The success of Pope John Paul II’s ministry can be attributed to his commitment to prayer, Bishop Victor Galeone told a crowd at Friday night’s Mass for the Pope in St. Augustine.
"Where Jesus was, the servant John Paul was in prayer," said Galeone, the leader of North Florida’s more than 162,000 Roman Catholics.
More than 525 people packed the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Augustine, the mother church of Florida Catholics, to remember the pope who died April 2.
As testament to the prayer commitment of the pope throughout his lifetime, Galeone drew on stories told by papal biographer, George Weigel, senior fellow of Washington’s Ethics and Public Policy Center.
Weigel is the author of "Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II."
Galeone related a story of the pope as a student told by a former roommate. The roommate said that he would go out for cigarettes in the morning and his roommate, the future pope, would be in prayer. When the roommate returned much later, the future pope was still in prayer.
Another story was that of the pope as a young priest, Karol Wojtyla. He was on a kayaking vacation with friends when he learned of his appointment as auxiliary bishop of Krakow, Poland. and asked to be let into the chapel so he could pray.
Hours later, he was prostrate in prayer, and when asked if he wanted dinner, he said no. However, he did ask that he be allowed to stay in prayer in the chapel until it was time for his departure home. [Source]