In a previous post, I mentioned that I was one of 10 Catholic bloggers chosen by CCC of America to review the newly released DVD series, John Paul II – The Man, The Pope, And His Message. The volume that I’ll be looking at is Mary, Mother of Our Century (John Paul II at Marian Shrines). Not only do I consider it an honor to be chosen to participate in this project, but I consider myself especially blessed to be asked to discuss the Marian devotion of the late Holy Father.
Aside from the fact that we’re both Polish (boy, were my parents happy when he was elected!), Blessed Pope John Paul II and I share something else in common. We both made the Total Consecration of our lives to Jesus through Mary, as popularized by St. Louis de Montfort. As pointed out in the DVD, when JPII was a young man, he carried Montfort’s book (True Devotion To Mary) everywhere he went. This devotion was extremely important to him and greatly influenced his life.
As I watched this 3o minute episode (the entire set consists of 10 30-minute segments), it was easy to see the Holy Father’s love for the Blessed Mother. I relived his trips to Marian shrines in such locations as Fatima, Lourdes, Guadalupe and Czestochowa as he gave us an example of what it means to be truly devoted to Mary. In each of these locations, he re-consecrated himself, the country that he was visiting, and the world to Mary and her Immaculate Heart.
One of the most profound statements in the film was the Holy Father’s comment, “To those who strive to know and Love Him, Christ reveals His Mother as He revealed her to His disciple John from the Cross”. Sadly, many Christians ignore this monumental event that took place while Jesus was dying on the Cross. Can you imagine the effort it took for Our Lord to utter the words, “Behold your Mother” (John 19:27)? JPII knew the significance of this gesture and, as a sign of his love for Mary, included an “M” next to the cross on his official coat of arms.
Many of us have been inspired by the holiness of others – your grandmother who faithfully prayed her rosary each day, the elderly man who bows his head in prayer after daily Mass, your coworker who always has a positive attitude and a kind word. Watching JPII as he traveled to the various Marian shrines had this same kind of effect on me and filled me with gratitude for the gift of our Blessed Mother. Watching these visits, observing his actions and listening to his words caused me to reflect on my own relationship with Mary. Do I love her enough? Do I speak with her frequently? Do I ask her to lead me closer to Jesus? Am I utilizing her intercessory power?
Do you ever wish that you could see and hear some of the great saints such as St. Francis of Assisi, St. Anthony of Padua and St. Teresa of Avila? While we can read their writings and the details of their lives, we can’t actually see and hear them. In this DVD series, we are blessed with the opportunity to watch the actions and hear the words of a future saint! If you’re tired of all the garbage on TV and are looking for worthwhile programming that will inspire and entertain the whole family, I strongly encourage you to look into this DVD set.
Do you know someone who would like a copy of this DVD series? CCC of America is hosting a contest: JP II, They Love You! Visit the website http://johnpaulseries.com for details about how you can nominate someone to win a free copy of the series or purchase your own copy.