St. John Paul II is a beloved saint for many of us young people, myself included. He was the pope of our childhood, a beacon of light for the Church we grew up in. One could say that his love for the youth was the vocation within his vocation; he loved us and we loved him. During his pontificate, we saw the growth of Eucharistic Adoration, devotion to the Rosary with new mysteries, and the initiation of the World Youth Day phenomenon. Indeed, even now his spiritual influence is profound, as he continues to be a true father for us all.
St. John Paul was a man who understood vocations. He saw the beauty in and cherished each one: marriage, the priesthood, men and women religious, lay vocations. He always encourages us to be courageous, to be the saint each is called to be. Here is a bit of his wisdom on the topic of vocation that he knew and lived so well:
“Every vocation is part of a divine plan. This means that in God’s creative initiative there enters a particular act of love for those called not only to salvation, but also to the ministry of salvation. Therefore from all eternity, since we began to exist in the plans of the Creator, and he willed us to be creatures, he also willed us to be ‘called,’ preparing in us the gifts and conditions for the personal, conscious, and opportune response to the call of Christ and of the Church. God who loves us, who is Love, is also ‘He who calls’ (Rom 9:11)…. Therefore, in the presence of a vocation we adore the mystery, we respond lovingly to the initiative of love, we say yes to the call…. Let yourselves be seized by Jesus and try to live just for him!”