Pope John Paul II 1920-2020

Karol Józef Wojtyła was born on May 18, 1920 in small town Wadowice, Poland. Cardinal Wojtyła was elected as the Pope on October 16, 1978 as the 264th head of the Roman-Catholic church in history. He was the first non-Italian Pope for 455 years and the first one from a Slavic country. Pontificate has completed 104 pastoral visits outside of Italy and 146 within Italy. As Bishop of Rome He has visited 317 of the 333 parishes. No other Pope has encountered so many individuals like John Paul II, more than 17,600,000 pilgrims have participated in the General Audiences held on Wednesdays. It must be remembered the numerous government personalities encountered during 38 official visits and in the 737 audiences and meetings held with Heads of State and the 245 audiences and meetings with Prime Ministers. Pope John Paul II guided and prepared Church to celebrate the Great Jubilee, a celebration of the mercy of God and the forgiveness of sin, which began with the opening of the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica. 8 million pilgrims came to Rome to pray during the Year 2000, as the Church and the whole of humanity passed into the third millennium. More than three million pilgrims traveled to Rome to pay homage to the Pope, some were standing in line for over 24 hours to pray in thanksgiving for their beloved Holy Father. The pontificate of John Paul II lasted 26 years and 5 months, was the third in length in history. Pope introduced the Church into the new millennium, contributed to the overthrow of the communist system, traveled with the message of peace throughout the world, defended the rights of the family and the unborn, took care of the poor, the sick and the elderly, initiated the World Youth Day, announced the new Code of Canon Law and the Catechism Of the Catholic Church, entrusted the whole world to the Mother of God and God’s Mercy, met with followers of various denominations and religions.Pope funeral was one of the largest Christian gathering in history. John Paul II’s canonization was done by Pope Francis on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 27, 2014 in Rome

John Paul II was called the Pope-pilgrim, Pope traveled 7 times to United States.

Pope John Paul II 1979

In 1979 Pope John Paul II begins his first trip to the United States: He visited Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Des Moines, Washington. He was greeted by the wife of President Carter at Boston airport. The next day, Pope spoke at the General Assembly Session at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York. Speaking to the representatives of the nations, His Holiness told of his experiences during World War II and gave a powerful reflection recalling his visit a few months earlier to the Auschwitz concentration camp. He pointed out that the Declaration on Human Rights “cost the loss of millions of our brother and sisters, who paid for it with their own suffering and sacrifice”. Later Pope visited the cathedral of St. Patrick and celebrated mass. at Yankee Stadium for around 90,000 faithful. The Holy Father met about 20,000 youth at Madison Square Garden. He gave a speech at Batery Park, where about 300,000 gathered faithful. On October 6 he went to Washington, where he met with President Jimmy Carter in the White House.

Pope John Paul II 26 February 1981

Anchorage Second visit to U.S Stopover, meeting with President R.Reagan. President Reagan was returning to the United States from a visit to China while Pope John Paul II was making a stopover on His way to South Korea, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Thailand

Pope John Paul II 2 May 1984

Fairbanks, third visit to U.S. Stopover. Meeting with President R.Reagan. Under rainy gray skies at an outdoor ceremony at Fairbanks International Airport, Mr. Reagan welcomed the Pope to the United States and wished Him well on His trip to South Korea, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Thailand. At the airport, the Pope delivered warm greetings in English to Americans, particularly Alaskans. Of the 15,000 Catholics in the diocese of Fairbanks, half are Indians and Eskimos.

Pope John Paul II 10 -19 September 1987

John Paul II stops include; Miami, Columbia, SC, New Orleans, San Antonio, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Monterey, San Francisco, and Detroit. Arrival of Air Force One and Arrival of Shepherd One at Miami International Airport. President and Nancy Reagan Greet Pope John Paul II at Miami

Pope John Paul II August 12, 1993

John Paul II visits Denver, Colorado for World Youth Day

Pope John Paul II – October 1995

John Paul II’s sixth visit to the U.S. Pope ravels to Newark, New York, and Baltimore, where He celebrates a Mass at Camden Yards. John Paul II visited New York on October 5, 1995 and paid a visit to the UN to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its creation. Pope celebrated a mass at the Giants Stadium in East Rutherford for the faithful of the dioceses (100,000 faithful took part), celebrated the Eucharistic liturgy at Aqueduct Racecourse in the Diocese of Brooklyn. Nine cardinals, 37 bishops and 900 priests concelebrated with the Holy Father. On the last day of His stay in New York, John Paul II celebrated a mass in Central Park, concelebrated by 9 cardinals, about 60 bishops and 500 priests with 200,000 faithful. Then Pope took part in the rosary service in the Cathedral of St. Patrick, dedicated the new office of the permanent observer of the Holy See to the UN, Archbishop Renato Martino, and met with representatives of other churches and church communities, a delegation of Muslims and leaders of the Jewish community.

The most important moment of the Pope’s pilgrimage to the USA was a visit to the New York headquarters of the United Nations. In His speech, the Holy Father drew attention to the extraordinary changes taking place in recent world and their consequences for the present and future of the human race.The Pope also drew attention to the problem of the responsible exercise of freedom, both in personal and social terms. Threats to the modern world, such as nuclear war, contribute to humanity’s fear of the future and fears of its continued existence. Concluding His remarks, with a message full of hope, Saint John Paul II called on the representatives of the nations to go beyond fear and to build a civilization of love.

Pope John Paul II January, 1999

John Paul II on His seventh and final visit to the United States heads to St. Louis for the Closing of the Special Assembly for America of the Synod of Bishops, a papal advisory body.