Happy Feast Day, Papa JP II!

Happy feast day, Papa!    There are so many wonderful pictures of John Paul II circulating today, but somehow I had forgotten his voice.  I posted this video a while back, and am still surprised at how moving something so tacky can be:


I really do think John Paul II would have loved this video.  He was so open and joyful and ready to improvise.

For something not steeped in yesterday's pop culture, here is a little clip of him singing -- really, performing -- the Ave Maria in 1976:



I laughed, and then teared up, when I heard those theatrical swoops and quavers.  We belonged to a heavily Polish parish when I was growing up, and that's the last time I've heard such crooning -- so schmaltzy, so sincere.  I had no idea he could sing like that!

And here he is chanting the Pater Noster: 

Happy feast day, Papa.  Pray for us, and ask Christ's help so that we learn to love sincerely and suffer patiently as you did.

The March for the Martyrs in Washington, D.C., Sept. 25, 2021.

March for the Martyrs Highlights ‘Global Crisis of Christian Persecution’

“I’ve heard it myself from the people of Iraq and Syria: when the Islamists come to cut your head off, they don’t ask if you’re a Catholic or a Protestant or Orthodox. They ask you if you believe in Jesus,” said Father Kiely. “That’s that point. That unites us. That’s what Pope Francis called ‘the ecumenism of blood.’”