Pope John Paul II and the Virginia General Assembly

By: Mariann Hughes, Office of Communications

The Virginia General Assembly has made it clear that they believe Blessed Pope John Paul II isn’t merely a religious figure, but someone who has impacted our culture at large.

Case in point: Virginia Delegate Barbara Comstock presented a House joint resolution,  which designated June 2, 2011 as “Pope John Paul II’s Pilgrimage to Poland Day” in Virginia. The resolution was passed in the General Assembly earlier this year.

Virginia Delegate Barbara Comstock presents Bishop Paul S. Loverde with a copy of a resolution that designates June 2, 2011 as "Pope John Paul II’s Pilgrimage to Poland Day" in Virginia.

The resolution recognizes Blessed Pope John Paul II as one of the most important figures of the twentieth century, as well as his role as a key protagonist in the fall of Soviet Communism. The resolution also recognizes that just eight months after his election, Pope John Paul II returned to his homeland of Poland for a nine-day pilgrimage that, among other things, helped encourage the Polish people to reclaim their country from the tyranny of Communism and precipitate the fall of the Berlin Wall in November of 1989 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Delegate Comstock presented a copy of the resolution to Bishop Paul S. Loverde. Bishop Loverde, on behalf of the diocese, was grateful for this official recognition of a pope who has given so much to our Church and our world.

In addition to his contribution to the downfall of communism, Pope John Paul II’s relationship with the Jewish people is being explored. The Virginia Holocaust Museum, which is also recognized and commended in this resolution, is currently hosting “A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People,” an exhibition that highlights the late pontiff’s history and commitment to the freedom of people of all religions and his relationship with the Jewish people.

If you are looking for ways to learn more about the man who has had so much impact on our modern world, consider heading out for a field trip to Richmond, maybe even on June 2, his specially designated day!

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