“What really matters in life is that we are loved by Christ and that we love Him in return. In comparison to the love of Jesus, everything else is secondary. And, without the love of Jesus, everything is useless.” ~ John Paul II
The saint of the month is St. Pope John Paul II. Pope John Paul II was born Karol Józef Wojtyla on May 18, 1920, in Poland. During the 1939 invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, Pope John Paul II was a 19-year-old college student. Tragically, he saw some of his friends and teachers killed by the invading Nazis and watched Poland, his beloved homeland, become the center of the Holocaust. He was ordained, a priest, in 1946, a year after World War II ended. In 1967, he was made a cardinal by Pope Paul VI, and in 1978 was elected the first non-Italian pope in more than 400 years. While he served as pope, John Paul II, traveled the world making more than 100 trips to promote, the Catholic faith, peace and to help bring an end to poverty. In 2001, he become the first pope to visit Greece since the Schism in 1054, when the Christian church was split into the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. He was also a vocal advocate for human rights and used his influence to effect political change. Pope John Paul II died in April 2005 at the age of 84. His official cause of death was septic shock and cardio-circulatory collapse. He had suffered from Parkinson’s disease, arthritis and other ailments for several years before his death. He was canonized a saint 9 years after his death in 2014. St. Pope John Paul’s Feast Day is on October 22nd.