Blog during our Pilgrimage to the Beatification of John Paul II

"Witnesses of the Splendor of His Legacy"

April 27 April 28

April 29

April 30 May 1  

The Moment Arrived: We Could Not Hold Back Tears
May 1, 2011

St. Peter's Square during Beatification

Dear friends:

The moment has arrived... John Paul II has been beatified.

We spent the whole night in vigil waiting to access St. Peter's Square for the beatification Mass. The night was full of joy and thanksgiving for his life, his mission, his pontificate and his holiness.

The number of millions who made themselves present at this historic occasion is still not yet known... Like always, John Paul II attracted great numbers of young people who cried out, "We will be in Madrid," promising John Paul II that they would go to World Youth Day.

Thousands of Polish men and women with red and white flags filled Rome while they cried out: "Thank, you John Paul II," expressing with those simple words all that John Paul meant for them. We believe that this weekend Poland was empty and Rome was filled.

The Mexican pilgrims would repeat through the night, "Juan Pablo, eres Mexicano."

Each country represented in those "numerous crowds" expressed their love by singing and shouting a slogan that represented a particular moment of their encounter with him.

After crossing many barriers and conquering many obstacles, at 3 a.m. we began our entrance into the "Via de la Conciliazione," making on our way into St. Peter’s Square. We arrived in the square at 7 a.m., and we consider it a miracle of John Paul II that we were able to sit together as a group literally in the heart of St. Peter's Square.

As many of you saw during the moving Mass of beatification, our Pope, Benedict XVI, was very happy to be the one to raise his beloved predecessor to the altars. It was truly a moment of grace. We could not hold back our tears, especially at the moment of the beatification rite when we heard the summary of the life of Blessed John Paul II in which the particular characteristics of his life and spirituality were highlighted for us: his total consecration to Mary, whom he loved and served as a Knight always following the commands of our Lady; his love for the Eucharist, the center of his life; his school of suffering, both personal in the loss of his family, and ecclesial, in the national and social suffering due to the totalitarian system that had oppressed his nation; his intellectual gifts united to a profound interior life of prayer and penance; his life of total dedication and oblation for the good of the Church and of humanity; and his clear proclamation of the dignity of the human person that makes "man, the way of the Church" and therefore "the family, the way of the Church."

The Holy Father's homily was a very profound reflection of the Marian dimension of Blessed John Paul II (his “Totus Tuus”) and of his profound understanding of the mystery of Divine Mercy, a mystery that he communicated to the men of a very difficult century and proclaimed to the third millennium by establishing Divine Mercy Sunday.

There were two very profound moments during the ceremony, and we wonder how much they impacted the world watching it on TV: the moments of perfect silence after John Paul II was proclaimed blessed and after receiving Holy Communion; silence that led us into a profound contemplation of the grace that was being poured out into the life of the Church, into our hearts and the whole world.

After the Mass concluded it was deeply touching to see Benedict XVI in prayer before John Paul's remains.

The floodgates of Mercy were opened wide for us today as in this Divine Mercy Sunday the Marian pope who made mercy the mission of his pontificate was proclaimed blessed.

May the maternal mediation of Mary, so visible and effective in John Paul's life, be also the surest path of our communion with the Heart of Christ.

Totus Tuus, ad Jesum per Mariam -- Totally Yours, to Jesus through Mary.

And with this we bring to a close our blogging. May God continue to bless you.

Blessed John Paul II, pray for us!

Pitching Our Tent in Rome!
April 30, 2011

Pitching Our Tent in Rome

Dear Friends,

Today, on the 11th anniversary of the canonization of St. Faustina and the institution of Divine Mercy Sunday by John Paul II, we have arrived to the surroundings of St. Peter's Square!! What joy filled our hearts as we walked next to the ancient walls of the Vatican into St. Peter's Square and stood together in the heart of the Church! Thank you, Father, for bringing us home! That is the sense in our hearts. We are home in the womb and heart of the Church, our Mother and Teacher. Like Jesus in Capernaum, we too are at home in the house of Peter.

in the streets of rome

The crowds are arriving ...tens of thousands of pilgrims are beginning to fill the streets. There is such joy and hope and peace in our hearts and, as we can see in their faces, in the hearts of all pilgrims. The police and volunteers have been so patient and kind. We can hear John Paul's voice echoing in our hearts as we gaze at posters with his picture and words that we all know:
Mother with Phillipine pilgrims
"Be not afraid!"

