My turn: Pope John Paul II made sainthood hip

The media is so focused on Prince William and his soon-to-be-princess Kate Middleton that some fear Friday’s royal wedding will steal thunder from Sunday’s much-anticipated beatification of Pope John Paul II in Rome.

Before JPII was even laid to rest on April 8, 2005, crowds shouted “santo subito” (sainthood now). Sunday’s beatification makes JPII one step from sainthood.

With his “Be not afraid” theme, JPII touched millions of hearts as he trotted the globe into unchartered territory — being the first pope to enter a mosque and being instrumental in the downfall of Communism in the 1980’s.

By Sunday, many will have a royal pain from over-media-saturation of the royal wedding. The spotlight will rightfully move to this beloved pontiff who survived an assassination attempt and captured the hearts of millions of youth by launching World Youth Day in 1985.

In our modern world of relativism, which JPII warned against, people want to point fingers at do-gooders with lame allegations of “hypocrisy” rather than aspiring to become saints themselves. There are the “I’m not” or “You’re not a saint” excuses and jokes. In Spanish, they say, so and so is a “santita,” which often has a negative connotation.

We all have purpose-driven lives of sainthood and JPII made it hip. After all, why else are we here?