Vigil celebrated St. John Paul II’s life, pontificate and 1987 visit to Los Angeles with prayer, musical tributes and testimonials
Pope John Paul II answers questions from young people during a 1987 teleconference in Los Angeles. (CNS photo/Joe Rimkus Jr.)
The Archdiocese’s Office of New Evangelization, with support from the Knights of Columbus, held a special vigil to honor the life and pontificate of St. John Paul II at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on April 26, the eve of his canonization in Rome.
“Pope John Paul II was a gift from God for our times,” said Archbishop José H. Gomez. “He was a man of the Eucharist and a true spiritual father for our world. Our Archdiocese came together in celebration during his visit in 1987, and we will gather once again to rejoice in his canonization. He was truly a saint among us, and he continues to bring us closer to Christ through his example.”
The vigil began with a rosary and testimonials from individuals whose lives have been changed by Pope John Paul II and included musical tributes by noted Catholic artists such as Danielle Rose, Miriam Solis and Tony Melendez, who played for the pope during his visit to Los Angeles in 1987. They were accompanied by a choir of young adult musicians from throughout the Archdiocese led by Music Director John Flaherty. The rosary was followed by an hour of Eucharistic adoration with music by Love Resonate. In addition, a new documentary film by Lannette Turicchi on the life of St. John Paul II, “A Prophet of Our Time,” was premiered on the Cathedral Plaza.
An honor guard from the Knights of Columbus led the opening procession of Angelinos who had met the pope, and young adults who had attended World Youth Day, an event instituted by Pope John Paul II.
“It is truly an honor for the Knights of Columbus to be able to sponsor the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ canonization celebration for Pope John Paul II. Los Angeles, like so many cities around the world, was blessed to have been visited by this great man, and certainly many fondly remember his time in Los Angeles,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “The legacy of his personal life of holiness, his incredible public ministry, and his profound teaching about the faith, continue to resonate not only with the John Paul II generation – of bishops, priests, religious and laity – but also with so many others who were moved by his witness and teaching, especially in the area of human love.”