Credit: Dennis Jarvis via flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).
By Ann Schneible
Rome, Italy, Apr 27, 2015 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A once avid outdoors-man whose final years were marked by disability and suffering, Saint John Paul II witnessed to what it truly means to die with dignity, says a close friend who was with him until the end.
“He gave us tranquility and peace even up to the last day,” Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, who was present at the Polish pope’s death ten years ago, told CNA in an interview.
“He restored dignity to death.”
Cardinal Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow, who at the time was serving as an aide to John Paul II, recalls singing the Te Deum – a hymn of praise to God – moments after the pope died, because those in the room “were convinced that he had died a holy man.”
“A man prepares for a lifetime for this important moment, this passage from one life to another for the encounter with God,” he said.
John Paul II died at 9:37 p.m. on April 2, 2005, the day before Divine Mercy Sunday – a feast he established during his pontificate – after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Throughout his pontificate, the Polish pope spoke out against what he referred to as the “culture of death” which promotes ideologies such as abortion and euthanasia, and in turn championed for the promotion of human life and dignity.
Cardinal Dziwisz recalled the Pope’s last words to him before he died. “I kissed his hands and he told me ‘Thank you’ and gave me his blessing,” he recounted.
He also remembered how John Paul II, while on his deathbed, asked those who had come to say their farewells to read the Gospel to him.
“Priests read nine chapters of the Gospel of John for the love of God, and so he prepared for his encounter,” the Polish prelate said.
Karol Jozef Wojtyla, who would later choose the name John Paul II upon his election to the papacy, was born the youngest of three children in the Polish town of Wadowice, a small city 50 kilometers from Krakow, on May 18, 1920.
In 1942, at the height of World War II, he began courses in the clandestine seminary of Krakow, and was eventually ordained in 1946.
He took part in Vatican Council II (1962-1965), being appointed archbishop of Krakow in 1964, and contributed to drafting the Constitution Gaudium et spes.
On Oct. 16, 1978, Cardinal Wojtyla was elected pope at the age of 58.
Over the course of his 27 year pontificate – one of the longest in Church history – he traveled to 129 countries, and was instrumental in the fall of Communism in Europe in the 1980s.
“He did not create resentment, but instead knocked down the walls between people,” Cardinal Dziwisz said, observing he had close friends who were Jews, Muslims, and other religions. “Everyone was important for him because everyone was created in the image of God.”
The archbishop of Krakow also spoke of John Paul II’s strong sense of discipline throughout his life, which was always centered on prayer.
“He was a very disciplined man from the point of view of moral ethics,” he said. “Even at work, he never wasted time. He always had time for prayer.”
In fact, for John Paul II, prayer was never separated from work, Cardinal Dziwisz said. “He was immersed in God and in everything he did, he always walked with God and in prayer.”
“He always kept this intimate relationship with God, of contemplation, of contact with God, and here was his strength: peace of mind. God exists, God commands, God, we must follow him. If you follow God, you see peace, even in difficult times, which as Pope, he had many.”
John Paul II was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on May 1, Divine Mercy Sunday, at a ceremony which saw an estimated two million pilgrims flock to Rome. He was canonized April 27, 2014 in Saint Peter’s Square by Pope Francis on the same feast day.
Cardinal Dziwisz touched on the impact that John Paul II being declared a saint had upon the faithful.
“I think people were convinced of his sanctity, that the supreme authority had approved the road of holiness, because we are sure that we could imitate his holiness.”
Tags: John Paul II
The city of Guantánamo is located in southeast Cuba. Founded in the early 19th century by French colonists from Haiti, it is well known today as the home of the US Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, which has installations covering roughly 45 sq mi (116 sq km). The site was leased to the US in 1903, but the Cuban government has refused since 1960 to accept the token annual rent of $5,000 from the US and has pressured for the surrender of the base. What was established at the base in 2002? More… Discuss
A poet as well as a man of action, Martí was a writer and revolutionary who dedicated his life to the cause of Cuban independence. At the age of 16, he was arrested for treason and eventually deported. He returned from exile in 1878, only to be exiled again the next year. Having made his way to the US, he founded the Cuban Revolutionary party, but he was killed in battle before seeing the fruits of his labors—Cuban independence. Martí’s “Versos Sencillos” serve as the lyrics of what famous song? More… Discuss
|Definition:||(noun) A filthy and wretched condition or quality.|
|Usage:||The squalor in which the refugees lived alarmed the aid workers, who knew they had to work quickly to improve these conditions. Discuss.|
The Cuban Missile Crisis was a major Cold War confrontation that began when US reconnaissance flights uncovered Soviet missile sites in Cuba. President John F. Kennedy denounced the Soviet actions, imposed a naval blockade on Cuba, and vowed that the US would retaliate against any missile launched from Cuba. After hovering on the brink of war for several days, the two superpowers were able to reach a compromise. From which countries did the Soviets demand the withdrawal of American missiles? More… Discuss
This high-quality version of President Kennedy’s 10/22/62 Cuban Missile Crisis speech is somewhat rare, because it is complete and unedited. Usually only small bits and pieces of the speech are presented on television and in documentaries. But this is the entire 18-minute address from start to finish.
