Everyone asks me, “how is the tour going? How is it traveling for so long with 2 small children?” My honest answer is, “it’s crazy!” But when you’ve got nothing, things are nuts, and your limitations are a bit too apparent, then God’s manifestations become quite apparent. In honor of today’s Feast of St. Faustina, Secretary of God’s Mercy, we thought it fitting to share two stories of how God has shown his merciful love through this US Tour.
An Answer to Prayer
In New Hampshire, this young husband and father of a sweet little toddler was recently diagnosed with a grave heart condition. Reading in Scripture about how the people traveled miles simply to touch Our Lord’s garment to be healed, that night he makes this prayer: “Jesus, if I can only somehow touch a piece of your cloth”. The next morning we show up at his parish with some flyers about the Project, and the relic. At this particular Mass, Joe was asked to make an announcement, where he invited people to venerate the relic, which he explained was a drop of John Paul II’s blood on a piece of cloth (not a detail we normally highlight in a one-minute announcement). The man in the pew with the heart condition is pierced by these words as an answer to his plea the previous night. All four of us (he, his wife, Joe and I) remain blown away by how the Lord answers those who call upon him and guides us with his loving Providence.
Our Favorite Problem
The event at Franciscan University of Steubenville was scheduled to begin at 6pm and end at 7:30 pm. When students started trickling in at 5:40PM, in anticipation of veneration of the relic, it was clear this night may be different from the rest. The students did a beautiful job setting up the altar where the relic was to be placed, draping it with beautiful materials and decorating it with fresh flowers. Hundreds of students came in to venerate the relic of St. John Paul II that evening, to have a private conversation with their beloved saint about the intimate concerns of their vocation (our main goal in bringing the relic on tour).
Just when it seemed to die down, more groups kept arriving from their previous commitments, like the soccer and rugby teams after practice. The line was out the door and wrapping around in the chapel for a while. The few not-so-young among the crowd were getting nervous that they may never see the relic, but the young people were willing to wait. Reminds us of the crowds pressing in on Jesus, like the Scripture passage read by our New Hampshire friend in the aforementioned story. When 7:30pm hit, the Residence Director on staff who invited us didn’t want to leave the hungry souls without a chance to pray with their saint. She stayed with the relic in her residence hall until the last person venerated it around 8:45 PM, over an hour past the official end time.
To say I’m grateful for these encounters is an understatement. Both of these events, at the parish and at the university, were last minute additions on the tour.
Both show that people are hungry for the Lord, and the JP2 Project, in all it’s littleness at this point, is showing itself to be a means to satiate the hunger for the Lord.
Jesus, I trust in You!
Co-Founder | President