Benedict XVI, before being named Pope, wrote:

«The force with which truth imposes itself has to be joy, which is its most clear expression. Unity is not sought after through polemics nor through academic theories, but with the radiance of paschal joy...and it is by this that Christians should be known throughout the world».
[see commentary]

On the afternoon of Easter Sunday:

During several years the Holy Father John Paul II, on the afternoon of Easter Sunday, would receive young people at the Vatican who were participating in the International University Congress (UNIV), which by the initiative of St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, brings together every year in Rome thousands of young people from the five continents.

It was a two-hour long event where the young people gave the Pope rest with songs, dances, and other entertaining routines, like those of Japo the Clown and Torricelli the Magician, both university students at that time.

The videos recorded on YouTube titled “La alegria del Papa” (The Pope's Joy), and brought together on this website, showcase some of these acts. There's no other film footage that show the Holy Father laughing so hard.

Along with those videos, there is one which, in a manner of introduction, presents the festive character of these events and the diversity of student performances, where the clown act is only one of many rich, varied and entertaining moments.

The Young People's Pope

The purpose of the website is to spread devotion to John Paul II, especially among the youth, whom the Pope loved with all his soul. In these videos we can see how much the Pope enjoyed the students so much that at one moment he said "I am so happy to be here with you, and I would stay with you until midnight." And truly, from 5pm on Easter Sunday, after the whole of Lent and the celebrations of Holy Week, the Pope wanted to rest in the company of a large group of young men and women which to a certain extent represented youth from round the world.

We preserve the memory of the Pope's last moments on earth, his physical suffering, how to the last moment he hastened to drink to the last drop from the chalice of pain, in order to identify with Christ on the cross. His last appearance in public, leaning out of his apartment window in order to bless the pilgrims congregated at St. Peter's Square, is an eloquent statement of his dedication and surrender to the very end. But alongside these images of suffering, there exist many others, like the ones we present on this website, which highlight his youth and joy. These images, contrasting with those of his last years, tell us how his energies were consumed in the service of the Church. Such was his total surrender and identification with Christ that, in his last years, when someone told him he needed to slow down his pace and get more rest, he replied, "Jesus did not come down from the cross," and added "After one Pope comes another," indicating that he was not living in order to preserve himself, but to expend himself in the service of others.

It was impressive how everyone who gathered to in the afternoon of his agony to pray for him reacted in the same St. Peter's Square, especially the young people of Rome. When the announcement came that the Pope had just passed away, the reaction curiously was one of a long ovation, a prolonged applause in the midst of serene tears, because John Paul II, like a champion, had triumphed, had crossed the finish line of his earthly life, to enter into glory. Like St. Paul, he could say:«I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord the just judge will render to me in that day». (II Timothy 4: 7-8)

Prayer for asking graces through the intercession of the Servant of God the Pope John Paul II

O Blessed Trinity We thank You for having graced the Church with Pope John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your Fatherly care, the glory of the cross of Christ, and the splendor of the Holy Spirit, to shine through him. Trusting fully in Your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd, and has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you. Grant us, by his intercession, and according to Your will, the graces we implore, hoping that he will soon be numbered among your saints.  Amen

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