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article imageOp-Ed: Pope John Paul II's canonization and rainbows that circle the sun

By Jeannie Stokowski-Bisanti     Apr 28, 2014 in World
Pope Francis has declared Pope John Paul II a Roman Catholic Saint. Having been a local witness to this event, I recalled seeing Pope John Paul II in action when I was a youth participant of the 1993 8th World Youth Day in Denver, Colorado, USA.
Canonization (in American English and Oxford spelling) or canonisation (in majority British English) is the act by which the Catholic Church or Eastern Orthodox Church declares a deceased person to be a saint, upon which declaration the person is included in the canon, or list, of recognized saints. (Wikipedia)
"Il Papa" Giovanni Paolo better known as Pope John Paul II was an ambassador for peace that I have encountered during my lifetime. When Denver hosted World Youth Day 1993, millions of youth were gathered at Mile High Stadium for a week of prayer and reflection and possibly an encounter with the Pope.
I remember being one of the few teenagers allowed to sit and take a photo in the chair that he sat in on stage. It was after he left the stage and when he was already riding around the stadium in that bulletproof "Pope mobile." I recall my naive teenage self hoping that maybe my teenage sins would rub off or hoping that I would now be guaranteed a place in heaven when I passed. For others present, their closest encounter was watching him on the big screens throughout the stadium.
Every day of that week, myself and all of the other participants witnessed a rainbow circling the sun. Participants walked 20+ miles to Cherry Creek State Park singing, chanting, or simply marching quietly. So many homes in the Denver neighborhoods that we walked through offered free food and drink on their lawns for us whenever we needed refreshments. It was one of the most beautiful and unforgettable events that I have ever experienced. I will never forget the energy and the other miraculous sights that occurred that week.
That week helped open my eyes to the fact that miracles occur every day and that the encouragement of faith, hope, and love are our rainbows that circle the sun.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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