Today is the first celebration of the feast of Blessed John Paul II. At the moment there are few places where it can be celebrated officially, but we can all do so privately. This day marks the inauguration of his pontificate in 1978 - what a day! In the days following his election it gradually began to dawn on the Church and the world that this pope would not be like the others - something big was about to happen. Indeed the late Cardinal Cooke of New York, now Servant of God, said that the death of Pope John Paul I was a huge shock, and when the Cardinals arrived for a second conclave in just over a month they were aware that God was saying something important to Church - in their midst there was one chosen for an important mission. How right he was.
The Fraternity has submitted a request to the Congregation of Divine Worship for permission to celebrate the feast, but no word yet. We wait with hope - please pray. Although the way things are going, he may well be canonised before long.
In the meantime, as we mark this wonderful day, a couple of videos - the first to remind us of that moment we all prayed for - still brings tears to my eyes.
O God, who are rich in mercy
and who willed that the Blessed John Paul II
should preside as Pope over your universal Church,
grant, we pray, that instructed by his teaching,
we may open our hearts to the saving grace of Christ,
the sole Redeemer of mankind.
Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.