"Open wide the doors to Christ!"

"I searched for you and now you have come to me. For this I thank you."

John Paul is here. He is such a good father. And we have come to be with him ...with millions of others. Dear John Paul, we love you! We have come to be with you!

We are camping on the streets and people from all over the world are also placing their tents... On the picture you can see a group from the Philippines and also our “inn” for tonight...

This is so exciting...yet very sacrificial - but for John Paul II we can embrace all the sacrifices that come...

What is a beatification?

A beatification is both a canonical and liturgical act of the Church. It is a canonical act, an act of Church law, in the sense that the Holy Father as the Successor of Peter and Bishop of Rome declares with the authority proper to his office that a member of the faithful, in this case Venerable John Paul II, now enjoys the vision of the blessed in heaven and shares in the mediation of Christ, the Universal and sole Redeemer of humanity. With the act of beatification the Pope confirms that a living stone has been placed in the eternal edifice of the new Jerusalem. The authority of Peter confirms the holiness of the baptized: "You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church" (Mt 16:18).
Pilgrims in the Plaza
A beatification is also a liturgical act in the sense that it is a moment of profound and joyful adoration of God for the triumph of grace in the life of one of the children of our heavenly Father. Specifically, this May 1, the whole Church will offer adoration and praise to Christ for fully accomplishing the work for which the Father sent him to accomplish in and through the life of John Paul. The Church will also honor the cooperation of one of the faithful in the redemptive mission of Christ, acknowledging that the words of St. Paul have been brought to fulfillment in John Paul: "It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me" (Gal 2:20).

Thus, on this momentous occasion, the Holy Father will confirm that a new gate has been opened in the house of the Father through which the love of Chrits pours out upon the whole Church; and that the faithful can depend on the intercession of John Paul for their own growth in holiness as disciples of Christ and children of the Father.

Before Entering Rome: An Apostle, a Miracle, and a Mantle
April 29, 2011

Mother Adela  before the Remains of St. Thomas the Apostle

Yesterday, after we posted our blog, we celebrated Holy Mass at the Church of St. Joseph, where we renewed our Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary on the day when the liturgical calendar remembers St. Louis Marie de Montfort. After Mass we visited and venerated the remains of St. Thomas the Apostle in Ortona. We arrived at the basilica on the first day of the novena in honor of the apostle. A few moments after entering the basilica we received the special gift of the blessing of the bishop with the Blessed Sacrament. We then proceeded to the crypt where we venerated the remains of St. Thomas and prayed in a special way for our Archbishop - Thomas - and all the archdiocese. This was a special grace after renewing our Total Consecration: Our Lady led us to the Eucharistic Heart of her Son.

Today we celebrated Holy Mass at the Church of the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano, where 800 years ago during Mass the Eucharist changed into the flesh of a human heart. The priest celebrating the Mass as the miracle took place had previously doubted the true presence of the Lord. The miracle has since made the church a famous place of pilgrimage for the faithful. After we celebrated Mass we prayed before the monstrance which holds the Eucharistic miracle, so that all of us, by the intercession of John Paul II, may proclaim as he did, “The Eucharist is my life.”

After visiting Lanciano we went to venerate the holy mantle of Manopello, which is regarded to be the burial cloth that covered the face of Christ when his body was placed in the tomb. The Volto Santo of Manopello is a relic of the face of the risen Christ with his eyes and mouth open at the first instant of the resurrection. It was visited by John Paul II and more recently by Benedict XVI. When we arrived at the sanctuary we were greeted by Sister Blandina, a German sister and world-renown catechist who has dedicated her life to teaching others about the mantle and its significance. It was a beautiful detail of the Lord. Sister Blandina had wanted to enthrone an originally painted image of Our Lady of Guadalupe with the Servants of the Pierced Hearts, priests and lay members of the Pierced Hearts Family present. The image was enthroned and blessed as we sang “La Guadalpuana,” and then we went to the shrine to contemplate the face of Christ through the eyes of Mary, just as John Paul had called the whole Church to do in the Jubilee Year and the Year of the Rosary.

