Monday, April 28, 2014

Saint John Paul II, We Love You!

Yesterday this happened.

I may* have teared up a bit.
*totally did

So, I thought I would tell you about my memories of Saint! John Paul II.

My first memory of him is actually my first memory.

We were in Rome.  I was about 4 years old.  I just remember being in a huge crowd of people and my father lifting me up on his shoulders so I could see.  I saw a man in white go by and I vividly remember the excitement of the crowd.  That's it.  A flash of memory.

Then in 1987 he visited my hometown of San Antonio.  I remember getting on a bus and driving past the large pits that were being dug for a new theme park called Sea World.  It was hot.  Everyone had umbrellas to protect us from the sun.  It was amazing.  I couldn't believe the Pope was in my hometown!

1993 World Youth Day in Denver, Colorado.  My youth group took a bus to Denver.  That trip was life changing.  Still one of my favorite memories.  I still have the t-shirt we all wore.  Still know all the words to "We Are One Body."  Did I mention it was my 15th birthday?  Yup, doesn't get any more awesome.  And to save you time doing the math, that makes me 29.  Sadly my camera broke so I have no pictures of that trip.

In 1998 I spent a semester of college in Rome.  We attended a Papal Audience where he welcomed our University by name.  He was obviously tired and in pain but when a group of children started singing he perked right up.  It was beautiful.

Then on Good Friday I attended the service at St. Peters.  We were close to the aisle.  So very close.
He was that close to me.  He even stopped to bless a child at the end of our row.  I was barely more than an arms reach away from him.

That was the last time I saw him in person.  I still don't know why I was blessed enough to see him so many times in my life but I am very grateful.

Saint John Paul II, pray for us!
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