Oct 28, 2014 / 04:48 am
Saint John Paul II’s deep love for the world and for God continues to inspire people today to draw near to Christ, teaching them not only about sanctity, but about humanity, say those who were close to the late Pope.
“He was just a human being and he taught me how to be a person, how to be a man,” said Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki of Lviv, Ukraine, who served as papal secretary under Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.
“We lost our beloved pope when he died, but this sense of sorrow has been transformed in the joy of him being a saint.”
Saint John Paul II’s first universal feast day after his canonization earlier this year was celebrated on Oct. 22, the anniversary of his papal inauguration.
Speaking to CNA on the feast day, Archbishop Mokrzycki relayed some of his favorite stories of John Paul II, highlighting the saint’s love for the world.
Once, when traveling to Mexico, the archbishop said, faithful in the country flooded outside, using mirrors to try to reflect light at the plane, hoping to catch the Pope’s attention.
“John Paul was very impressed by the creativity of the Mexican faithful,” Archbishop Mokrzycki remembered. “He was smiling.”
The late Pope expressed his love for the world in private moments, his secretary continued, explaining that John Paul II “not only blessed us during the Angelus or every Sunday at Urbi et Orbi, but he would bless us every day.”
“By the end of each day, around 10:30 p.m., he would go to the chapel, he would pray for a short period of time, he would go back to his bedroom and come up to the window,” the archbishop said. “He would dim the lights or turn them off, he would open up the interior window, and then he would bless the world. …