Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By F. K. Bartels

5/2/2011 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (

He will be forever remembered as a humble and living image of the healing mercy of Christ Jesus

Through his love for Jesus and through his love for Mary whose "fiat" brought Mercy into the world, he will be forever remembered as a humble and living image of what humanity unceasingly seeks: the regenerative and healing mercy of Christ Jesus.

Blessed John Paul II

Blessed John Paul II


By F. K. Bartels

Catholic Online (

5/2/2011 (4 years ago)

Published in Christian Saints & Heroes

Keywords: Blessed John Paul II, Beatification of John Paul II, John Paul II and message of Mercy, Mercy, Divine Mercy Sunday, F. K. Bartels

GLADE PARK, CO (Catholic Online) -- Today on this Divine Mercy Sunday the Mass for the Beatification of Venerable Pope John Paul II will begin at 10:00 a.m. It is truly a sacred moment for which the world has long yearned. During the Rite of Beatification, Pope Benedict XVI will raise to the Altar his beloved friend and predecessor, a truly extraordinary Pope whom the entire world knew and loved, and whose memory will remain infused within us all with deep tenderness and veneration for all ages to come.

The Mass will be preceded by a gathering of the faithful to recite the Devotion of Divine Mercy, a prayer in which we offer to the Father the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of his dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and the sins of the whole world. In reciting this profound prayer, we are spiritually united with the Paschal Mystery of our Savior who so unreservedly gave of himself for our sake.

Too, we immediately recall the gift of the Risen Lord in Eucharist -- the supreme gift of Christ himself, perpetuated throughout all time, in which Jesus the Christ unites his own sacred body to ours in an act of incomparable mercy, and thus draws us with profound and tender delicacy into his own life of everlasting Love.

As Pope Benedict has pointed out, that the Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday, was chosen as the day on which Venerable John Paul II would become Blessed John Paul II is significant. If it were possible to sum up John Paul II's pontificate in a word, I think it would be "mercy." There is perhaps no one who has looked into this saint's eyes and not seen reflected there the great abyss of Mercy Itself.

Further, we have seen it not only in John Paul II's eyes, but in his compassionate, tender, and knowing smile; we have felt it in the tone of his voice; we have witnessed it reflected in the crowds who flock before him and wait in silent anticipation of his strikingly meaningful words which, through and in and with Christ, were so masterfully articulated to a spiritually hungry flock.

John Paul II seemed to have not simply a grasp of the needs and troubles of humanity, but rather displayed an intimate connection with the desires, frustrations, fears and weaknesses of the people spread across the world. His words had the ability to stir us in the depths of our hearts, remain there, and resurface time and again throughout the days and years. It was as if he saw with more than human eyes: he looked upon mankind from within and without, always assisted by the divine promptings of the Holy Spirit whose love guided his thoughts, words and actions.

Yet above all, in his words, teaching, and exquisite writing, the message of Christ's mercy shines through. Such a wondrous and life-giving message is the proclamation of the universal Church; it is the heartfelt plea of humankind; it is the desire of every man, woman and child who has experienced failure, hurt, and disappointment in life; it is a treasure for which we strive and thirst. Further, it is a free Gift which God has promised, and which is sealed in the consummation of God's love: the Person of Jesus Christ.

John Paul II, again and again, directed us toward a face-to-face encounter with Mercy Itself -- a healing and regenerative encounter we so desperately need. In the third year of his pontificate he wrote in Dives in misericordia of the prayer of the Church in our times: "The Church proclaims the truth of God's mercy revealed in the crucified and risen Christ, . . . Furthermore, she seeks to practice mercy towards people through people, and she sees in this an indispensable condition for solicitude for a better and 'more human' world, today and tomorrow.

"However, at no time and in no historical period -- especially at a moment as critical as our own -- can the Church forget the prayer that is a cry for the mercy of God amid the many forms of evil which weigh upon humanity and threaten it. Precisely this is the fundamental right and duty of the Church in Christ Jesus, her right and duty towards God and towards humanity. The more the human conscience succumbs to secularization, loses its sense of the very meaning of the word 'mercy,' moves away from God and distances itself from the mystery of mercy, the more the Church has the right and the duty to appeal to the God of mercy 'with loud cries.'

