Saturday, April 30, 2011

"The Holy Father Blessed the Sky"... And Tomorrow's Forecast Changed

It might take another inexplicable healing to get John Paul II over the final hurdle to sainthood, but even so, it looks like the Man of the Hour is showing his appreciation for the throngs who've come in other tangible ways.

After days of forecasts that predicted "lashing" rain over Rome for most of Beatification Sunday, the outlook seems to have taken a sudden turn late yesterday, with a chance of spotty showers called for overnight, but declining steadily to yield to sunshine by mid-morning.

While temperatures at Mass-time should be in the 60 F/16 C range, as the skies go, we won't know for sure what happens for another 16 hours or so. Still, even with the natives well-known for invariably raining scorn on the oft-botched foresight of their weathercasters, there is precedent of the Blessed pontiff's ability to win some notable "divine intervention" with the elements.

In a recent interview with the chief of Canada's Salt and Light network, Basilian Fr Tom Rosica, John Paul's closest aide of four decades Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, now his successor in Krakow, recalled what happened on the final morning of Toronto's hosting of World Youth Day 2002, when an apocalyptic storm had begun to descend....

And, well, nuff said.

Born of the World Youth Day experience and a signal fruit of John Paul's call for the church -- especially its young -- to engage the media world, the Toronto-based outlet likewise premiered a sit-down with John Paul's deputy private secretary, now Archbishop Mietek Mokryzycki of Lviv in the Ukraine, in the run-up to this weekend's rites.

Given his closeness to the new Beatus, the 50 year-old prelate will be the only non-cardinal concelebrating the Beatification Mass alongside B16.