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Wednesday, August 20, 2014


WHEREAS, Saint John Paul II’s life and teaching manifested God’s unshakable love for the human person as revealed in Jesus Christ; and
WHEREAS, he was one of the most-traveled world leaders in history, making pastoral visits to 129 countries, including seven visits to the United States, three to Canada, nine to Poland, five to Mexico, two to the Philippines, and one to Cuba; and
WHEREAS, his message of human dignity and human rights set in motion a series of events that changed the course of history, ultimately contributing to the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and the end of the Cold War; and
WHEREAS, through his pastoral visits, witness, and teaching, he urged us to respect the inestimable value of human life from conception to natural death, first using the expression the “Culture of Life” at World Youth Day in Denver in 1993; and
WHEREAS, he was known as the “Pope for the Youth”, drawing millions of young people from around the world to a genuine encounter with the Church and with Jesus Christ at 19 World Youth Days, including international celebrations in Denver in 1993, Manila in 1995 and Toronto in 2002; and
WHEREAS, he renewed Marian devotion in the Church, through his pastoral institution of the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary, his pedagogical promulgation of the Marian encyclical Redemptoris Mater, and his adoption of the Monfortian motto “Totus Tuus”; and
WHEREAS, his writing and example led to a renewal of the priesthood and consecrated life, drawing thousands of young people to accept the call to serve the Church and their fellow man; and
WHEREAS, he continually supported the special vocation of the laity, urging the lay faithful to see their daily activities as an occasion to join themselves to God, fulfill His will, and serve others; and
WHEREAS, he championed marriage and family life as a gift from God and one of the most precious of human values, by continually reminding us that the future of humanity passes by way of the family, and initiating the World Meeting of Families in 1994; and
WHEREAS, from the beginning to the end of his pontificate, he called upon the Church to take up and respond with loving generosity to the fundamental task of the New Evangelization; and
WHEREAS, he reminded us in Ecclesia in America of the rich Catholic heritage of North America and the more than 500 years that the name of Christ has been proclaimed on this continent; and
WHEREAS, he met with and forgave Mehmet Ali Agca, the assassin who shot and critically wounded him in St. Peter’s Square on May 13, 1981; and
WHEREAS, in 1981, in a sign of solidarity with him, the Knights of Columbus established the Vicarius Christi Fund, the earnings of which are conveyed annually to the Holy Father to support his works of charity; and
WHEREAS, the Knights of Columbus enthusiastically supported his projects, initiatives, and teachings throughout his 26-year pontificate; and
WHEREAS, in 1988, the Knights of Columbus was instrumental in the founding of the Washington Session of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, a graduate school of theology dedicated to the study of the person and the call to holiness within marriage and family life; and
WHEREAS, the Knights of Columbus cosponsored the Mass at the Aqueduct Race Track in Brooklyn, New York during his sixth visit to the United States in October of 1995; and WHEREAS, he frequently expressed his gratitude towards and support for the work of the Knights of Columbus in letters to the Supreme Council, and through numerous meetings with the Supreme Knight and the Board of Directors; and
WHEREAS, Pope John Paul II was beatified by his successor Benedict XVI on May 1, 2011 and canonized by Pope Francis on April 27, 2014 in the presence of millions gathered in St. Peter’s Square, including many Knights of Columbus; and
WHEREAS, in 2011, the Knights of Columbus established the Blessed John Paul II Shrine in Washington, D.C., as a place of pilgrimage dedicated to the spirituality, legacy and apostolic work of the great and saintly Pontiff; and
WHEREAS, on March 19, 2014 the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops elevated the status of the Blessed John Paul II Shrine to that of a national shrine; and
WHEREAS, on April 27, 2014 this shrine was renamed the Saint John Paul II National Shrine and welcomed hundreds of pilgrims with a simulcast of the Mass of canonization, liturgical celebrations, and veneration of first-class relics of Saint John Paul II.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Knights of Columbus, along with our families, express our profound gratitude and commit ourselves to prayers of thanksgiving for the great gift that Saint John Paul II has been to the Church and to the world; and
FURTHER RESOLVED, that we commit ourselves to ask for Saint John Paul II’s intercession, praying with him for the Church as well as for the good of our society and for the family; and
FURTHER RESOLVED, that we honor the memory of Saint John Paul II by affirming our dedication to the call in Ecclesia in America for the lay faithful in our hemisphere to take up the New Evangelization through “serious and well-organized efforts to evangelize our culture”; and
FURTHER RESOLVED, that we, as Knights of Columbus, continue to commit ourselves to sustaining the work and mission of the Saint John Paul II National Shrine as a place of prayer and pilgrimage dedicated to this great saint who bore courageous witness to the love of God and the dignity of the human person; and
FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Knights of Columbus is grateful to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for accelerating John Paul II’s cause for sainthood and to Pope Francis for officially proclaiming him a member of the Communion of Saints.

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