John Paul’s ‘Traditions’

Blessed John Paul II, during the closing Mass of World Youth Day in 1993.

The first anniversary of Pope Francis’ election provoked stories highlighting the unique style Francis has brought to the papacy. People appear to have forgotten how much of what passes today for papal “traditions” were actually innovations of Pope John Paul II. Frequent parish visits? Check. Joking with and leading a big crowd in a chant? Check. The church calendar is filled with annual appointments established by Pope John Paul II, who is scheduled to become St. John Paul on April 27. The day of the canonization is the Second Sunday of Easter, also known as Divine Mercy Sunday—an observance Pope John Paul decided in 2000 to add on the Sunday after Easter. Pope John Paul also instituted the annual Feb. 2 World Day of Consecrated Life, the Feb. 11 World Day of the Sick and a World Meeting of Families every three years. By welcoming hundreds of thousands of young people to the Vatican for a special Palm Sunday celebration in 1984, Pope John Paul launched what has become the biggest international gathering on the church’s calendar: World Youth Day.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

The news from Ireland and the United States reminds us of Herod, of Pharaoh. What culture betrays its children?
The EditorsMay 26, 2018
A woman religious casts her ballot May 25 in Dublin as Ireland holds a referendum on its law on abortion. Voters went to the polls May 25 to decide whether to liberalize the country's abortion laws. (CNS photo/Alex Fraser, Reuters)
The repeal of Ireland's Eighth Amendment, which guarantees the right to life of the unborn, is passing by a 2-1 margin with most of the votes counted.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testifies at a House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
The Secretary of Education stirred up controversy when she said it was up to schools to decide if an undocumented student should be reported to authorities.
J.D. Long-GarcíaMay 25, 2018
Thousands gathered in Dublin May 12 to say "Love Both" and "Vote No" to abortion on demand. They were protesting abortion on demand in the forthcoming referendum May 25. (CNS photo/John McElroy)
“Priests and bishops get verbal abuse by being told, ‘How can you speak for women? You don’t know what it’s like!’”
America StaffMay 25, 2018