Wednesday, October 23, 2019

John Paul II and Us

If you've followed this blog or my other Internet media sites for any length of time, then you've seen this picture of the newly married John and Eileen Janaro with Saint John Paul II in Rome on July 3, 1996.

This encounter will always be precious to us. We'll never forget how he invested himself in those few brief moments with his amazing capacity to give of himself, his magnificent humanity, and also his own unguarded vulnerability as a real person. He was carrying the burdens of his 18 years in the office of Peter, his advancing age, and the early stages of Parkinson's that was slowly shaping the last heroic sacrifice of the physically debilitated final years of his singular papacy. 

On that afternoon, we spoke with him and asked him to bless our marriage, and he traced the cross on our foreheads. Then we hugged him and he felt like an old grandfather, and we kept saying, "We love you, we love you!" He said, "Thank you."

I think that, for a moment, we actually gave him some small consolation. 

I know it was a huge, pivotal moment in my life, in Eileen's life, in our marriage, in relation to all that has happened since then, to the future yet to come, everything. God alone knows...

Saint John Paul II, pray for us, for our family, for all families, for all those who suffer.