Thank you, Lisa, and welcome to Happy Catholic on your tour of the Catholic blog world. (Hey, if you need extra towels, just look in that cabinet behind the sink!)
When I set out to write a book about the lives of the saints at the request of my publisher in the early weeks of September 2010, I could never have anticipated the way in which my life would be touched personally by the project. With a blank slate and a lot of leash from Ave Maria Press and my editor Eileen Ponder, I set out to create a “dream team” of 52 saints, reflecting for several weeks upon their individual charisms and qualities. One definite on my “must include” list was – as we knew him at that time – Pope Venerable John Paul II.
I put the finishing touches on my then “Pope Venerable John Paul II” chapter for A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms in late December 2010. At that time, I dwelt upon the role of his writings on the Theology of the Body had in my life, doing my best to celebrate the dignity with which he taught us to see and to treasure all human life. Little did I know that a few months later, I would be invited to attend the Vatican Blogger Meeting being held in conjunction with the Beatification of Blessed John Paul II.
I never met Blessed John Paul II personally in life, and yet in so many moments since his death he has been a spiritual companion, and intercessor, and a model of virtue for me. God willing, I hope to be present at his canonization. But in truth, my trip to Rome and my time spent studying the dignity of the life of this man has taught me to look around me at the everyday saints in my own life with greater awareness. Like this humble man from Poland who went on to bring peace to our world and transformation to our Church, each of us are called to the path of sainthood. My path plays out one step at a time, in simple, joyous fashion. I’ll be forever grateful for the companionship of Blessed John Paul II along that journey – wherever it may lead.