Five Holy Martyrs Parish plans “Night Vigil”
to celebrate the Canonization of
Blesseds Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII
Five Holy Martyrs Parish, 4301 S. Richmond St., in Chicago, is planning to celebrate the Canonization of Blesseds Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII on April 27, 2014 - Divine Mercy Sunday - with a “Night Vigil” in our church.
The event, coordinated in association with the Polish Highlander Alliance of North America and the Solidarity Circle of Chicago, will begin at midnight and will include the recitation of the rosary, poems about Pope John Paul II, solo and choral performances, and organ and Polish Highlander folk music. We are pleased to have the following people take part and perform in the “Night Vigil” celebration: Jan Zoltek, Miroslawa Topor-Sojka, Bogdan Pawlikowski, Witold Socha, Adam Chlebek, Jozef Bafia, Polish Highlander String Ensemble, and members of the Polish Highlander opera “John Paul II in the Highlands”.
There will be a short break at 2:00 a.m. for coffee, pastries, and snacks in the Bishop Abramowicz parish hall. At exactly 3:00 a.m. the live transmission of the Canonization Mass in Rome, courtesy of TV Trwam, will be broadcast on jumbotron screens in the church. Immediately upon conclusion of the transmission, a Mass will be celebrated in our church to fulfill the Sunday obligation with veneration of the relic of Pope John Paul II. The normal Sunday Mass schedule will then follow with Masses at 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., and 11:00 a.m.; with an additional Mass at 3:00 p.m. to celebrate the feast of the Divine Mercy.
It is our great honor to announce that the 9:00 a.m. Mass will be celebrated by Most Rev. Alberto Rojas, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, with participation by members of our parish Pro-Life Group, Holy Name of Jesus Society, Catholic War Veterans Post #500, Scout Troop #465 & Pack #3465, and the students of Pope John Paul II Catholic School. After the Mass there will be the opportunity to venerate the relic of Saint John Paul II.
Pope John Paul II holds a special place in the hearts and homes of the people of Five Holy Martyrs parish, as well as the Brighton Park community, because he celebrated a Mass on October 5, 1979 at a special altar that was erected in our parish parking lot specifically for his visit. The Mass was attended by thousands of people who crowded the lot and the streets before dawn just to catch a glimpse of our Holy Father and be a part of that historical day.
The main part of this altar still remains in our lot and a Mass commemorating the anniversary of Pope John Paul II‘s visit is celebrated at this altar every year on the first Sunday of October. The Pope John Paul II Centrum Committee of our parish has raised over $70,000 so far, and continues raising funds, in order to renovate this altar to make it a more permanent fixture in our community, where one can come to and honor Pope John Paul II in prayer. The first phase of this project began on March 19 – the feast of St. Joseph.
Other notable remnants of that Mass include the Papal chair and processional cross. The Papal chair was carved from wood by an artist and former parishioner, Jerzy Simon Kenar. It was used by Pope John Paul II during the October 5, 1979 Mass, thus now making it a secondary relic. It can be viewed at the main entrance to the church. The ten foot processional cross was carved by a professional wood carver and former parishioner, John Jachymiak. It was carried in the procession during the 1979 Mass and is now located in the priest’s sacristy in our church. These items are prized treasures of the parish.
On September 24, 2011, Five Holy Martyrs parish was very fortunate to have received a primary relic of Blessed Pope John Paul II from His Eminence, Stanislaw Cardinal Dziwisz, the Archbishop of Krakow, Poland, and the former personal secretary to Pope John Paul II. The relic is a drop of Blessed Pope John Paul II’s blood on a cloth protected by a lunula, a small, round glass encasement. The lunula has been mounted into a reliquary, a vessel in which a relic is held and exposed.
Since receiving this relic, Five Holy Martyrs parish celebrates and honors the life of Pope John Paul II every first Sunday of the month by sharing interesting facts, stories, and poems about him in a special bulletin insert; by offering up our petitions to God through his intercession and venerating his relic at the 9:00 a.m. English and the 11:00 a.m. Polish Masses; reciting the prayer for his canonization as a community of believers; and finally by receiving a special blessing with the relic at the end of Mass.
All past parishioners, neighbors and friends are cordially invited to join us for this once in a lifetime Canonization Mass celebration at Five Holy Martyrs church beginning at midnight on April 27, 2014. There are no tickets required to attend this event and it will be general seating on a first come basis.
For more information about the Canonization Mass celebration or the renovation of the outdoor Papal Altar, please contact Five Holy Martyrs parish office at (773) 254-3636, Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.