Of the myriad phenomenal gifts which God gave (and will continue to give) to the Church and the world through John Paul II, one in particular stands out for me as especially significant for our times. He was a living icon of holy fatherhood. In this great apostle, priest, teacher, and chief shepherd of the flock of the Lord, we experienced an image of Christ’s love, and of God the Father as revealed in Christ Jesus. John Paul II embodied all that was best in human nature, irradiated with grace. An ardent priest, a philosopher, an artist, a sportsman, a man of sacrifice, a man of tender heart and nerves of steel, of wit and laughter and tears, he expressed the essential nature of what it is to be a fully-alive Christian—to be a person in whom Truth and Love are integrated. His qualities seem inexhaustible, his sanctity unquestionable, the legacy of his pontificate so rich that it will be centuries before we absorb it completely, if we ever do. The effects of this extraordinary generosity on the part of Heaven have already begun, yet there is more to come, perhaps centuries more, during which the light he brought to us “from above” will increase and not fade in memory.