Sunday, January 16, 2011

In Persona Christi

The news that our late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II will be beatified May 1 had many, many people rejoicing. I and all of our Sisters were among that number.

In 1979 before I became a Sister I did public relations work for the Bishops' Conference in my home state. In that position I had the great privilege of being present for Pope John Paul's visit to Philadelphia. We got to Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral early and I was so excited to get a seat on the aisle. However, State Police Officers in plain clothes soon arrived and for security reasons they were assigned aisle seats in all the pews. I had to move! However, I sat next to the State trooper in my row and he was kind enough to take pictures for me!

But I was able to take the picture (shown above) and I had the great privilege of seeing our Holy Father at close range. What a great blessing for me. He had the uncanny ability to make you think he was looking right at you. I believe he really was "in persona Christi" - in the person of Christ!

I have known many saintly people in my life and I am sure some of them who have gone before me are in the ranks of the blessed. But it was so wonderful to know that I was this close to a saint!

By the way, what saintly people do you know? My maternal grandmother comes to my mind. She was a very holy woman and she was a great influence in my life. One of our Sisters asked her Confirmation class this same question and she was amazed at how, after some thought, these children were able to offer specific names - "my father", my friend's father", "my uncle". Would anyone recognize a saintly person in you - in me? My great hope is that they would!

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