Almighty God and his holy Mother are to raise up great saints who will surpass in holiness most other saints as much as the cedars of Lebanon tower above little shrubs…These great souls filled with grace and zeal will be chosen to oppose the enemies of God who are raging on all sides. They will be exceptionally devoted to the Blessed Virgin. Illumined by her light, strengthened by her food, guided by her spirit, supported by her arm, sheltered under her protection, they will fight with one hand and build with the other… By word and example they will draw all men to a true devotion to her and though this will make many enemies, it will also bring about many victories and much glory to God alone.
– St. Louis de Montfort, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin
Today is the feast day of Bl. Pope John Paul II. Only last year was it approved as an optional memorial in the US, and next year it will be celebrated as the feast of Saint John Paul II. For those of you who pray the liturgy of the hours, the proper texts for today’s optional memorial can be found here.
The Little Flower Basilica will be celebrating a Solemn Mass for his feast day today at 5:30pm. If you are in the San Antonio area it would be a nice way to end the day, commemorating this great saint who visited San Antonio in 1987. Just recently we visited Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish in St. Hedwig, outside of San Antonio. This beautiful church, built by Polish immigrants in 1868, has, as you can imagine, a fervent love for John Paul II. They are actually the guardians of the Papal chair which the pontiff used during his historic visit to San Antonio. It was a privilege for us to offer up a prayer while standing before a chair used by the 263rd successor of St. Peter, one of the greatest saints of our time.
O God, who are rich in mercy and who willed that the blessed John Paul the Second should preside as Pope over your universal Church, grant, we pray, that instructed by his teaching, we may open our hearts to the saving grace of Christ, the sole Redeemer of mankind. Who lives and reigns.