Editor’s note: This article was first published on April 25, 2014, shortly before Pope John Paul II was canonized by Pope Francis. It is re-posted today in recognition of the 13th anniversary of the death of Saint Pope John Paul II.
As Catholics reflect on the legacy of St. John Paul II, we will hear a great deal about his papacy and its global impact. However, I am convinced that as time passes he will be memorialized above all—at least by the Church—as a preeminent champion of marriage and family life.
St. John Paul II believed the family would play a vital role in the new springtime of evangelization and was much more than mere bystander in the Church’s evangelizing mission. He presented an inherently positive and bold view of marriage and family life. He was confident that no ideology, however daunting, can extinguish what God has set in motion. While the family finds itself in the midst of an eroding cultural crisis, facing militant attempts to redefine marriage contrary to reason and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, John Paul II redirects our gaze to the truth of Christian marriage as a fruit of the redemption of Christ. He saw the family in its full potential in the order of grace—that if lived according to this potential in Christ, it could change the culture and the world. For John Paul II, the family is an active and vital agent in establishing a civilization of love and the renewal of Christian culture.
Read more at Catholic World Report.