We’re pleased to announce the launch of a blogger tour for SAINT by Lino Rulli.
Widely known for his wit and humor as the host of “The Catholic Guy” on SiriusXM Radio, Lino Rulli has released, SAINT: Why I Should Be Canonized Right Way. This book is a follow-up to SINNER, which was released in 2011; also from Servant Books.
If Rulli has his way, he will be canonized on Divine Mercy Sunday, which, allegedly, is when Blessed Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII will be canonized in Rome. (The official announcement will be next week- Sept. 30.) Rulli provides evidence for his cause (and yours) in SAINT.
Each day during this SAINT blog tour- Sept. 25 through Oct. 4 - one of 10 participating blogs will post unique content relating to the book.
As readers follow along on this virtual book tour, they will have a chance to read/ listen to excerpts from SAINT as well as print and Skype interviews with Rulli. They’ll get honest reviews from Catholic bloggers, and have a chance to win a copy of the book at different stops along the tour.
Thank you to all the incredible bloggers who will be hosting stops on the tour. Please support them by visiting their sites.
You can purchase SAINT through Servant Books or Amazon.com. Also tune in to The Catholic Guy radio show on Sept. 30 for a special announcement!
Chapter 14 Excerpt: Dear Diary
I landed in Rome, dropped my bags off at my aunt and uncles home, and headed right to St. Peter’s. It was midafternoon, and exactly seventeen hours after seeing it on my TV at home, I was standing in the piazza. I was in the crowds. And John Paul II was still alive! I felt so incredibly lucky to be there and pray for him.
Not that my prayers are all that valid, mind you, but I was just happy to be there. And I was also happy to see people much holier than I, presumably with their much more God-pleasing prayers, also praying or him. There we were, staring up at the windows of the papal apartments, wondering how he was doing. Everywhere you looked, people were praying for the Holy Father. Especially praying the rosary.
I've always had a love-hate relationship with rosaries. I own lots of them, which is supposed to prove that I love them. But I hate that, because I have ADD, I don’t pray them as often as I should. Like, at all.
Nonetheless, I reached into my pocket for my rosary. It was the one John Paul II had given to me. It always sat prominently on my desk—like a trophy or award—but I rarely used it for its intended purpose. But now I took the rosary out and began to pray for him.
It occurred to me that John Paul II must have prayed the Hail Mary hundreds of thousands of times in his life. And when I said the words: “Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death,” I knew that the hour of his death was coming soon.
Around me some American seminarians were singing in Latin. Nearby were some Italian kids who called themselves the “Papa Boys.” They had basically been camped out in the piazza while JPII was sick. They were doing it because they wanted him to know he was never alone. Every once in a while, they’d chant his name in Italian: “Giovanni Paolo! Giovanni Paolo!”
I pictured the pope slipping in and out of consciousness yet always hearing the thousands of people out in the piazza praying for him, cheering for him. We wanted to be with our pope.
The sun set on the Vatican on the second day of April, 2005. I remember looking at that beautiful sunset, wondering if it would be the last of his life.
Apparently, his last words before he died were for all of us whose lives he touched: “Vi ho cercato. Voi siete venuti. Vi ringrazio.” “I looked for you. You came to me. And I thank you.”
Hours after the sunset, there was a prayer service held in the piazza. And then a cardinal came up to the microphone and announced the words no one wanted to hear.
“Dearest brothers and sisters, at 21:37, our beloved Father John Paul II has returned to the house of his Father. Let’s pray for him.”
There was silence. And tears. And then, in Italian tradition, we applauded.
That night, while leaving the square, I was filled with sadness. And I was jet-lagged. But knowing I was a part of something historic, and wanting to remember those days as best I could, I wrote as much as I could in my journal.
Ah, yes, I keep a journal. And I've been made fun of mercilessly for it. I started writing in it every Sunday evening, back in 1995 when I was in graduate school. It’s just a simple spiral notebook, and I’m now on my third notebook.
To answer your questions: No, I don’t begin every entry with “Dear Diary.” It’s not a diary. It’s a man journal—a very masculine one, at that. Made out of human flesh. I write in my own blood.
Ok, that’s an exaggeration. But I don’t journal every day, while sitting on a dock looking over a lake. I keep the man journal because I figure it will come in handy during my canonization process, since one of the steps for measuring a saint’s life is a review of his or her written work.
And you should thank me for it, because I’m now opening up the pages of it to you—so you can relive the days of one of the greatest saints the Church has ever known: the death and funeral of John Paul II.