This year's International Workers' Day had attained a place in
history books as a special day. The world's most wanted terrorist
Osama bin Laden was declared dead. The death of the al-Qaeda
leader and international terrorist has made the well wishers of
lives of innocent people ecstatic. It's strange
that almost 66 years back on May 1,
1945, the world came to know about the death of another dictator
and mass murderer Adolf Hitler, which ensured culmination of
allied campaign in Europe during World War
However, the jubilation over death of Laden would not diminish
the significance of another great happening that took place on
this May Day. Nearly 1.5 million people gathered in Rome to
participate in the
ceremony of Pope John Paul II, which turned him
into a "Blessed" figure. "From now on Pope John Paul shall be
called 'blessed,'" proclaimed Pope Benedict. Many who are not
aware of the term
need to know that it ' is a recognition accorded by the
Catholic Church of a dead person's entrance into Heaven and
capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or
her name (intercession of saints). Beatification is the third of
the four steps in the canonization process. A person who is
beatified is given the title "Blessed".'
Blessed Pope John Paul II was an unique soul in many ways.
This Polish pope was the first non-Italian pope since Dutch pope
Adrian VI (1522-1523), who came to be associated with the
second-longest documented pontificate, spanning over 26 years.
Though, he could not save himself above the waves of criticism
for upholding " the moral teachings of the Catholic Church
regarding gender roles, sexuality, euthanasia, artificial
contraception and abortion ", it's beyond doubt that he was
person in league with great achievements. Nobody can forget that
this man played a major role in ensuring the demise of Communism
in Eastern Europe. He was a real saint who really cared for
humanity, making him travel vigorously in as much as 129 nations.
He knew more than 13 languages, helping him to establish rapport
with the sufferers in various parts of the world very
Recalling one such visit, one of my close friends and admirer of
my writings Carmen turns quite nostalgic. She describing the
visit to Peru in 1985 told me that Pope was not
hesitant to visit Callao considered dangerous because of the
continued violence there. He also visited Villa El Salvador
considered one of most poorest part of Lima then. Carmen proudly
told me that she was one of the few lucky students to participate
in the welcome ceremony held to mark the visit of Blessed Pope
John Paul II. She recollects how she had prepared songs and
slogans and how she anxiously waited for his arrival at the
airport. Well, I must say that she is no less than a blessed soul
who twice got an opportunity to have the glimpse of him during
the pontificate. I must agree with Carmen's observation that few
seconds spent with
some evolved soul
lead to everlasting impression in mind and
Now it's time for me to enter in some self praise!! Some six
years back I had contributed to one
leading website this short piece which talked
about John Paul II being referred to as the Great after the
death. He is the fourth pope to receive this honour. Anyway, here
is what I wrote six years back when the appellation [of "the
Great"] came to be associated with him.
To say that appellation represents true worth of a person is to
ignore the greatness inherent in the noble deeds. Let us know
for sure that pious souls intentions don't need anybody's seal
of approval. Also appellations are of relative importance,being
open to diverse interpretations. Alexander the great may be
national hero in his land but for others he is no more than a
plunderer. Pope John Paul II lived for the cause of humanity.
He was different from his predecessors in a sense that he
touched issues, which were controversial in nature, managing to
create a new way. By all standards it was an amazing
achievement, something that enabled him to strike a chord with
the masses. The need of the hour is to infuse religion with the
progressive ideals so that it can become people friendly.
Viewed in this perspective, Pope John Paul II created space for
issues, which till few years ago were suppressed by orthodoxy.
How many times can you find religious heads airing views on
homosexuality, capitalism and etc. in such a ferocious manner?
His legacy merely indicates that time has come to adopt liberal
concepts without losing sight of the ancient
Famous words of Blessed Pope John Paul II:
I have searched for you, and now you have come to me, and I thank
As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole
world in which we live.
The future starts today, not tomorrow.
No, we shall not be saved by a formula but by a Person (Read
Do not be afraid.
Blessed Pope John Paul II
A song by Guillermo Dávila