From now until April 27, members of the “JPII generation,” and others who were impacted by Venerable Pope John Paul II, can submit a message that will be brought to the late Pope's tomb during his Beatification on May 1.
The Knights of Columbus are collecting the letters through the website HeadlineBistro.com. After April 27, they will be printed and brought to the Pope's resting place in the Vatican by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson.
The head of the Knights of Columbus will be attending the ceremony along with a delegation from the Supreme Council of the fraternal and charitable organization.
Matthew St. John, a spokesman for the Knights, told CNA on Feb. 28 that the idea originated with Anderson himself.
“This was Supreme Knight Carl Anderson's idea,” St. John explained, “to give the generation named for Pope John Paul II a way through which they could share their love for him and their thanks for his
“It is clear that Pope John Paul II importantly shaped the lives of so many young people,” he noted.
Although anyone may submit a letter, the project is especially geared toward members of the “John Paul II generation” of Catholic young adults.
This group of Catholics, who came of age during his pontificate, had a special bond with the Pope – due in part to his inauguration of World Youth Day, and many other ways in which he demonstrated concern for the contemporary realities shaping their lives.
In a recent interview with CNA, the Supreme Knight observed that young people, who “especially look for authenticity,” could feel a genuine bond of love between themselves and Pope John Paul II.
“That relationship,” Anderson said, was “the secret of so many World Youth Days.” He described the beatification of the late Pope as a “validation” of the experience that young people had, in encountering the Pope's paternal care for them.