Poor Brazilian parish becomes first to take St. John Paul II's name

Pope John Paul II.

A small parish in the poor neighborhood of Alagados in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, has become the first in the world to be named after St. John Paul II, after the late pontiff’s canonization April 27.

Sara Gomes, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Salvador, told AFP that the “small church of Notre Dame of Alagados will now be called 'Notre Dame of Alagados and of St. John Paul II.' It is the first in the world to be named after the new saint.”

The official name change took place the morning of April 27 after Mass at the parish. Pope John Paul II was declared a saint alongside Pope John XXIII at a Vatican Mass earlier that day.

Archbishop Murilo Krieger signed a decree authorizing the new title for the parish, which was inaugurated in 1980 by John Paul II during the first of three trips he made to Brazil.

Capuchin Father Jorge Rocha recalled meeting St. John Paul II at the parish three decades ago.

“The saints live among us,” he told the Globo website. “The Church does not invent them, she recognizes what already exists.”

 


Voices

Easter and beyond

Anne Hansen

We move quickly from our major religious holidays each year. It’s not intentional. Life hurries along and as soon as the sun sets on one holiday the next is being touted by merchants looking to sell us whatever the next big day brings. To remain in the spirit of the religious holiday — in this case Easter — takes deliberate intention.

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April 27, 2015

  • Monday, April 27

    Holy Silence Contemplative Prayer Group offers a book study and discussion on the Desert Fathers, 7:30-9 p.m., St Andrew Russian Greek Catholic Church, 538 Concord St., El Segundo. (310) 322-1892.

    Healing Mass, 7:30 p.m., St. Cornelius Church, 5500 E Warldow Ave., Long Beach. (562) 421-8966.

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