Now we are on our way to Rome! Soon we will enter the heart of this pilgrimage of love as we arrive in the Eternal City with the millions of other pilgrims coming for the beatification of our beloved John Paul. John Paul II we love you!

Missionary Pope's Universal Flock Returns to Rome to Pay Him Tribute
April 28, 2011

JPII Beatification Billboard, Rome

We arrived in the Eternal City at noon, the airport was very busy... Cardinals, bishops, priests, religious and faithful from the five continents are beginning to arrive for the historical moment that we all are going to live, the beatification of our beloved John Paul II.

As we walked thru the airport and began our ride through the streets we were able to see big pictures of John Paul II holding a child, with these words: "I have looked for you. Now you have come to me. And I thank you." What a beautiful and simple expression of the sentiments we all feel.

We can experience his paternal presence and truly he has come close to us. He was a missionary pope; he knew that as universal shepherd he had to visit his universal flock. So he did! And during these days, we can contemplate the flock from all over the world coming to celebrate his beatification. John Paul, the “Totus Tuus” pope, went in haste across the mountains to give us the splendor of the Gospel of love and truth. And now the whole world is moving with haste to come to Rome to be present, to be here in the heart of the Church, to be here for him on this glorious occasion.

Today, the Church remembers a great Marian saint whose book "True Devotion to Mary" was a turning point in Karol Wojtyla's young life. He understood the potency of total consecration to Mary to grow in deeper communion with Christ, to climb faster the mountain of holiness through a Marian path. From his total consecration to Mary, he took the episcopal motto "Totus Tuus" — a motto that when he became Pope resounded as an echo all over the world.

Let us say our own “Totus Tuus” (totally yours Mary; totally of Jesus through Mary) and unite with the whole Church in celebrating the holiness of a man, priest, bishop and pope who was formed in the School of the Heart of Mary to be a luminous witness to love, truth and hope.

Let us continue rejoicing in the Lord on this Thursday of the Octave of Easter and with the Psalmist let us praise our Lord for His goodness, and because His mercy endures forever.

May love always triumph!

In the Footsteps of Pope John Paul II
April 27, 2011

Pilgrims at the Airport

Dear family and friends,

With great joy and anticipation we — Mother Adela Galindo, foundress of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts and the Family of the Pierced Hearts, Sister Ana Margarita, Sister Delia, Sister Elena, Sister Cristina and 40 pilgrims — embark on this pilgrimage to celebrate the beatification of the great “Witness of Love,” Venerable John Paul II.

We take all of you, the Archdiocese of Miami, Archbishop Thomas Wenski, and all of your intentions in our Marian hearts to place at the feet of Peter. We rejoice in the appointment of Bishop Felipe Estevez as shepherd of the faithful of the Diocese of St. Augustine and we will entrust him to the paternal intercession of the soon-to-be-Blessed John Paul II.

We begin our journey today on this pilgrimage, “Witnesses of the Splendor of His Legacy.” We go in pilgrimage as a family to give thanks to the Merciful Heart of Christ and the Maternal Heart of Mary for the life, person, heart and mission of our Spiritual Father John Paul II, who on May 1, will be placed at the summit of the mountain as a beacon of light for the Church of the Third Millennium. He was a faithful and ardent witness to love, of the gift of the Maternal Heart of Mary, of the triumph of goodness and light over darkness, of the dignity and greatness of the human person, and of Christian hope. He taught us the salvific potency of human suffering, the sacredness of life, to be bearers of peace, and to be untiring witnesses of the New Evangelization so needed in our world. He simply showed us how to be authentic witnesses to all that is true, good, and beautiful in the human heart and in the world.

With all his words and gestures he showed and taught us how to open wide our hearts to build a new civilization of life and love. We are now the ones to responsibly carry out this mission. We believe that heaven and earth are united in anticipation for this great day that will open the floodgates of grace and mercy for the Church and the entire world.

Let us prepare our hearts, our families, and our parishes for this great gift and the outpouring of graces that we will receive when our beloved John Paul II is raised to the altars of holiness…. As we follow in his footsteps let us “Be not afraid to be the saints and apostles of the Third Millennium!” Totus Tuus!




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