In celebration of the Year of the Youth, the University of Santo Tomas honored and venerated blood relic of St. Pope John Paul II from May 15 to 16, 2019 at the Santísimo Rosario Parish and at the Main Building canopy.
On Living Life with Magnitude
In his homily during the solemnity mass, former Rector Rev. Fr. Rolando V. de la Rosa, O.P. differentiated the saint from celebrities, “The saint does not recede into the past. He remains a person of the present. Saint is not just remembered, he is addressed.”
“We bring him [the saint] our deepest pain, our requests for healing, and our praises to God,” he said.
Moreover, according to de la Rosa, St. Pope John Paul II taught us how to die. “If you want to die a happy death, if we want to be assured of remembrance even if we are no longer here, love. Show the unconditional love of God, and feel how much God loves you.”
The Wounded Healer
Santisimo Rosario Parish Parochial Administrator and College of Science Regent Rev. Fr. Louie R. Coronel, O.P. said in the concluding mass that St. Pope John Paul’s “woundedness” led him to his devotion to the Church.
“He saw poverty in Tondo and the refugees to Bataan. For him, that is woundedness in the Church,” Coronel said.
In 1981, St. Pope John Paul II survived the assassination attempt by Ali Agca at the St. Peter’s Square. After recovering from the incident, St. Pope John Paul II visited Agca behind the bars to forgive him.
The two kept in touch until the Pope’s death.
“It was his woundedness that healed Ali Agca, which transformed his heart,” Coronel said.
Moreover, St. Pope John Paul II asked for forgiveness for millenia’s worth of the Church’s wrongdoings, including the excommunication of Galileo, and the persecution of Jews. “He himself is wounded but with that kind of gesture, he is healing.”
“He travelled to the continents of the world to tell the world of His love,” Coronel said.
Born Karol Josef Wojtyla, St. Pope John Paul II passed away on April 2, 2005. He visited the University in 1981 to beatify St. Lorenzo Ruiz, and in 1995 to celebrate the closing mass of the World Youth Day Tour.
The devotees venerated the blood relic after the mass to see it one last time in the UST grounds, until it was returned to the Archdiocese of Manila.