My 5th article for the Pax Sinica column in The B.C. Catholic newspaper (Sept. 14 issue).
若望保祿二世曾以 Totus Tuus「全屬於妳」作為宗座格言。此靈感乃來自聖類斯.格利寧對聖母的奉獻。教宗特別敬禮花地瑪聖母，在一九八四年三月二十五日，把全世界敬獻予聖母無玷聖心。他亦推廣神聖慈悲敬禮。我想他在二零零五年四月二日，首瞻禮七和神聖慈悲瞻禮前夕去世，是一個恩典。其中一樣最大的遺產，是他給了教會玫瑰經的光明五端，讓信眾更能默觀基督的肖像。若望保祿二世十分愛聖體，常朝拜聖體和恭唸玫瑰經。
Beloved John Paul II
It’s been 25 years since Pope John Paul II visited the Archdiocese of Vancouver; Sept. 18 will be that silver jubilee.
St. Catherine of Siena called the Pope “the sweet Christ on earth.” Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. He is the way that we must follow (moral), the truth that we must believe (dogma), and the life that we must live (prayer). John Paul II continued the works of Christ marvellously as a moral leader, a teacher of truth, and a man of prayer.
In his encyclical Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), John Paul II courageously confirmed the teachings that direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being, direct abortion, and euthanasia are gravely immoral.
The Holy Father had left the Church wonderful teachings on human sexuality and marriage through the 129 talks he had given during the Wednesday audiences from 1979 to 1984. These talks are known as the “Theology of the Body.” The late Pope had a profound respect for the dignity of each human person, and he expressed this respect both by words and by deeds.
During his pontificate, Pope John Paul II canonized 482 saints. The late Pope also beatified 1,340 people. Of these, some of the popular ones are: St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Pio of Pietrelcina, St. Josemaria Escriva, St. Faustina Kowalska, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), Blessed John XXIII, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, Blessed Francisco Marto, and Blessed Jacinta Marto.
By canonizing and beatifying people from all walks of life, Pope John Paul II helped to create the culture of holiness and to affirm the universal call to holiness.
Teacher of truth
In his apostolic constitution Fidei Depositum, John Paul II stated that the principal task entrusted to the Second Vatican Council by Pope John XXIII was to guard and better present the precious deposit of Christian doctrine in order to make it more accessible to the Christian faithful and to all people of good will.
Pope John Paul sought to implement the teachings of the council, and a significant achievement was the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in 1992. In this catechism the teachings of the Church are arranged into the traditional four parts: the Creed, the sacraments, the commandments, and prayer. However, the contents are often presented in a new way suited to the present life of Christians.
In February 2003 Pope John Paul decided to prepare a compendium as a more concise formulation of the contents of faith than the catechism. The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church was promulgated shortly after his death by his successor Pope Benedict XVI in 2005. Both the catechism and the compendium are valuable resources for teachers and students of the Catholic faith.
Man of prayer
The apostolic motto of Pope John Paul was “Totus Tuus” (totally yours). These words were inspired by St. Louis de Montfort’s teachings on total consecration to Mary. The late Pope had a great devotion to Our Lady of Fatima, and he consecrated the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, 1984.
The late Pope was also instrumental in the popularization of the Divine Mercy Devotion. I think it was very providential that he died on the first Saturday of April, the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday, April 2, 2005.
One of the greatest gifts that Pope John Paul gave the Church is the Mysteries of Light of the Rosary, which help the faithful to contemplate the face of Christ. Pope John Paul had a great love for the Holy Eucharist, and loved to spend time in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament and time praying the Rosary.
As we remember the 25th anniversary of the visit of Pope John Paul to our archdiocese, let us thank God for giving the Church such a wonderful saintly leader. May we follow his example of holiness, faith, and prayer.