"These 'loud cries' should be the mark of the Church of our times, cries uttered to God to implore His mercy, the certain manifestation of which she professes and proclaims as having already come in Jesus crucified and risen, that is, in the Paschal Mystery. It is this mystery which bears within itself the most complete revelation of mercy, that is, of that love which is more powerful than death, more powerful than sin and every evil, the love which lifts man up when he falls into the abyss and frees him from the greatest threats" (14, 15).

Six years ago, on 2 April 2005, the light in Pope John Paul II's papal apartment was extinguished as his earthly life came to an end on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast day which he himself instituted, and which came about as a result of the private revelations of St. Fuastina, whom John Paul II canonized in Rome on 30 April 2000. It is not difficult to see in the timing of his death a providential connection between the message of mercy, which John Paul II so eloquently and movingly promulgated, and the reality of Mercy displayed before the world in our Savior's open arms upon the cross -- an invitation to mercy which seeks to draw humanity into a forever-embrace of Love.

It is also providential that the thousands of Catholics present in St. Peter's square on the eve of John Paul II's death tearfully prayed the Rosary with great devotion; for his love for the Blessed Virgin Mother was great indeed. His profound respect for Mary is highly palpable in his words, prayers, and writings.

Connecting Mary with our Savior's supreme act of mercy, John Paul II noted that Mary is "the one who obtained mercy in a particular and exceptional way, as no other person has. At the same time, still in an exceptional way, she made possible with the sacrifice of her heart her own sharing in revealing God's mercy. This sacrifice is intimately linked with the cross of her Son, at the foot of which she was to stand on Calvary. . . . No one has experienced, to the same degree as the Mother of the crucified One, the mystery of the cross, the overwhelming encounter of divine transcendent justice with love: that 'kiss' given by mercy to justice. No one has received into his heart, as much as Mary did, that mystery, that truly divine dimension of the redemption effected on Calvary by means of the death of the Son, together with the sacrifice of her maternal heart, together with her definitive 'fiat'" (Dives in misericordia 9).

St. Paul affirmed that "the Gentile peoples are to praise God because of his mercy" (Rom. 15:8-9). Blessed John Paul II, through his love for Jesus, and through his love for Mary whose "fiat" brought Mercy into the world, will be remembered as a humble and living image of what we all seek. His words, his careful and masterful teaching of the mysteries of Christ's life, will continue to echo in our hearts and lives. We will not stop missing him; not yet. Nevertheless, we have, again, cause for great joy.

On 5 April 2011, Msgr. Krajewski, a former member of John Paul II's office of Liturgical Celebrations, reflected on the late Pope's death, stating that when he left the papal apartment at the apostolic palace, he saw "a multitude of people walking silently in devotion. The world had closed down, got on its knees and cried."

Today we cry again. However, we cry not tears of sadness, but rather of joy: the world is not closed down: it is raised up as we come together as community and celebrate the elevation of Venerable John Paul II to Blessed John Paul II. We gather today under a new horizon, the horizon of Divine Mercy: we look beyond the present; we reflect on the wonders of God's unfathomable love; we raise our minds and hearts to Christ in praise and thanksgiving: "We praise you, O Lord, and we adore you, for you have done great things for us!"

The world will never forget the Gift of Mercy. Nor will we forget Blessed John Paul II who, always with charity and love, so beautifully articulated the message of mercy with great and penetrating depth. "Blessed John Paul II, pray for us! Through your intercession, obtain for us the ardent desire of our hearts: Mercy!"


F. K. Bartels is a Catholic writer who knows his Catholic Faith is one of the greatest gifts a man could ever have. He is a contributing writer for Catholic Online. Visit him also at


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Christian Saints & Heroes

Jennifer Hartline: Trying to Learn Humility From St. Therese Watch

Image of St. Therese of Lisieux

By Jennifer Hartline

St. Therese helps me understand: "the splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not take away the perfume of the little violet or the delightful simplicity of the daisy.if all flowers wanted to be roses, nature would lose her springtime beauty, and the ... continue reading

Saints and Heroes of the Faith: Fr Dwight Longenecker On The Day I Met St Therese Watch

Image of St. Therese

By Fr. Dwight Longenecker

I was an Anglican priest the summer I met St Therese of Lisieux. I was living in England and had three months free between jobs, so I decided to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. I was going to hitch hike and stay in monasteries and religious houses on the way. ... continue reading

Vocation to Love. Memorial of Saint Theresa of The Child Jesus, Virgin

Image of St. Theresa died on September 30, 1897. As a result of her sanctity and the many miracles which were accounted to her intercession, the cause for her canonization was introduced only seventeen years later.

