When I was blessed by a saint

The only time I was ever personally blessed by a saint was in 1982. Pope John Paul II visited the UK on a pastoral visit, the first ever by a reigning Pope. His London tour took him up Victoria Street towards Parliament Square in Westminster. There were not massive throngs to greet his passage, although the streets were lined with a respectable number of people. To gain a better view I stood upon top of a junction box at the corner of Great Smith Street and Victoria Street. As the Pope’s procession went by, His Holiness turned in my direction, and saw me standing aloft. He looked me in the eye and reached out his arms to make a huge sign of the cross to bless me.

He was not then a saint, but a Pope. However, he was later sanctified and subsequently canonized, so it was Saint John Paul II who personally blessed me. My Roman Catholic friends were very envious, and one of them remarked, “Well, it just goes to show that he’s not infallible.”