Friday the 13th is often associated with the morbid, the horrific, the superstitious. There is even a word for it’s phobia – paraskevidekatriaphobia – which means “fear of Friday the 13th.” During dinner I was seated with four MSC confreres and we discussed the significance of this day. What I gathered from our discussion is that May 13th is quite significant in the Catholic world for the following reasons:
1. May 13th is the feast of Our Lady of Fatima
2. May 13, 1981 – Pope John Paul II was shot by a 23-year-old Turk named Mehmet Ali Agca as he drove through the crowd at St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican. Pope John Paul II nurtured a deep devotion to Our Lady of Fatima and he firmly believed that it was her protection that saved his life during the assassination attempt.
3. May 13, 2005 – today, the cause for the beatification of Pope John Paul II was announced by Pope Benedict XVI.
Yes, it was announced today that the procedure for the sainthood of my favorite pope will immediately commence. Normally, a holy person can only be beatified five years after his/her death. The only other time the waiting period was waived was for Mother Teresa, whose process for beatification was started a year after her death. Soon Karol Wojtyla will be named Saint John Paul II. But I must say that for me the canonization process is only a formalization because everyone knows and is convinced that Pope John Paul II lived a saintly life and that he is now among the saints. Giovanni Paolo Secondo – un santo tra noi.
Gospel Acclamation of the Day: “I will send you the Spirit of truth, says the Lord, he will lead you to the whole truth.” (Jn 16:7.13)