St. John Paul II: Anger and Tears

It’s better to cry than to be angry; because anger hurts others, while tears flow silently through the soul and cleanse the heart.

Attr. St. John Paul II

A lot of people who have shared this struggle with the word “cleanse.” I’ve seen it as “cleans” and as “cleanses,” both of which are obviously wrong.

  1. It fails the ear test, though admittedly I am highly suspicious. It just doesn’t sound like St. JP II to me.
  2. I went through 10 pages of Google search results, finding all the usual suspects (“quote” aggregator sites, Facebook, Pinterest, et al.), none of which gave a citation. There were lots more results, but I figured if there wasn’t a citation on the first 10 pages, there wasn’t likely to be one later. The earliest dated sighting of this attributed to St. JP II (or, for that matter, to anyone at all) is from 2012.
  3. I searched the Vatican web site. No dice.
  4. I searched the EWTN web site, hoping at least to discover a source for the original erroneous attribution. (Love you, EWTN, but you’ve done this to me before.) No dice.
  5. Google Books turned up no citations either.

I would be happier if I could run the original saying to ground, but as it is, I’m going to call this one “unlikely.”

Edit to add: A comment below suggests (I think) that the author is actually Stefan Cardinal Wyszyński.

One thought on “St. John Paul II: Anger and Tears

Comments are closed.