By F. K. Bartels

The Little Flower of Jesus sacrificed her life for love of souls. She saw the magnitude of her Beloved's love for them. She offered herself for the building up of the Church, the People of God and the Mystical Body of Christ. That is truly a ... continue reading

A Promise to God: St. Michael the Archangel, Defend Us in Battle Watch

Image of Michael is also represented in icons as standing on a horizontal body and with his left arm held high, holding a small image of a

By Youngsun Jun

Though I am not strong enough to hold the suffering souls in my arms and carry them home, I can do one thing: I can pray for the deliverance of the souls who are in the darkness. I can request help from the angels for them. I can make a 911 call for them. So again, I ... continue reading

Prayer to St. Junipero Serra: 'Help me deliver the light of Christ...'

Image of Saint Junipero Serra, pray for us!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Saint Junipero Serra, pray for us! Saint Junipero Serra, your missionary zeal brought the light of Christ to millions. You endured so many hardships, and labored so much that your work resonates today in the hearts of hundreds of millions of Catholics. Saint Serra, I ... continue reading

The Life of Ignatius of Loyola Challenges All of Us to Become Saints Watch

Image of On July 31st we remember the founder of the Company or Society of Jesus (Jesuits), Ignatius of Loyola. He is the patron saint of soldiers and of retreatants. There is a connection. He was a soldier and the Spiritual Exercise which he left us have been used for hundreds of years to help men and women like us encounter Jesus Christ, on retreats, and in our daily lives. The disciplines they promote can help us to grow in holiness of life, no matter what our state in life, and equip us for service in the Army of the King, Jesus Christ.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Over the centuries, the Jesuits have been relied upon by Popes as trustworthy, heroic soldiers for Jesus Christ and His Church. Yes, there have been times when the company seemed to lose its fervor. However, Jesus Christ the King has always sent His Spirit to ... continue reading

St. Bonaventure Points us to St Francis and the Lord Jesus Christ Watch

Image of Bonaventure was a friend and a disciple of Francis. When he looked at Francis he saw Jesus Christ. Bonaventure, like his friend Francis, was also a mystic. To him the Spirit of Francis is the Spirit of Jesus and

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

On July 15th in the Liturgical Calendar of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, we commemorate the life, holiness, work and death of a great Bishop and Doctor named Bonaventure. He was born in 1218, became a Franciscan Friar in 1243, and died in 1274. A friend ... continue reading

A Patron Saint for California Watch

Image of Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra, the heroic 'Apostle of California.' in September 2015.

By Justin Soutar

During his visit to the United States this coming September, Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra, the heroic 'Apostle of California.' Once that happens, the Golden State will have its own patron saint and the Church will have another great missionary role ... continue reading

Lessons From Saint Joseph The Carpenter

Image of Author Alex Basile serves as the Religion Department Chairman at Kellenberg Memorial High School and has written nine books for Saint Pauls Alba House.(

By Alex Basile

Every carpenter must practice patience. We can learn important lessons from the wood shop in Nazareth from the humble Saint Joseph. I have always been a "do it yourself" type of guy thanks to my father. My dad is always a steady presence during my home-improvement ... continue reading

Learning from St Irenaeus How to Know God Watch

Image of Irenaeus of Lyon wrote these words - The glory of God gives life; those who see God receive life. For this reason, God-who cannot be grasped, comprehended, or seen-allows Himself to be seen, comprehended, and grasped by men, that He may give life to those who see and receive Him. It is impossible to live without life, and the actualization of life comes from participation in God, while participation in God is to see God and enjoy His goodness.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

This great defender of the faith insisted on the central claim of Christianity: God can be known and loved-indeed, that is why He came into our midst in the person of His Son; so that through a  relationship with Jesus Christ, man could participate in the ... continue reading

All Christian Saints & Heroes News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 11:1-10
1 A shoot will spring from the stock of Jesse, a new shoot will grow from ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 72:1, 7-8, 12-13, 17
1 [Of Solomon] God, endow the king with your own fair judgement, the son ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 10:21-24
21 Just at this time, filled with joy by the Holy Spirit, he said, 'I ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 1st, 2015 Image

St. Eligius
December 1: Eligius (also known as Eloi) was born around 590 ... Read More