Now we know why Pope John Paul II was so hunched over!
Book: John Paul II used belt to whip himself
Pope John Paul II whipped himself with a belt, even on vacation, and slept on the floor as acts of penitence and to bring him closer to Christian perfection, according to a new book by the Polish prelate spearheading his sainthood case.
At a news conference Tuesday, Oder defended John Paul's practice of self-mortification, which some faithful use to remind them of the suffering of Jesus on the cross.
"It's an instrument of Christian perfection," Oder said, responding to questions about how such a practice could be condoned considering Catholic teaching holds that the human body is a gift from God.
In the book, Oder wrote that John Paul frequently denied himself food — especially during the holy season of Lent — and "frequently spent the night on the bare floor," messing up his bed in the morning so he wouldn't draw attention to his act of penitence
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Know Thy Pope
Tuesday, January 26, 2010