Pope John Paul II: The Pope of the People
- Pope John Paul II: The Pope of the People
Pope John Paul II prayed for Palestinian and Israeli peace in the Holy Land and strongly supported the United Nation's Resolution 181, says Leila Diab.
As a Palestinian who grew up in the Holy Land, the land of Jerusalem and the City of Peace, I have a strong spiritual connection to the three monotheistic religions of the world.
Unequivocally, in the passing of Pope John Paul II, (1920-2005) he solemnly embraced and shared a common web of faith and spirituality as he visited religious holy places in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth and throughout all of Palestine, and the world. His kindness, compassion, humane presence and spiritual leadership will be missed. He was the "people's Pope."
In the history of the Roman Catholic papacy, Pope John Paul II, was a holy man who served "the people" as he reached out to touch the hearts and souls of each living man, woman and child, irrespective of race, religion or colour. During his 26-year-old reign as the Roman Catholic Pope, the Polish born Pope understood the suffering of the oppressed, and encouraged everyone to seek justice with peace and do not be afraid." No other pope had travelled to more than 129 countries to pray and console all of the Creator's children, in war, in troubling times and in peaceful times.
He was against war and preached reconciliation. Pope John Paul II, respected and recognized the commonalties of spiritual beliefs between respected Muslims, Christians and Jews and therefore saw the need to establish worldwide interfaith dialogue meetings between the Catholic church and among all people of good faith and conscience.
In the year 2000, I visited Rome with the hope of seeing or even being in the presence of Pope John Paul II. As I was walking in the spiritual air surrounding St. Peter's Square, I suddenly looked up to the window where Pope John Paul II would often stand and offer his blessings to thousands of people from all over the world. Even if the Pope did not appear in his window, for many of us, we felt a sense of serenity by the mere fact that we were at the Vatican. For a moment, I paused and looked up at the Pope's window and pretended he was there. Nevertheless, it was an anointing spiritual experience, one in which I will never forget.
I remember the Pope's first visit to Bethlehem during the year 2000 to celebrate the new millennium. Pope John Paul II prayed for Palestinian and Israeli peace in the Holy Land and strongly supported the United Nation's Resolution 181, which provided for the establishment of a corpus separatum for the City of Jerusalem, and ultimately called for Jerusalem as an international city of peace. The world community was his centre stage, a beacon of light and hope for the suffering and destitute people of the world. Jews, Christians and Muslims, the people of the book, welcomed him with open arms and his gifts of spiritual wisdom, compassion and hope... a hope that would eventually lead to an end of human suffering, war and violence in the world, as well as a comprehensive Palestinian/Israeli and Middle East peace.
When His Holiness, Pope John Paul II graced the Holy Land in the year 2000, he knelt down and kissed the ground where Jesus (Issa) was born. His holy mission in Jerusalem and Bethlehem was that of Justice and Peace for all humanity. Pope John Paul II's journeys to many foreign and troubled lands were motivated by his sincere faith and through the watchful eyes and guidance of the Universal Creator. Pope John Paul II blessed us all by his love for all mankind. During his 26 years of serving God, he has showered us with his blessings, faith and his courageous convictions to walk on in the footprints of the Lord. Pope John Paul II has left us with a renewed hope of all of tomorrow's rainbows. May he rest in peace and dwell in the gardens of heaven. I thank the Almighty for being instrumental in guiding His Holiness, the son of Poland, to spread God's words of love, hope, wisdom, humility and charity to all humanity. He was an extraordinary Pope, who will forever remain as 'the people's Pope.' I send my heartfelt condolences to the world's Christian community, and to the proud Polish people of Poland. Amen.
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Greetings in HIS name
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