One of the defining characteristics of John Paul II’s pontificate, even in years to come, will be his travel. He will be remembered the most for that. He traveled more than any other pope by far, probably more than all of them put together. He made over 100 trips outside of Italy. In fact, if I remember correctly, he spent over three years outside of the Vatican in a papacy of 26 ½ years.
This item is a ciborium that was used by concelebrating priests during one of his Masses in 1984 in Manitoba. The hosts that were in here? You know, we talk about the Mass as being central to everything we are as Catholics? The hosts that were in here would have been consecrated by Saint John Paul the Great and concelebrated with many priests. So this is a ciborium that would have been used at that Mass in 1984 when he traveled to Manitoba.
For me, personally, there’s a connection, because my grandmother went to that, so it’s neat to have that personal connection.
The connection these items have with the Lord and with the Eucharist, and the fact that the Holy Father consecrated the Hosts that were received from this ciborium is a beautiful thing.
And I think of being a shepherd, being a priest myself, but the Holy Father being the shepherd of the universal church, and our goal is to bring Christ to others, and this is a great example of the reality that John Paul II brought the Lord and the Eucharist to the ends of the earth. He went virtually everywhere.
I had the experience of concelebrating Mass many times with John Paul–three times at his private chapel, and those are memories that I hold dear. Other times were at beatifications, world youth days, and in Saint Louis. So early in my priesthood I was able to concelebrate many times with this man who was my hero, which is so incredible to even think about.
A vessel that was originally a drinking cup but later used to refer to a receptacle for the Blessed Sacrament. It is used at Mass to contain the hosts that are consecrated and then distributed to the faithful during Holy Communion.