Pope St John Paul II
(1920-2005)

Pope (from 1978), beatified person (2011-2014), and Saint (from 2014)

Died aged 84

Pope John Paul II (Latin: Ioannes Paulus II; Italian: Giovanni Paolo II; Polish: Jan Paweł II; born Karol Józef Wojtyła [ˈkarɔl ˈjuzɛv vɔjˈtɨwa]; 18 May 1920 – 2 April 2005) was the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 1978 until his death in 2005. He was elected pope by the second papal conclave of 1978, which was called after Pope John Paul I, who had been elected in August to succeed Pope Paul VI, died after 33 days. Cardinal Wojtyła was elected on the third day of the conclave and adopted the name of his predecessor in tribute to him. John Paul II is recognised as helping to end Communist rule in his native Poland and eventually all of Europe. John Paul II significantly improved the Catholic Church's relations with Judaism, Islam, and the Eastern Orthodox Church. He upheld the Church's teachings on such matters as the right to life, artificial contraception, the ordination of women, and a celibate clergy, and although he supported the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, he was seen as generally conservative in their interpretation. He was one of the most travelled world leaders in history, visiting 129 countries during his pontificate. As part of his special emphasis on the universal call to holiness, he beatified 1,340 and canonised 483 people, more than the combined tally of his predecessors during the preceding five centuries. By the time of his death, he had named most of the College of Cardinals, consecrated or co-consecrated many of the world's bishops, and ordained many priests. John Paul II was the second longest-serving pope in modern history after Pope Pius IX. Born in Poland, John Paul II was the first non-Italian pope since the 16th-century Pope Adrian VI. John Paul II's cause for canonisation commenced one month after his death with the traditional five-year waiting period waived. On 19 December 2009, John Paul II was proclaimed venerable by his successor, Benedict XVI, and was beatified on 1 May 2011 (Divine Mercy Sunday) after the Congregation for the Causes of Saints attributed one miracle to his intercession, the healing of a French nun called Marie Simon Pierre from Parkinson's disease. A second miracle was approved on 2 July 2013, and confirmed by Pope Francis two days later. John Paul II was canonised on 27 April 2014 (again Divine Mercy Sunday), together with Pope John XXIII. On 11 September 2014, Pope Francis added these two optional memorials to the worldwide General Roman Calendar of saints. It is traditional to celebrate saints' feast days on the anniversary of their deaths, but that of John Paul II (22 October) is celebrated on the anniversary of his papal inauguration. Posthumously, he has been referred to by some Catholics as "St. John Paul the Great", although the title has no official recognition.

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Commemorated on 6 plaques

Monceau on Flickr
Jez Nicholson on Flickr
Elliott Brown on Flickr

"Sono venuto per passare insieme con voi una giornata in preghiera e in riflessione." Parole di Sua Santità Giovanni Paolo II in visita pastorale a Sorrento il 19 Marzo 1992. La Sua spiritualità, il Suo messaggio di pace e fratellanza, rimarranno nei nostri cuori per sempre. L'Amministrazione Comunale post il 19-3-2010

Italica ARS, Piazza T. Tasso, Sorrento, Italy where they visited (1992)

A.D. MCMXCII die XIX Martii In sollemnitate S Joseph Ioannes Paulus PP. II Surrentinam stabianam Archidioecesim visitans ab antistite F. Cece ac S. R. E Cardd. M. Giordano et C. Ursi laetanter exceptus in Surrentina platea Civitatis rectores populumque a dlocutus creationis gloriam extollens omnes ad hospitalitatem excitavit. In hac Cathedrali ecclesia Clerum regularesque fratres ac sorores Ad Christum alacriter constanterque sequendum hortatus est. Felix Archiepiscopus cece Capitulum clerus populusque Ad perpetuam rei memoriam

Sorrento Cathedral, Corsa Italia, Sorrento, Italy where they visited (1992)

On the occasion of his second pastoral visit to the United States of America His Holiness Pope John Paul II worshipped with clergy and religious in this historic Basilica September 12, 1987. [Cathedral of St. Louis, New Orleans, Louisiana]

Jackson Square, New Orleans, LA, United States where they visited (1987)

Homenagem a sua santidade o Papa Joao Paulo II. Recorodando a sua visita pastoral a ests ilha de S. Migual 11 de Maio de 1991

English translation:

, Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal where they visited (1991)

Le 8 Juillet 1947, Karol Wojtyla , futur Pape Jean-Paul II, est venu ici, prier Notre Dame. Comme lui, demandons à Marie qu'elle nous obtienne de son divin fils la Grâce dont nous avons besoin.

English translation: On 8 July 1947, Karol Wojtyla, future Pope John Paul II, came here to pray Our Lady. Like him, let us ask Mary that she obtain from her divine son the Grace we need.

Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde , Rue Fort du Sanctuaire, Marseille, France where they visited (1947)

7 Novembre 1982 Record del pas de S.S. Joan Pau II Son seves les paravles "Aquest Temple de La Sagrade Familia recorda una altra construccio feta amb Pedra viva: La Familia Cristiana"

English translation: 7th November 1982 Record of the passage of Pope John Paul II His paravils are his "This Temple of La Sagrada Familia remember another one construction made with Living Stone: The Christian Family "

Sagrada Familia - Carrer de la Marina, Barcelona, Spain where they visited (1982)