"Christ, my hope, is arisen!"

St. John Paul II was a living witness to Easter joy and the Divine Mercy message, all of which we celebrate with his canonization.

I never went to World Youth Day, but John Paul II’s writing was a focus of a marriage and family class I took in college. His teaching was prominent at my college Newman Center — and had an impact on my life and the lives of all of my young-adult Catholic friends, who are participating in the New Evangelization as journalists (me), teachers (including my sister), Fellowship of Catholic University Students’ missionaries, physicians and other health-care professionals, youth ministers, faith-filled parents and spouses, etc.

I was out of college when Benedict was elected, so John Paul II is the pope I grew up with. His outreach to the faithful, promotion of a culture of life and unwavering proclamation of Church teaching remain in all of our hearts and minds — and resonate within the culture at large. His becoming a saint is cause for much rejoicing!

And May recalls his Marian devotion. Our saint-pope beatified and canonized many saints, including one of my favorites, St. Gianna Beretta Molla, whose feast day is April 28, the day after John Paul II is canonized. This quote of hers about our call to gratitude is simple yet powerful: "The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for all that he, in his goodness, sends to us day after day."

As we celebrate John Paul II the saint, I recall an equally powerful quote of his, which should always inspire our love for Christ: "What really matters in life is that we are loved by Christ and that we love him in return. In comparison to the love of Jesus, everything else is secondary. And without the love of Jesus, everything is useless."

John Paul II reminded the world that the love of Jesus accompanies us throughout life: "Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure."

Amy Smith is the Register’s

associate editor.