131st Supreme Convention

CANONIZATION OF BLESSED JOHN PAUL II

WHEREAS, Blessed John Paul II’s life and teaching manifested God’s unshakable love for the human person as revealed in Jesus Christ; and

WHEREAS, Blessed John Paul II 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, Blessed John Paul II’s 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, Blessed John Paul II 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, Blessed John Paul II 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, Blessed John Paul II 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, Blessed John Paul II’s 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, Blessed John Paul II 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, Blessed John Paul II 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, Blessed John Paul II called upon the Church to take up and respond with loving generosity to the fundamental task of the New Evangelization; and

WHEREAS, Blessed John Paul II reminded us in Ecclesia in America of the rich Catholic heritage of North America and the more than five hundred years that the name of Christ has been proclaimed on this continent; and

WHEREAS, Blessed John Paul II 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 Blessed John Paul II as Successor of Peter, the Knights of Columbus established the Vicarious 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 the projects, initiatives, and teachings of Blessed John Paul II 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 Blessed John Paul II’s sixth visit to the United States in October of 1995; and

WHEREAS, Blessed John Paul II 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, 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, Blessed John Paul II was beatified by Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI on May 1, 2011 before a gathering of 1.5 million people in St. Peter’s Square that included many Knights of Columbus; and

WHEREAS, on July 5, 2013, His Holiness Pope Francis authorized a decree attributing a second miracle to the intercession of Blessed John Paul II, and called for a consistory to schedule his canonization.

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 Blessed John Paul II has been to the Church and to the world; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that we commit ourselves to ask for Blessed 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 Blessed 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 Blessed John Paul II 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 Blessed John Paul II’s cause for sainthood; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Knights of Columbus look forward to the canonization of Blessed John Paul II by Pope Francis, a visible sign of the holiness exhibited by this saintly man, priest, bishop, theologian, cardinal, and pope.