I Saw This Saint!



What a great and awesome feeling, to watch today on TV the canonization of a man whom I saw in a Pope mobile on the streets of Beirut in July 1997 passing just in front of me! It was on a hot Sunday and people were amassed on both sides of the road, trying to catch a glimpse of the Holy Father, who was heading to Beirut Downtown to celebrate Holy Mass, ending his historical trip to Lebanon. I was on the Dora Highway, standing there among thousands of people in one of the renowned Christian suburbs of Beirut.

Everybody was waiting and excited about this passage of the intriguing white Mercedes. Then suddenly the roaring sound of the helicopter of the Lebanese Army accompanying the motorcade from the air was heard. In a split second the crowd was by all means raised and you could hear nothing but loud applause and heavy cheers, one could only see hand waving and tears of joy, Lebanese and Vatican flags floating from every child, boy, mother and elderly people on the street. 

Then the white car appeared, preceded by an endless number of motorcycles, armored cars and vehicles with antennas. It was probably a never seen before motorcade, with a huge number of accompanying officers and military personnel watching over John Paul II with their Lives.

The white man was standing inside the glazed car with the Maronite Patriarch with him, Cardinal Sfeir. The car passed in front of us. John Paul II with his usual smile and firm looks was maybe less than 10 meters away from where I was standing. The sight lasted maybe less than a second, but the picture of the man on that day is still clear and present in my mind after 17 years.

Today on April 27, he is becoming a Saint! Thank you Jesus for showing us that Sainthood could be within reach and touch, it is a lot easier than one might think, it could be one decision away from every man and woman.

Jean Ogassapian, a minister and Lebanese deputy was a Lebanese Army officer in charge of the Pope's personal security on that trip, he said: John Paul II has a powerful influence on people, I spoke with him on the plane but I cannot remember a single word from what he said, but I knew that my life will change after this encounter, and it was so!

Saint John Paul II pray for us, and for all those who walked a long distance on feet to try to get a sight of your holiness on that memorable trip of 1997.


1 comment:

  1. I hope we get to see a Saint every day just to remind us that the road to heavens is possible if we keep on without any deviation. Not only to say wow !! I have seen this saint live. Many saw Jesus but didn't do it. We have to apply the verbs 'to see', 'to follow', 'to be committed', 'to pray' and 'to sacrifice'.

    Blessings

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