May/June Issue – Saint John Paul II: A Centenary Celebration
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Uncertain of whether jetlag or excitement had me up and out of bed, I did something I hardly ever do and checked my email at 3:00 AM. There it was: an email from the Vatican publishing house. I opened the pdf of the manuscript I had requested and began scrolling, but stopped when a photographic image of a handwritten page filled the screen. In that very dark California hotel room, with my hand suspended over the screen, I experienced the presence of St. John Paul II in a way I cannot explain.
I do not read Polish, so I quickly copied and pasted the table of contents into an online translator and then, bit by bit, the first few pages. The translation, of course, was rough, but with a bit of smoothing, I could hear his voice. It was unmistakable. Tears welled up when I realized that I was perhaps the very first person to read these words in English.