Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Visiting Beato

I greatly admired the late beloved Pope, John Paul II, he was such an inspiration and considered him as a perfect role model in my life. Since he died last April 2005, not a day goes passed without thinking about him, his influence, compassion, kindness, deep humility, his unique devotion to Catholic faith, and how he had shaped the world with his crusade about solidarity, unity and peace.

He was considered as one of the most effective God's messengers of peace ever sat in the throne of St. Peter. He strongly opposed liberal theology, abortion and any form of destruction of human life. He was the first and only Pope who visited Mosque and Synagogue. During World War II, he worked as a laborer in the quarry maintained by Nazi and helped many Jews escaped from death, thus, he was very familiar with sufferings and sacrifices which helped him carried out his mission effectively as Vicar of Christ.

Pope John Paul II, according to an interview with his biographer, Georg Wiegel by Time magazine, "was a true Christian disciple who firmly believed that Jesus Christ is the only answer to all questions about humanity.

Beato meaning Beatified Person
The chapel of John Paul II College of Davao where the exhibit was held
The Devotees inside the chapel
I wasn't able to see him in person while he was still alive, and perhaps, this is my biggest frustration in life. In 1995, it was the saddest day of my life when I heard that the Pope will be coming to the Philippines and yet I couldn't go to Manila to see him. Since his death in 2005, I never stop praying that one day I could be able to travel to Rome to visit his tomb and pray there in his memory.

To touch even his tomb or any of his memorabilia would be a grand treat of a lifetime. You know, I prayed this everyday. I have huge posters of him in my room (I've three collections plus a big calendar for 2012 featuring his images), deep inside I know it will come true in the future.
Photo of the tomb of Blessed JohnPaul II
The Pope's Blood!
Authenticated blood of the beloved Pope
The medals given by the Pope to different sectors and parishes
Different particles of the things used by the Pope when he was still alive

And my God!Do you believe in miracle?Who would ever imagine this wish will finally come true. On Sunday, December 18, 2011, I thought I just mistakenly heard it. It was announced that the relic and memorabilia of the Blessed Pope will be brought to Davao and will be displayed at John Paul II College of Davao from December 18 to January 8! It felt like there was a strange flush swarming inside my body, felt like the soul of John Paul II hovered in my horizon. Right then I told myself I would never return home to Surigao without visiting the exhibit.

People in Davao, through the effort of Mr. and Mrs. Ernesto Evangelista, the owner of John Paul II College of Davao who are both devotees to the late Pope, are very lucky to be given a chance to catch a glimpse on the important memorabilia of this century.

portion of the wood from the altar used by Pope John Paul II
The rosaries used by the Pope during his lifetime, above the rosaries are the olive leaves used by the Pope as sprinkler of holy water.
Threads from his shirt
The Zuchetto (a white ceremonial cap worn by Pope John Paul II during his tenure as a Roman Pontiff) he used while still a Roman Pontiff. It was in this glass that I stayed longer caressing the cap and the medal attaching the cap, praying for some peace of mind and contentment in life.
Particles from the skullcap of Pope John Paul II during the time he was critically shot by Turkish/Muslim terrorist, Ali Agca, in 1981 while celebrating the mass at St. Peter's Basilica. The Pope suffered multiple wounds in his abdomen but miraculously survived. He was best remembered with his words "Why they did it to me?"before collapsing in the arms of his bodyguards. The Pope visited Ali Agca in the jail, embraced him and offered his forgiveness. Several years later, Agca, who was amazed by the unique compassion and humility of the Pope, converted to Catholicism.

This afternoon, finally, I was able to go there with my boardmate, Sarah Nayre. As I entered the vicinity of the school, it felt like the air passage of my lungs was constricted and my heart felt like ready to explode, some tears started forming around my eyelid, God!It was a different feeling, I was so moved that it felt like my chest was compressed. There was a different warmth and a surging joy deep inside, felt like my heart was bursting with gladness. I just couldn't believe that the Pope granted my prayers through these miraculous circumstances by allowing his memorabilia to be brought to Davao. Do you believe in miracle?Yes I do!

I took a deep breath then pulled my cellular phone and started taking photos of his memorabilia. I saw lots of people there too. I went to the two tables outside the chapel and stared closely at the huge frames of his images, then got inside the chapel to take a glimpse of his relics and memorabilia which were put safely inside the glass cabinet. 

I just touched the glass then caressed it repeatedly especially the one holding the Pope's Zuchetto (the white ceremonial cap he worn during his tenure as a Roman Pontiff). The exhibit also contained his rosaries, particles of his skullcap, portion of the woods used on the kneeler and chair he used, medals and greeting cards he had given, his authenticated blood and many more.
One of the best messages he frequently uttered to the world especially among the youth

The exhibit will run until January 8, 2012 and I plan to make a repeat visit by January. I am very happy now! I know the Pope listens to every petition and prayer I uttered. I always asked his intercession to the blessed Virgin Mary and to God. Whenever I am sad and seems hopeless and desperate, all I have to do is just stare at his images in my room, ask his intercession while seeking wisdom from the Lord, then,believe it or not, everything will just be okay and felt like I am being lift by someone. That's faith!And Pope John Paul II symbolized faith and great wisdom. I am fervently hoping and praying he would become a saint in due time.

To those who want to visit the Beato Exhibit, the chapel of John Paul II College of Davao is open 24 hours a day until January 8, 2012. Watching and gazing at the relics and memorabilia of the man who worked tirelessly for world's unity and reconciliation while still alive, is really a different experience, something deep inside is renewed and revitalized, seems like there's a different touch, a different light of hope that radiates somewhere.

In this season of hope, love and unity, there's nothing more important to me than seeing and touching those very important memorabilia of the late great pope who would soon become a saint.

I feel so blessed!Now, I will be having a perfect Christmas ever!Thank God!!! Read my blog about Pope John Paul II in the RELIJOURNAL SITE

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