of the year 2000, in order to provide the People of God with particularly intense spiritual experiences. He also attracted young people by starting the celebration of World Youth Day. No other pope has met as many people as Pope John Paul II. More than 17.6 million pilgrims attended its general audiences on Wednesday (which numbered more than 1,160). This does not include any of the other special audiences and religious ceremonies (over 8 million pilgrims in the Great Jubilee year of 2000 alone). He met millions of the faithful during his pastoral visits in Italy and around the world. He also received in audience many government officials, including 38 official visits and 738 hearings and meetings with Heads of State, as well as 246 hearings and meetings with Prime Ministers. Pope John Paul II died at the Apostolic Palace at 9:37 p.m. on Saturday April 2, 2005, Sunday eve to albis or the Sunday of Divine Mercy, which he had instituted. On April 8, his solemn funeral was celebrated in St. Peter’s Square and he was buried in the crypt of St. Peter’s Basilica. John Paul II was beatified in Saint Peter’s Square on May 1, 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI, his immediate successor and for many years his precious collaborator as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. –Extract from the Vatican website
Saint Mary Salome
Saint Mary Salomé was the wife of Zebedee and the mother of the apostles John and James the Greater. Known as the “Sons of Thunder,” these two great men were among the first to be chosen by Jesus to follow him. Marie Salomé, their mother, would be one of the “three Marys” to follow Jesus and serve him and his disciples. Considered the financial source of their travels, Mary Salomé, along with Mary Magdalene and others, would give all they had to advance the works of Jesus and his disciples.
Mary Salome witnessed the crucifixion, the entombment and was mentioned by Saint Mark as one of the women who went to anoint the body of the Lord, finding it risen. In the Gospel, Marie Salomé asks what place her sons will have in the Kingdom. Jesus tells him that it is the Father who decides and that they should follow his example and earn their place in paradise. Legend has it that after Pentecost, Mary Salomé would travel to Veroli, Italy, where she would preach the gospel for the rest of her life. She will become the patron saint of this historic city.
Many women today can relate to a woman of such faith as Marie Salomé. She saw her sons give up what they were doing, leave the family business, and follow a man they didn’t know much about. At first it must have been scary. But just as many mothers saw their sons leave, perhaps to go to war, a great faith sustained her and even led her to take up the same cause as her sons. May we all have the faith and love of Marie Salomé. This Wednesday, October 22, we celebrate the feast of Saint Marie Salomé, mother of the apostles John and James. –Extract from the Papa Benedetto XVI’s website