There have been times when I have been tempted to destroy all my journals, and I can say that I have many. They have been with me for many years, including those I had kept even before my Baptism. I am an introvert who enjoys dabbling with activities that can be carried out without much fanfare, and I guess writing is one such activity. Since it is a gift, I pray that I can use it for the glory of the Lord.
Now, I am glad not to have destroyed my journals. There are some interesting entries like a little dream that I had while on retreat in 2004. It seems to me that that had been a very interesting time for I have just read other records of experiences and encounters. Truly a blessing!
The dream I had was in an entry made on 15 December 2004 at 7.10 in the morning.
“Woke up before 3 a.m. this morning. I had a dream, part of which was beautiful. My family and I crossed a road to go up to a church. There was a short flight of steps. When we reached the top, I heard the voice of our Holy Father John Paul II giving a meditation on the rosary which people were praying. His voice was loud, clear and strong . . .”
I am happy reading this because our Holy Father Blessed John Paul II is now in heaven. As I have written, he is the Pope I am most familiar with since my baptism. Now, in the month of May, one can recall two other major events linked to the late Holy Father. The first is that an attempt to assassinate him was made on 13 May 1981, thirty years ago. I was not a Catholic then and the news did not affect me much. In fact, I do not even remember much of what really happened. Now, thanks to the internet, I am able to watch what happened that evening. There he was, moving joyfully amongst his people. Thousands were there, asking for a blessing, a prayer, a touch of his hand or a smile. Then it happened and Blessed John Paul II did not hesitate to forgive his assassin. Since then, we know that they met in prison in 1983 and without fanfare, Blessed John Paul II forgave the man who almost killed him. May God be praised!
The image of Our Lady Mother of the Church, which looks over St. Peter’s Square from the facade of the Apostolic Palace is a tribute Pope John Paul II wanted to make to Mary for saving him from assassination on May 13, 1981. The image is more than 2.5 meters (8 feet) tall and it was installed in 1981, just some months after the attempt on the Pope’s life. Under the image is Our Lady’s title “Mater Ecclesiae,” and at the base of the depiction is the Holy Father’s coat of arms and motto, “Totus Tuus.”
The Holy Father asked that the remembrance of the attack be an image of the Virgin in a very visible spot in the Square. John Paul II was personally convinced that on May 13, the Virgin Mary was present in St. Peter’s Square to save his life. John Paul II made it known that he would very much like a representation of the Virgin as Mother of the Church” because the Virgin “has always been united to the Church” and has been “especially close in difficult moments of her history.” On the feast of the Immaculate Conception in 1981, John Paul II blessed the mosaic, a “sign of the heavenly protection of the Sovereign Pontiff, of the Church and of those who are in St. Peter’s Square.”
In this month of May, we recall the secret of Fatima and thank God for the intervention of our Lady of Fatima. She it was who intervened and saved the life of her priest-son, Blessed John Paul II. In Fatima, I was blessed to be able to pray before the statue of our Lady whose crown had the bullet that hit our late Holy Father.
The month of May also reminds us of the call of our Lady to ‘pray, pray, pray’ and we know that it was Blessed John Paul II who introduced for the Church the Mysteries of Light. May we pray the rosary every day. Join me in the spirit to pray the rosary with scriptures. The more we meditate on the twenty Mysteries, the more we will love our Lord and also our Blessed Mother. It is also good to pray with icons as I still do since our Retreat Master was so kind as to give us a carefully prepared booklet of twenty icons in colour. Praise God!
Mother Mary, our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Blessed John Paul II, pray for us!