In 1994 his album “Over the Hump sold more than 4.5 million copies throughout Europe. In Germany it is the biggest selling album of all time. Bigger than the Beatles.
The group has sold over 50 million records worldwide.
At twenty years old he was a teenage sensation, a huge rock star and lived in a 17th century castle in Europe He had all the riches, fame, fortune and the adulation of millions. His name is Paddy Kelly.
He was born in Ireland to American parents. He was the star of the incredible singing group “The Kelly Family” He has eleven brothers and sisters and most sing in the band. They started out singing in the streets of Europe but quickly their incredible singing talents took them to the top. Paddy Kelly became a huge idol with adoring female fans. He needed body guards in public. He was hounded by paparazzi where ever he went and traveled by private jet and helicopters. He was recognized everywhere he went. He had it all... this amazing young man had everything, but despite the fame and money he began to feel empty, isolated..
He felt lost... He felt his soul was dying. He had lost his mother when he was five years old but toured the world with his family that gave him love and support.
Even with thelove of his family he began to fall into depression even despair. It all began to break down for Paddy Kelly. He lost the sense of who he was and all his ideals and false securities began to break down. He felt like he wanted to end his life.
Nothing made sense to him anymore. Material goods and money, not even music made him happy.
This was when a deep search for the truth began. He asked himself “If all this doesn't make me happy then what is the sense of life. Why do I exists” . He then asked the question “Who can tell me who I am ? Who has the true answers to my questions. As he began to ask these questions, he realized he had no real friends he felt alone and empty. At a moment of deep crisis, standing on a ledge of his room he sensed in him a voice telling himto “Hold on Hold on” .. and after this moment passed he wept bitterly at what he almost had done.
Soon after he began to search his spiritual side.. He read about eastern religion like Buddism even the Koran but it was the Gospels that seemed to pull him in a new direction. He felt the Gospels were alive.
At a chance meeting with a gathering of priests near his palatial home the 17th century castle he felt his spirit grow. Still he struggled with depression and sadness and then one day...he was “zapping” his televison and by chance he came across a program about Lourdes, the shrine dedicated to a apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
His first thought was that it was “Only for blue-haired grandmothers and naive people who believe anything” But he felt pulled to Lourdes like a magnet. He decided to go. But he was certain that the town would be filled with “horrible plastic statues” and would be no place for a “rock star” to find God.So he went and to his surprise not only were “Gray haired grandmothers praying the Rosary but many young people dressed he thought “cool” and they liked rock and roll. He therefore joined the youth program.
Then that evening with the youth group there came a moment of “Prayer and Silence” and during that moment he felt a simple yet a deep peace in his heart. He was experiencing a deep presence of someone inside of him. Wow! He thought God is accessible and this came to him through the Blessed Virgin Mary. He realized that Mary was not some Christian myth, but no she was a person.
He felt she was asking him to give life a second chance. He felt she wanted to help him and no longer felt alone. He had grown up Catholic but now he knew that he could meet God and that night he gave life a new chance. He was to live his life according to Gods will. He knew Mary had planted the seed of faith in Lourdes and now he also knew only through prayer could his faith grow. As his spiritual quest moved forward he found his brothers and sisters also saw that money and fame did not bring happiness.
And in the summer of 2000 he and two of his brothers and sisters decided to go to the Youth festival in Medjugorje. Here he met Father Jozo and quickly through his words, counsel and abundance of graces a deep movement of conversion with God came to his brothers and sisters and in the months and years to follow. Through Mary, through Medjugorje, he finally came to know Jesus. He believed that God existed but he had not yet experianced the Holy Spirit in a deep and powerful way. He wanted to know if he was truly the Son of Man.
He wanted to believe it and not just tell himself so or because the Church said so. He wanted to feel the interior confirmation of the Holy Spirit. Then one morning the Holy Spirit entered his heart in a real way.
He called his brothers and sister he loved so much and said to them “Jesus is God, Jesus is God, Jesus is God.”
Today Paddy Kelly still sings but now as a seminarian a Monk. He goes by the name of John Paul Mary.