Meeting Pope John Paul II

KZ, MZ with JP2I am often asked how I became involved in speaking on the theology of the body. As is so often the case in life, I didn’t choose the theology of the body and St. John Paul II; they choose me. Here’s the story from the Forward of my book, Discovering the Feminine Genius:

On June 16, 1992, I met Pope John Paul II! It was two days before my son’s fifth birthday, and we had requested to attend the pope’s private morning Mass in Rome as a special birthday blessing. Our request was granted, and, after Mass, we were ushered into a large audience hall outside his private chapel. As John Paul II shuffled to greet each collection of visitors, he
was visibly in pain. However, his face lit up whenever a child or baby was in the group.

Our turn quickly arrived, and John Paul II handed each of us a papal Rosary. In return, my son handed him a small book, The Titles of Mary. Delighted, the Holy Father bent down, embraced my son, and kissed him. Then he placed his hand on my forehead and blessed me. It was a blessing I will never forget. The vicar of Christ imparted a portion of his spirit to me. Next to the birth of my son, it was the most beautiful moment of my life.

In my spirit, I sensed I received new graces for motherhood. These graces were indeed for motherhood, but not biological motherhood. They were for spiritual motherhood.

At the time, I didn’t even know such a thing existed — that I, as a single mother and laywoman, could be a spiritual mother. I was still navigating the turbulent waters of an annulled marriage. But God was way ahead of me. He was already charting a new course and infusing my being with the grace I would need. He was also introducing me to my spiritual father, John Paul II, who would guide me through the process of discovering the beauty of the feminine genius along with the meaning and purpose of the body.

  • "Man...cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself." (GS 24)