For Whom The Bells Toll
For some strange reason, I had felt restless last night and couldn't seem to sleep. I decided to switch on the TV and automatically tuned in to CNN. There I stayed glued until the wee hours of the morning, taking in the sights and sounds preparing the world for what appeared to be the inevitable end of a life well-lived. When the bells of Rome's cathedral rang, it was the knell people gathered in the square (and around the world) were anticipating with dread. Immediately, people were moved to tears (as was I) and sent silent prayers up to heaven for the repose of his soul.
I am among the millions of Catholics who truly feel we have lost a great man. A man who had a special affinity with Filipinos (or so I felt). In his last visit to our country during the 10th World Youth Day back in 1995, I, along with my family, were among the thousands who woke up at the crack of dawn to wait in front of the Papal Nunciature in Manila for a glimpse of the pope. I remember standing in the midst of a crowd where the excitement was palpable. When he came out onto the balcony and waved, people erupted into squeals of delight and waved their handkerchiefs in response. From where I was standing, he was barely recognizable. Had it not been for the white robe and the hat, I would not have been able to distinguish him from the rest of the clergy on the same balcony. That was the closest I could get to him proximity-wise. I would have wanted to have had the privelege of a special audience like those normally accorded to heads of state and other such persons of importance but that was already too much to ask. He was a pretty busy man after all and had a mission to do. Now that he has left a void difficult to fill, it is with fervent hope that we wish his successor the best in living up to the legacy he left behind.
To learn more about what makes Pope John Paul II a remarkable man, visit: