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Pope Saint John Paul II
Karol Józef Wojtyła
May 18, 1920 – April 2, 2005


Pope: October 16, 1978 – April 2, 2005
Feast Day: October 22
Born Karol Wojtyła in Wadowice, Poland, on May 18, 1920, by the time he died on April 2, 2005, St. John Paul II was the only pope known to a whole generation of Catholics. And to the rest of the world, he had been the face and the voice of the Catholic Church for more than 26 years.

At Salt + Light, Pope St. John Paul II holds a special place in our hearts and in our work. The founding of our network was inspired by his visit to Toronto for World Youth Day in 2002, and in fact, our very name comes from the theme for WYD 2002: “You are the salt of the earth... You are the light of the world” (Mt 5:13-14).

In our office we are constantly surrounded by the saint’s paternal presence. There are newspaper clippings from WYD 2002 on our walls, a stained glass window and relic in our chapel, as well as various objects he used during his visit to Toronto: from the table in our staff kitchen to the altar and presider’s chair in our chapel.

Explore this website to learn more about this awesome and beloved saint of the modern Church.
S+L Magazine on Saint John Paul II

S+L Magazine
Spring 2011

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Photos

Pope Saint John Paul II


Encyclicals14
Apostolic Exhortations14
Apostolic Constitutions11
Apostolic Letters45
Planned speeches during Apostolic Voyages3,288 (including those in Italy)
Visits outside Italy104 (to 129 different nations)
Visits in Italy146 (outside Rome and Castelgandolfo)
Beatifications1,338 (in 147 ceremonies)
Canonizations482 (in 51 ceremonies)
New cardinals created231
New bishops appointed for ordination321
Baptisms as pope1,501
Synods attended as pope15 (plus, 5 before)
Meetings with heads of state or prime ministers1,022
General Audiences1,164
World Youth Days9
World Meetings of Families4
Length of pontificate26 years, 5 months, 23 days (9,665 days)
Popes with longer pontificateBl. Pius IX (31 years); St. Peter (34 or 37 years)

* Official statistics from the Holy See Press Office

Videos

Ceremony of Canonization for John Paul II and John XXIII

Here is the video of the Ceremony of Canonization for John Paul II and John XXIII, presided by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square on April 27, 2014, the second Sunday of Easter. The ceremony was also attended by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

John Paul II, We Love You - Catholic Focus

Pope John Paul II was in many respects a pope of firsts: the first pope to visit the White House, the first pope to visit Cuba, and the most widely traveled Pope in history. As one of the longest reigning popes in the history of the Church, his influence will be felt for generations.... read more

The Pope of the Family

At the canonization mass for Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, Pope Francis spoke of the latter with these words: “In his own service to the People of God, John Paul II was the pope of the family.

Pope Mania of 1984

It was one of the biggest events in Canadian history when on Sept 9th 1984, Pope John Paul II kissed the tarmac at the airport in Quebec City and kicked-off, the first ever papal visit in Canada.

JPII's last WYD (Toronto 2002)

S+L CEO Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB recalls his memorable experiences up close with Pope John Paul II as the Pontiff's health was declining during World Youth Day Toronto in 2002.

WYD Toronto 2002 - Vigil

The full footage of the Saturday evening Vigil with Pope John Paul II at World Youth Day in Toronto, July 27, 2002.

WYD Toronto 2002 - Sunday Papal Mass

Full footage of the final Mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II at his last World Youth Day in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on July 28, 2002.

A Conversation with former JPII Swiss Guard Andreas Widmer

Inspiring Leadership: A Legacy of Saint John Paul II looks at the unique leadership qualities of one of the 20th centuries most prominent figures. Andreas Widmer was a young Swiss Guard at the Vatican when the young and physically active Polish Pope was captivating the world.

Blogs and Articles

JPII: Did you know?
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In honour of the feast day of Pope St. John Paul II today, here are some fun stats from his papacy. ...read more
Video of the Ceremony of Canonization for John Paul II and John XXIII
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Watch the video of the Ceremony of Canonization for John Paul II and John XXIII as we celebrate the 4th year anniversary of their canonization. ...read more
Holy Popes! Significance of the Canonization of John XXIII & John Paul II
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Read Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B's reflection on the Canonization of Pope John XXII and Pope John Paul II as we celebrate the 4th anniversary of their canonization. April 27. ...read more
Reflections of his Light: The Journey of His Holiness John Paul II and the World Youth Day Cross in Canada
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All proceeds from the purchase of this book are to make possible Salt + Light‘s coverage of the World Youth Day in Panama 2019. Throughout Pope John Paul II’s papacy, youth has been a priority. When he was elected Pope in 1978, John Paul II said that young people are the future of the wo ...read more
At the canonization mass for Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, Pope Francis spoke of the latter with these words: “In his own service to the People of God, John Paul II was the pope of the family. We are now in the process of journeying with families towards the Synod on the family. ...read more
Liberating a Continent: John Paul II and the Fall of Communism
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Liberating a Continent: John Paul II and the Fall of Communism is now available for purchase on the Salt + Light Store! One of history’s greatest examples of the triumph of spiritual power over violence and oppression is vividly recounted in Liberating a Continent: John Paul II and the Fall of Com ...read more
St. Faustina Kowalska and St. John Paul II: Patron Saints of World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow
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Pope John Paul II’s interest in Divine Mercy goes back to the days of his youth in Krakow when Karol Wojtyla was an eyewitness to so much evil and suffering during World War II in occupied Poland. He witnessed the round ups of many people who were sent to concentration camps and slave labor. In ...read more
My John Paul II Memories
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I have many memories of April 2, 2005, when St. John Paul II died after a lengthy illness and much suffering. I remember the succession of news reports the evening before his death,  people praying in St. Peter’s Square and the shared sense of concern and sadness that most people felt; this ...read more