The former leader of the Roman Catholic church is now known as Blessed Pope John Paul II after his beatification on May 1, 2011. He is believed to be one of the most influential world leaders of the 20th century. A peace mediator who has traveled 129 countries across the globe.The pope is born in Poland and was named Karol Jozef Wojtyla.He answered God's calling in 1942 and he likes to be with the young people.At the young age of 26, he became a priest, a bishop at 38, an archbishop at 43, a cardinal at 47 and became the 2nd youngest pope at the age of 58 on October 16,1978.He was the 1st non-Italian pope then.
On February 17, 1981 Pope John Paul II visited my country for the beatification of Lorenzo Ruiz.Ex-president Ferdinand Marcos ruled the Philippines when the pope did a pastoral visit.He had been to Legazpi, Baguio, Bacolod and Davao. It was in 1973 when he first came here. He officiated a mass in Baclaran Church (Manila) on his way to Australia when he was a cardinal.While in the Philippines, the pope met Mother Theresa of Calcutta who was also a special visitor at that time.
In 1995, he spent five days in the country in the celebration of World Youth Day. The pope described the Filipinos as phenomenon."Tell the World of His Love" is the official theme song of the celebration which is composed by Trina Bilamick.I was in 4th grade when we were taught to master this action song.Then, the Central Bank of the Philippines made a memorabilia for the pope's visit.
I heard stories from my fellowmen sharing their personal encounter with the pope.All of them felt overwhelmed and shed some tears in his presence.They felt Pope John Paul II is truly sent and annointed by God.
On May 13, 1981, he was shot at St. Peter's Square in Vatican yet survived the incident.The perpetrator was caught. The pope visited him in his cell and forgave the person who tried to kill him.
The catholic church honored the miracle done by the late pope which is necessary to hail a person as saint.A French nun with Parkinson's disease was healed after Pope John Paul II prayed for her wellness.The pope was diagnosed in 2003 and died on April 02,2005 at the age of 84 with the same disease.