Pope John Paul II flagellated himself
Pope John Paul II practiced severe bodily penance – including whipping himself with a belt and sleeping on the floor– and also wrote a letter in which he offered his resignation in the case he was incapacitated, according to a book published Tuesday by the Vatican official in charge of the process that could lead to the pope’s sainthood.
The book, “Why He’s a Saint”, also includes previously unpublished speeches and documents written by John Paul, including a memo from 1989 in which he said that he would resign if he became incapacitated.
Msg. Oder is the postulator for John Paul’s canonization cause, and the book he wrote detailing the case for the late pope’s sainthood was released on Tuesday. It was based on testimony of the 114 witnesses and boxes of documentation that Oder gathered on John Paul’s life to support the case.
While there has been much speculation that John Paul will officially be declared “Blessed” by the Catholic Church in a massive ceremony in Rome this October, no date has been set for the beatification.
In December, Pope Benedict signed off on John Paul’s “heroic virtues,” officially making him Venerable, but a miracle worked through John Paul’s intercession has to be approved before he is declared Blessed.