As many have noticed and which was announced at the masses, we have a new statue in the gathering area. The statue is of Pope St. John XXIII. He was pope of the Catholic Church from 1958-1963. He was known as “The Good Pope” and was a very compassionate and holy person. In his short papacy he was known for opening the Second Vatican Council. He was beatified by Pope St. John Paul II, and was canonized recently by Pope Francis. He is one of the newer saints of the Church. St. John XXIII also had a great devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus. He wrote about the devotion, seeking its promotion. Much of this goes back to his family life. Growing up in Italy, his family would pray together for the litany of the Precious Blood during the month of July. He felt the spiritual effects of the devotion in his own personal life.
The location of the St. John XXIII statue will become the “Precious Blood” corner in the gathering area. Throughout the year we will have some items about the devotion for those who are interested. We will also have the Precious Blood Prayer book, which explains the devotion, is filled with prayers, and explores the deep richness of this devotion.
The statue is unique in that it is more lifelike. We are often used to statues that are marble, stone, or wood. Learning about the richness of the Church, there are many traditions where statues are brightly colored, or even more lifelike. An example of this is the deep tradition of statues in Spain which are often very lifelike. This statue which was manufactured in Italy was donated.
I always enjoy learning. The incredible beauty of the Catholic faith is its richness. There is so much to learn and grow in, that one could never really come to the end. To follow Christ is to constantly explore the Catholic world around us.