Friday, March 25, 2016

Clinging to the Cross: JPII's Final Good Friday

On this holiest, most solemn day, I'll get myself out of the way.  I just want to share with you an incredibly beautiful, new-to-me story and image and let them speak for themselves.

A few weeks ago, I finished reading Jason Evert's Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves and learned the details of JPII's final days for the first time.  He died during Easter Week, and the book describes the Pope's last week on earth.  At the time, he had just undergone a tracheotomy, concerned he might never speak again, and his body was weary.  John Paul embraced his weakness for the burden that it was, calling it his own Way of the Cross.  As Holy Week of 2005 drew to a close, he was too weak to leave the Vatican for the Good Friday service and Stations of the Cross, so a TV was brought to his private chapel and he watched the service and prayed the Stations there.  He clung to a crucifix nearly the entire time.

Of course, as soon as I read that account I went straight to Google, and the image of this great saint embracing Christ made me sob.  It wasn't just the postpartum hormones.  Here are photos from this sacred moment in time, if you've never seen them before.

Even as the sky darkens and the earth shakes, even as Christ temporarily departs from us, there's joy on the other side and our hope is in the Resurrection.  Have a fruitful Good Friday, friends.


  1. So beautiful! (And timely, too- I'm reading the book Four Seasons in Rome and am *just* getting to the part where the author talks about being in Rome during JPIIs final days and funeral.)

  2. Thanks for sharing. I love the reflection photo! Your words and photos just made anxious, laundry list making me smile.
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