A father with his dear children
In 1979, his Holiness Pope John Paul II visited Madison Square Garden in New York City. Below is a video of a portion of that memorable day. Notice how the great John Paul does not hesitate to humble himself to reach those present – as a good father speaks in a sort-of baby talk to his children, the venerable Pontiff is moved by the Spirit to relate to his audience in a child-like manner, Unless you be converted, and become as little children (Matthew 18:3).
The American audience gave his Holiness jeans and a t-shirt as a sign of the individualism of the contemporary western world – a gift which is quite inappropriate in itself, but by which they meant no offense, for they did not recognize the poverty of the “American Spirit.” John Paul II, receives the gift with gratitude, stoops down and picks these his children up. With his little game, the Holy Father turns the crowd (what at first looked like the audience of a rock concert) into a Christian community united in prayer.
American: “Your Holiness, We know you recognize us for our Christian enthusiasm and joy. Today, however, most of the world recognizes us by the way we dress. By our jeans, by our t-shirts. We say we are different, and in doing so, we express our individualities. For your regard for us in being here today we present you with these symbols of ourselves. These jeans and t-shirt.”
John Paul II, “Perhaps, I love you more!”
Also in 1979, his Holiness visited the campus of the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. This man has taught the whole world how to love!
[John Paul II holds baby (2:10)]
[the crowd of students chants, “We love you!”]
John Paul II: “Dear students, I love you too! … (3:20) Perhaps, I love you more! … No, so I have one with your love. My first greeting on arriving at this campus is for you.
(4:10) To all of you, I offer the peace and joy of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I am told that you have held an all night prayer vigil … and I have slept! ... And who is loving more?
An all night prayer vigil to ask God’s blessing on my visit. Thank you most cordially for such a wonderful expression of communion with me on my visit.”