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.
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.
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 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
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
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
Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation – Born on the wings of World Youth Day 2002 in Canada, Salt + Light is a unique instrument of the New Evangelization. It is dedicated to being – and helping others become – the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Our mission is to proclaim Jesus Christ and the joy of the Gospel to the world by telling stories of hope that bring people closer to Christ and the Catholic faith.