Two Popes Shined Yesterday

Almost two million pilgrims rejoiced yesterday in the Eternal City as they celebrated the beatification of one of history’s most beloved Pontiffs, Blessed Pope John Paul the Great. Many remembered him as a world leader, often even crediting him as the leader who did most to defeat Communism. But all must have been touched by the much more personal perspective from the present Holy Father, whose poignant memories described not merely a great man but a saint.

His Holiness Benedict XVI remembered the Church’s newest blessed not only as his fellow successor of Peter but as his own former “boss”, his friend and his spiritual mentor:

“I thank God for Blessed Pope John Paul II. For twenty-three years, I was at his side and came to revere him. His prayer edified me: deeply united to God even amid the many demands of his ministry. And through his witness in suffering when the Lord gradually stripped him of everything, he remained ever a “rock”, as Christ desired. His profound humility, grounded in close union with Christ, enabled him to become all the more eloquent as his physical strength declined. In this way he lived out in an extraordinary way the vocation to become completely one with Jesus.”

About Ray Noble

Deus et Patria -- A Website for Americans Who Enjoy Being Catholic ... and Vice Versa. ABOUT ME: Retired lawyer-law professor-author. Raised in NJ, now living in Florida. Widower and Father. EDUCATION ACHIEVEMENTS: Summa Cum Laude, Undergrad debating scholarship, Fulbright scholarship, Campion Scholar at Oxford University, Presidential Scholar at Boston College Law School, law review editor. DIVERSE PROFESSIONAL LIFE: Corporate lawyer, state (NJ) Deputy Atty General for Civil Rights, Law school associate professor (St. John's University), legal writer, author of guide for women at the request of the New Jersey League of Women Voters, state judiciary's chief of long range planning, state bar association's chief counsel, USIA law reform rep in Gaza and the West Bank, co-founder and overseer of 9/11 Mass Disaster relief program for World Trade Center victims. In 2001, after 33 years of marriage and 8 children (6 living daughters), Alice, the love of my life (my high school sweetheart), died when she was only 55 years old. I still miss her deeply and always will. But in 2002, an unexpected, new chapter began when I left the practice of law and became a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal for 3 blessed years. I served in the Hispanic apostolate and the pro-life ministry, counseling outside abortion mills in Manhattan and the Bronx. I loved the CFRs' radical commitment to poverty. I also treasured the abundant daily prayer that included Mass, the Divine Office, daily Eucharistic adoration and rosary, and both communal and private contemplative prayer. But in 2005, while I was still in temporary vows, one of my daughters was hospitalized, with long term needs. It became clear to others and to me that my 3 years as a friar.was to become a prelude to other things. Retiring to central Florida, I continue to see my daughter's needs as my first commitment. I also work to combat human trafficking. In my parish ministries and in my life as a single senior citizen, I try to continue the life I knew as a friar as much as I can. This website is a recent development. I hope you find it helpful and, at least occasionally, fun. I do.
This entry was posted in Pope Benedict XVI, Pope John Paul II, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Two Popes Shined Yesterday

  1. John Paul II was indeed a modern-day hero and exemplary human being who led a saintly life. A beautiful essay, Deus et Patria!

  2. RAnn says:

    Welcome to the Catholic Blog Directory. I’d like to invite you to participate in Sunday Snippets–A Catholic Carnival which is a weekly gathering of Catholic Bloggers who share their posts with each other. This week’s edition is at

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