On the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday when Pope John Paul II will officially enter the canon of saints of Christ’s Church, many families in the town of Ave Maria are also planning a feast day for their sons – or their Sister! It is fitting that a town where one of the streets is named “Pope John Paul II Boulevard” – a town whose founding was inspired by that pope’s “new evangelization” – has so many boys and young men named after that extraordinary man.
His papacy saw a rise in the popularity of the name “John Paul” for newborns in the USA as shown in this graphic, with spikes in popularity based on events in his life:
Of course not everyone bearing the name received it as a newborn boy. Sister John Paul, OP, who teaches in Ave Maria at Donahue Catholic, received the name when she entered Religious life.
Among the estimated dozen John Paul’s in Ave Maria, several have provided photographs, below.
One lucky Ave Maria boy bearing the name is having the trip of a lifetime with his mother – they traveled to Rome to attend tomorrow’s canonization ceremony! John Paul Allan’s friends and neighbors have been able to follow his special pilgrimage via Facebook. Mrs. Allan owns a Catholic gift and book store and home school supply store called By Way of the Family that she named after a phrase from Saint Pope John Paul”s apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio: “The future of humanity passes by way of the family.”