Skip to content

'We Have Seen Incredible Things Today'

by Monsignor Charles M. Mangan
©Catholic Online 2005


Lux aeterna luceat ei, Domine: cum sanctis Tuis in aeternum, quia pius Es.

"May perpetual light shine upon him, O Lord, with Your Saints forever, because You are good."

So the famous Sistine Chapel Choir chanted during Friday's Funeral Mass for Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square.

That one simple but profound sentence summed up for me the reason for participating in this historic Requiem: to pray that the Holy Father may inherit the gift of unending life with Jesus Christ in Heaven and to thank the Almighty for allowing us--indeed, the whole world--to benefit from the 26-plus years of Petrine ministry exercised by Karol Jozef Wojtyla, a humble Pole who knew the distressing agonies wrought by Nazism and Communism and who outlived his entire earthly family.

I, and countless others, struggled with competing emotions this week. On one hand, we confessed our sorrow at the passing of a great man who suffered considerably, not only from his personal physical maladies but also from the temporal and spiritual tribulations burdening the universe. On the other, we acknowledged our genuine joy that the Bishop of Rome has been freed from our terrestrial bonds in order to enjoy perfect union with the Most Blessed Trinity.

Perhaps the most touching moment for me, along with the reception of Holy Communion, was toward the end of the Mass. The cypress casket carrying the remains of the Holy Father was carried to the door of the Basilica while the Magnificat was being sung. The pallbearers halted and permitted the assembly to express its appreciation for Pope John Paul II. Sustained applause rang out, and copious tears flowed for seven minutes.

Just as the casket was to disappear inside the Basilica for burial in the Vatican Grottoes, a bright ray of the sun was noticed encompassing the wooden box.

Signs dotting the square and beyond unapologetically called for the instant canonization of the man being remembered: Santo Subito ("Saint Immediately"). The next Pope will decide if the process leading to Sainthood is to be altered.

After the Funeral, as I exited the square, I chatted with several members of the U.S. congressional delegation: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and his wife, Karyn; Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich.; and Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J. Each felt honored to have attended the Sacred Rites for the deceased Pontiff, as did the Most Rev. Harry Flynn, the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The stirring Funeral initiated the nine days (Novendiali) of intense prayer and Holy Masses for the repose of the immortal soul of the Holy Father--a period that will conclude on Saturday, April 16, just two days before the beginning of the Conclave that will elect the next Pope.

As I walked home through the Eternal City, now filled with several million extra persons, many of whom hail from the pilgrim Pope's homeland, I couldn't help but ponder the words of those who witnessed Jesus' healing of the paralytic:

"We have seen incredible things today." (St. Luke 5:26)

From the Sioux Falls Argus Leader (April 9, 2005).


Mary's Field , VA
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan - Official, 390 66616-1125



Pope John Paul II

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

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

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.