October Teachings of Pope John Paul II

In the picture behind the blog title above, I am on my way down to kiss the ring of the late, beloved Pope John Paul II. Pope John Paul II was chosen to be the Successor of St. Peter in October. Over the course of 26 and a-half years as Pope, John Paul managed to do something memorable in just about every month of the year. But October was always special.

In October of 2002, Pope John Paul II declared a Year of the Rosary. He gave us the five Luminous Mysteries to add to our meditations. October is the month of the Rosary–the month to start saying the Rosary again, or to start saying it better. In the letter he wrote that October, the Holy Father pointed out that praying Our Lady’s Rosary leads us to Christ. Praying the Rosary helps us to participate more prayerfully in the Sacred Liturgy. The Rosary, properly understood, is ecumenical.

In other words, you simply cannot go wrong by saying the Rosary every day–or at least one decade of the Rosary every day. If you do not know all the mysteries or have forgotten the prayers for the Rosary, the Vatican has a nice Rosary webpage.

In October of 2004, just six months before he went to meet the Lord, Pope John Paul inaugurated a Year of the Holy Eucharist. He urged all of us to draw close to the Blessed Sacrament, especially by visiting the tabernacle and going to Adoration.

In his Encyclical on the Eucharist, the Pope had written that we need a new sense of wonder about the unfathomable mystery of the Real Presence. In his October 2004 letter, John Paul wrote: “The presence of Jesus in the tabernacle must be a kind of magnetic pole attracting…souls enamoured of him, ready to wait patiently to hear his voice and, as it were, to sense the beating of his heart.”

The First Friday of every month is the day dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. So, on the First Friday of October (or the First Saturday, dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary), let us…
…enter into the Sacred Heart of Jesus…
…which beats for us in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar…
…by reciting Our Lady’s Rosary with devotion.