May 2, 2011

Blessed is he

The University of Santo Tomas, my alma mater.
Founded in 1611 by the Order of Preachers.
I had a Dominican education from elementary to college. A Dominican education is a philosophy of teaching based on a scholastic understanding of the Bible, the Catholic religion as a whole, the sacraments, the lives of saints, etc.  


Priests and nuns teaching in Dominican schools append their names with O.P., or Order of Preachers. Thus, the inclination towards scholastic studies because you cannot be a preacher unless you fully understand what you need to preach in the first place.


This is in contrast with the Jesuit education which is skewed towards missionary work and other activities that pursue social justice. That is also why Jesuits end their names with S.J. or Society of Jesus.


At this point, I would like to apologize for the long-winded backgrounder ;-) See, you can't shake off 15 years of Dominican education easily.


My own copy of his book.
All I want to say is that ever since Karol Wojtyla became Pope John Paul II, I have been a close follower of his life and teachings. I even bought his book and a replica of his papal cross.


World Youth Day in Luneta, where an unmatched
5-7 million people gathered for the Pope.
When he went to the Philippines, I went back to my school to catch a glimpse of the pope, and was also surprised that tears flowed down at the mere sight of this man. (I heard that crying as the papal mobile pass you by was an experience shared by multitudes.) 

Yesterday, he was beatified. And again, being Dominican-educated, I am familiar with the intricate steps towards beatification and ultimately, sainthood. It is a big deal for Catholics all over the world. And everyone I know who was able to see him in the World Youth Day of 1995 relished the fact that we Filipinos, came in close contact with a man who would one day be.... St. John Paul II.


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Picture credits:
UST: from smugmug.com
Aerial shot: telegraph.co.uk



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