VIDEO SOURCE (NARA):
After Cuba gained independence from Spain in 1898, US influence over the island grew. The two countries traded heavily until Fidel Castro rose to power in a bloody coup, and Cuba expropriated many American-owned land holdings. The US then enforced a prohibition of all exports to Cuba in 1960. Two years later, the US blockaded the island in order to compel the Soviet Union to dismantle its nuclear missile base. Although the word “embargo” exists in Spanish, what is the US embargo called in Cuba? More… Discuss
Part 2 of 2: The BBC is allowed to film in Cuba and show life under the absurd US trade embargo. Whilst the US moralises over a tiny Cuba, they do nothing about the likes of Iran, China and North Korea, who all have dubious human rights records. But of course, it’s easy to pick on a little island instead of a big country.
Recorded from BBC 1pm News, 26 February 2010.
Believing that Asia could be reached by traveling westward, Columbus’s three-ship expedition set sail from Palos, Spain, in 1492. After a stop at the Canary Islands, Columbus sailed due west, turning in a more southerly direction after about a month at sea. Shortly thereafter, Columbus quelled a small mutiny, and, on October 12, landed at an island in the Bahamas. Columbus also explored nearby Cuba and Hispaniola before returning to Spain. How many ships set sail with his second expedition? More… Discuss
Estefan is a seven-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter. Born in Cuba and raised in Florida, she began performing with the Miami Sound Machine in the 1970s. The group had a string of hit songs and albums, but Estefan was clearly the star, and by the early 1990s she was being billed as a solo artist. With over 100 million albums sold worldwide, she is the most successful crossover performer in Latin music history. What nearly ended Estefan’s career just as it was beginning to take off? More… Discuss
Gershwin’s Cuban Overture, described aptly as a “Rhumba” , was written in 1932. It is a lively evocation of the spirit of Cuba, bringing together the two sides of composer’s abilities, a synthesis of art, jazz and Latin America.
Alonso is a Cuban prima ballerina and choreographer. She danced in Broadway musicals before becoming a soloist with several leading companies, including the American Ballet Theatre, in 1939. She is best known for her work in Giselle and in Agnes de Mille‘s Fall River Legend. Her own works include La Tinaja, Ensayos Sinfonicos, and Lidia, all created for her company, which Alonso has continued to direct despite being almost blind. What caused her failing vision? More… Discuss
Published on May 11, 2014
Noam Chomsky talks about: What is the Meaning of the Term National Interests as it refers to those who have impacted and created United States domestic policies? Secondarily, Chomsky talks about how these interests;are often of those who are economically the most advantaged who have impact also on our foreign policies in the Middle Eastern in countries such as Egypt, Israel and Saudi Arabia and other countries like Cuba since 1945.
This was part of a larger program that Noam Chomsky gave “Prospects for Palestine” that was held at MIT in Boston, Ma. on May 5, 2014 which was sponsored at MIT by the Palestine@MIT group email@example.com & http://palestine.mit.edu/ and https://www.facebook.com/palestineatmit and can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEpn6…
Unless otherwise indicated, all materials on in this video are copyrighted to Leigha Cohen Video, All rights reserved. No part of this video may be used for any purpose other than educational use and any monetary gain from this video is prohibited without prior permission from me. Therefore, reproduction, modification, storage in a retrieval system is prohibited. Standard linking of this video is allowed and encouraged.
Fulgencio Batista worked his way up through the Cuban army ranks before participating in a coup to oust the Céspedes government and install Ramón Grau as president in 1933. Just months later, however, Batista forced Grau’s resignation and became Cuba’s de facto ruler. After a period of exile beginning in 1944, Batista returned to Cuba and led a coup to seize power. His second term as president was marked by brutal repression, which sparked several uprisings, including one led by whom?More… Discuss
Enrique Granados‘ temperamental Goyesca No. 1 ‘Los Requiembros’, played by the Cuban genius virtuoso pianist Jorge Luis Prats. Unfortunately, the piano he played in this performance was a bit harsh, but still these are some of the best performances of these works I’ve ever heard.
Luigi Boccherini (1743 – 1805)
Gerald Smrzek (Austria) – Guitar,
Valbona Naku (Albania) – Violin,
Armando Toledo (Cuba) – Violin,
Lina Jihye Kim (Korea) – Viola,
M. d. G. (Italy) – Violoncello
[June 25, 2010 – Salvatorsaal (Vienna/Austria)]
After four failed attempts to make the 110-mile (177-km) swim across the Florida Straits from Cuba to the US, 64-year-old long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad became the first person to complete the crossing without a shark cage or flippers. The achievement was 35 years in the making. She made her first attempt in 1978, when she was just 28, but had to abandon it 42 hours in, after crossing 76 miles. Undeterred, she tried again and again, and after 53 hours in the water this weekend, she finally achieved her goal, sending a message that it is never too late to chase your dreams. More… Discuss