I love Saint JP2. What can I say about John Paul II that hasn’t already been said? Well, what if I told you that he was a great devotee to St. Louis de Montfort’s Consecration to Jesus Through Mary?
The story of John Paul II’s amazing connection with the Blessed Mother doesn’t begin with him, though. It began in Fatima, when Our Lady of Fatima revealed three secrets to the three shepherd children. Two of the secrets were about World War II and the rise of Soviet Russia and communism, which would spread throughout the world. The third secret, however, foretold of a bishop in white who would be shot and killed.
On May 13, 1981, 64 years after the first appearance of Our Lady of Fatima, Pope John Paul II was doing his weekly ride-around in the Popemobile through St. Peter’s Square. At 5:17PM, an assassin shot him. But as we all know, Pope John Paul II didn’t die that day. The bullet missed the main abdominal artery by an inch. In the saint’s words “One hand fired the bullet, another hand guided it.”
That hand, dear readers, was the hand of our Blessed Mother. Jason Evert said, in his book Saint John Paul The Great: His Five Loves that a group of Polish pilgrims took an icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa and placed it up for prayer. “A gust of wind blew it over and a bystander noticed the inscription on the back of the image…’May Our Lady protect the Holy Father from Evil.'”
While Pope John Paul II was in the hospital, he realized that he was shot on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima and began to research the three secrets. The third secret was about him and Our Lady interceded to keep him alive. The great pope would show his gratitude to Mary by placing the bullet that almost killed him in the crown of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima and consecrating the world to her Immaculate Heart. By the end of the decade, Soviet Russia fell apart as did communism’s influence over the majority of the world.
It’s no wonder that Pope John Paul II was so devote to Mary. His papal motto “Totus tuus” was inspired by St. Louis de Montfort’s consecration. The process of Marian Consecration is to completely surrender yourself to Jesus through preparation which involved a myriad of prayers to His Mother. Through the process of Consecration, we completely entrust Mary to prepare our hearts and souls in furthering our relationship with Christ.
In many ways, the Blessed Mother became John Paul II’s mother since his biological mother passed away when he was very young. St. Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary became one of the biggest influences in the young Polish pope’s life.
Pope John Paul II’s devotion to Mary would continue on to his last day on the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday, which was the First Saturday of the month. First Saturdays, for those who don’t know, are devoted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. So like St. Joseph, St. John Paul II died in the arms of Jesus and Mary.
If you want to know more about Marian Consecration and Pope John Paul II, check out Totus Tuus: A Consecration to Jesus through Mary With St. John Paul II.