Photo: Pope John Paul II
This May 1st, the late Pope John Paul II will be beatified as México embraces the memory of one of the world’s most charismatic religious leaders.
John Paul II is widely recognized as one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century, and for millions of Mexicans, John Paul II was a symbol of wholesomeness, purity and tenacious faith, a man capable of inspiring with the power of his prayer, and casting leukemia out of a young Mexican boy’s body, with a kiss.
“There was nothing more that could be done for the child. Now, he is a young man. He was presented to the pope, who was very happy,” said Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán, who witnessed the miracle during the pope’s visit to the diocese of Zacatecas in México. This miracle though recognized by the Catholic Church was not the one’s taken into account for the Pope’s beatification. Nonetheless, Mexican’s feel very connected to the Pope through this miracle.
In a beatification, only miracles that have taken place after death are taken into consideration; because of this rule, the miracle doesn’t count toward the criteria for beatification. The Pope also connected to the country through their mangos.
During his trip to México, the pope happened to find his all time favorite fruit: Mango. Moved by how much how much he liked them, those in charge of hospitality in each of his following pastoral visits, always prepared for the Pope fresh and different dishes using the fruit.
Father Daniel Villalobos, who was one of the people closest to Cardinal Corripio Ahumada, Archbishop Primate of Mexico, witnessed not only how much the Holy Father John Paul II enjoyed this tropical fruit, but the concern of the Archbishop of Mexico was to make sure that some boxes of “mangos” were always on the Pope`s table.
“Even when the Holy Father was already very sick - Fr. Villalobos said in a statement sent to Fides by the Archdiocese of Mexico on the occasion of the forthcoming beatification of John Paul II - Cardinal Corripio, through a friend, sent him mangos.
To check that His Holiness had received them, he asked the present Cardinal Leonardo Sandri for information, who had been nuncio in Mexico, and at that time was Deputy Secretary of State.
“In Mexico there are some popular sayings that connect Pope John Paul II with two states of Mexico: Oaxaca and Veracruz, and the mangos produced in their own land were sent to the Pope at the Vatican.