Pope's perseverance inspires faithful in Philadelphia
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Through his physical weakness and his infirmities, Pope John Paul II continues to inspire Catholics to persevere in the face of pain and to teach them that all suffering can draw them closer to Christ. "Every human form of pain contains in itself a divine promise of salvation and joy," the Pope said in Sunday’s message. "I would like that this message of comfort and hope reaches everyone, especially those going through difficult moments, and who suffer in body and spirit."

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported last week that Vatican officials say the Pope considers this phase in his papal teaching to be just as important as his days traveling the globe. Rather than hide his ailments, as past popes have done, he is displaying them and challenging society and its negative views of age and sickness.

The also Inquirer interviewed aging members of Philadelphia’s Polish community and reported that many found a sense of fellowship and solidarity with the suffering Pope.

Mary Romanowski, 90, has severe arthritis. The daughter of the Polish-speaking woman said her mother is strengthened by the Pope’s example.

"Whenever she feels worse, because she has good days and bad days, she always thinks about him because he's carrying his cross, and she wants to carry the cross of Christ with him," Theresa Romanowski said, translating for her mother. "She wishes she could take his pain more for herself.”

The Pope also inspires Ed Daniel, a churchgoing Catholic, who limps from a bad hip.

"Just like Christ died on the cross for us, he is doing the same thing," said the 70-year-old volunteer custodian at the Polish American Cultural Center in Society Hill. "It has a big meaning for us because we've all got to suffer one way or another."

Michael Blichasz, president of the Polish American Cultural Center, told the newspaper that many of the elderly residents at the center "say they are praying for him [the Pope] to stay where he is" and have stable health.

"I think people were taught a lesson by this, that he hasn't given up, so they shouldn't give up, either."

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 30, 2015

Friday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:26-34


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:26-34