St. John Paul II National Shrine’s events mark pope’s 100th birthday

WASHINGTON (CNS) — St. John Paul II, the longest-reigning pope in modern history, was born May 18, 1920, and the national shrine in Washington dedicated to the pontiff is celebrating the centennial of his birth with a series of virtual events May 16-22.

The St. John Paul II National Shrine had originally planned several in-person events, including an academic-style symposium, but adjusted its celebration to an exclusively virtual format because of the COVID-19 impact.

A banner of St. John Paul II is seen behind his sculpture at the St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington in this 2018 file photo. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

One of the highlights is the pontiff’s biographer George Weigel will lead an installment of the “Shrine Webinar Series” titled “Centennial Celebration of St. John Paul II’s Birth” at 5 p.m. (Central time), May 18. The webinar will be available at this Zoom link: It also will be available on YouTube:

A centennial Mass will be celebrated May 18 at 11:00 a.m. (Central time) with a homily focused on St. John Paul. The same day there will be a Divine Mercy chaplet and reflection at 2 p.m., with the praying of the rosary at 7 p.m., which is co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus Supreme Office.

Other scheduled events include:

May 21: An installment of the “Gospel of Life” webinar series at 11:45 a.m. (Central time) on the theme of accompanying disabled persons, in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the pope’s encyclical “Evangelium Vitae.”

May 22: A virtual offering of the “Evenings With the Merciful Jesus” spiritual program at 6 p.m. (Central time) led by the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy who actively minister at the shrine.

Updated 5/18/20


Author: Catholic News Service

Catholic News Service is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ news and information service.

Leave a Reply