SAINT JOHN PAUL II, whose Feast Day it was on October 22nd, had a deep devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe. Altogether 24 popes have officially honoured Our Lady of Guadalupe. Saint John Paul II visited her Sanctuary four times: on his first apostolic trip outside Rome as Pope in 1979, and again in 1990, 1999 and 2002. Saint John Paul II, speaking about Our Lady of Guadalupe in his homily given during the Solemn Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe on his third visit to the Basilica, entrusted the cause of life to her loving protection, and placed under her motherly care the innocent lives of children, especially those who are in danger of not being born.
He was a tremendous gift to the Church and the world; his encyclicals contain a wealth of spiritual knowledge and guidance that is of great significance to us, the following two encyclicals as specifically pertaining to the difficulties we presently face:
- THE GOSPEL OF LIFE
- THE SPLENDOR OF TRUTH
Saint John Paul II emphasized the critical importance of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary (normally ending his encyclicals with a prayer for her intercession). In his book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, he made a prophetic statement that the Church’s future victories will come through Mary. He tells us:
“Be not afraid!’ Christ said to the apostles (cf. Lk 24:36) and to the women (cf. Mt 28:10) after the Resurrection. According to the Gospels, these words were not addressed to Mary. Strong in her faith, she had no fear. Mary’s participation in the victory of Christ became clear to me above all from the experience of my people. Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski told me that his predecessor, Cardinal August Hlond, had spoken these prophetic words as he was dying: ‘The victory if it comes, will come through Mary.’ During my pastoral ministry in Poland, I saw for myself how those words were coming true.
“After my election as Pope, as I became more involved in the problems of the universal Church, I came to have a similar conviction: On this universal level, if victory comes, it will be brought by Mary. Christ will conquer through her because He wants the Church’s victories now and in the future to be linked to her.”
(Crossing the Threshold of Hope, pp. 220-221).
Each year an estimated 10 million people visit her Basilica, making her Mexico City home the most popular Marian shrine in the world, and the most visited Catholic church in the world after Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.
Pope St. John Paul II… Pray For Us
Protectress of the Unborn, Our Lady of Guadalupe… Pray For Us