Bookmark and Share

Pope Saint John Paul II - Papa Wojtyla

Karol Józef Wojtyła born on 18 May 1920 in Wadowice, Poland. Ordained on Feast of All Saints, 1 November 1946. Auxiliary Bishop (1958–1964) & Archbishop of Kraków (1964–1978). Cardinal-Priest of San Cesareo in Palatio (1967–1978)
Elected Pope 16 October, inaugurated 22 October 1978
Assassination attempt on Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, 13 May 1981. Died on vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday, 2 April 2005. Beatified by Benedict XVI on Divine Mercy Sunday, 1 May 2011. Canonized
(with John XXIII) by Pope Francis on Divine Mercy Sunday, 27 April 2014
Motto: Totus Tuus    Feast day: 22nd October

Many of Totus2us's podcasts feature beloved John Paul II:
Catechesis with Pope St John Paul II (JPII's teaching)   St John Paul II, We Love You (testimonies)
Papa's Words (messages & homilies)  Novenas (some encyclicals & apostolic exhortations read in full)
World Youth Days
(young people's testimonies & JPII's words)  Man for Others (JPII's inspiration to priests).

Election & Inauguration of Pope John Paul II

3 2us by Mgr Leo Maasburg  
"John Paul II was a very courageous man, not only during the Nazi occupation when he was studying for the priesthood himself secretly and was ordained priest. But also later on in his life he never shrank back from things which his heart told him to do."

3 2us by Father Greg Morgan      
"He was such an astonishing human being and there are two attributes that I really want to bring to the fore. The first is very simple: his humanity. What an incredible human being, which I think is something we often neglect to examine, how important our humanity is. The second I say something about is his capacity to witness without fear."

John Paul II, the Pilgrim Pope

During the 26½ years of his pontificate, John Paul II was a pilgrim to 129 different countries on 104 apostolic voyages, traveling 1,247,613 km (approx 750,000 miles). Click here to see which countries JPII visited when, watch Vatican footage, link to the countries & read JPII's encouraging words.
JPII described: "These trips are visits to each local Church and demonstrate their place in making up the universality of the Church.. Each trip made by the Pope is 'an authentic pilgrimage to the living sanctuary of the People of God'... the Pilgrim-Pope feels at home everywhere, even "among strangers". The proof of this lies in the relationship that they have with him."

The Wisdom of Saint John Paul II

During his 26½ years as Bishop of Rome, JPII gave us great wisdom and teaching at his Wednesday General Audiences. The themes of JPII's catechesis were:
Theology of the Body (129 audiences: 1979 - 1984)
Catechesis (7 audiences: 1984 - 1985)
God the Father and Creator (60 audiences: 1985 - 1986)
Jesus Christ, Son of God and Saviour (97 audiences:  1986 - 1989)
The Spirit, Giver of Life and Love (82 audiences: 1989 - 1991)
The Church (137 audiences: 1991 - 1995)
Mary, Mother of God (70 audiences: 1995 - 1997)
The History of Salvation (119 audiences: 1997 - 2001)
The Divine Office, Bible Readings

Papa Woytyla wrote fourteen encyclicals:
1) Redemptor Hominis - The Redeemer of Man      
2) Dives in Misericordia - Rich in Mercy
3) Laborem Exercens - Performing Work
4) Slavorum Apostoli - Apostles of the Slavs
5) Dominum et vivificantem - Lord and Giver of Life      
6) Redemptoris Mater - The Mother of the Redeemer      
7) Sollicitudo Rei Socialis - Solicitude for social things
8) Redemptoris Missio - The Mission of the Redeemer
9) Centesimus Annus - One Hundred Years
10) Veritatis Splendor - The Splendour of Truth
11) Evangelium Vitae - The Gospel of Life      
12) Ut Unum Sint - That they may be one
13) Fides et Ratio - Faith and Reason      
14) Ecclesia de Eucharistia - the Church of the Eucharist      

The Papa of Young People and the Founder of World Youth Days

"You are the hope of the Church and of the world. You are my hope." were the words of the new Pope to the young people in St Peter's Square on 22 October 1978.

Papa St John Paul II repeated these words many times, both at the gatherings of young people on his pilgrim journeys and in particular at World Youth Days, which had their beginnings in 1984 when JPII held an International Youth Meeting in St Peter's Square on Palm Sunday, and a week later on Easter Sunday entrusted young people with the Cross. This simple wooden Cross has been carried round the world by young people ever since while World Youth Day has been celebrated on Palm Sunday every year since on a diocesan level, with an annual message from our Holy Fathers.

There have also been 12 international World Youth Days - in Buenos Aires, Santiago de Compostela, Czestochowa, Denver, Manila, Paris, Rome, Toronto, Cologne, Sydney, Madrid &
Rio de Janiero. They've taken on a 5 day structure: 3 days of catechesis, prayer and celebration, Stations of the Cross on the Friday, a pilgrimage on the Saturday for a prayer vigil with the Pope and the final Mass on the Sunday. The next international WYD will be in 2016 in Krakow, Poland (where JPII was archbishop). WYD Manila 1995 is in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest gathering in the history of the world (estimates of 6 million) & GMG Rome 2000 in the Jubilee Year is the largest gathering in the history of Europe (over 2 million).

St John Paul II introduced Divine Mercy Sunday in the Jubilee year 2000, canonising the first saint of the new millennium, Sr Maria Faustina Kowalska, on the Sunday after Easter. JPII died on the vigil of Divine Mercy 2005, and was beatified & canonised on the feast day in 2011 & 2014.

The Divine Mercy chaplet is in 12 languages on Totus2us's Divine Mercy podcast.

Fr François-Marie Lethel OCD (who gave the Lenten retreat to Pope Benedict on 'The light of Christ in the heart of the Church: JPII & the theology of the saints') - has said: "I am convinced that JPII's beatification is an event of enormous significance for the Church & for the world. It calls for a profound spiritual preparation on the part of the whole people of God, & in an exemplary manner on the part of the Holy Father & his closest collaborators.. JPII's beatification is like the crowning of his extraordinary pontificate precisely under the sign of sanctity."

A Jubilee Year of Mercy has been proclaimed by Pope Francis, beginning on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December 2015.

Novena in thanksgiving for the life of JPII    

O Lord Jesus Christ, you are our future & our hope, in you we live & love & work.
Make us witnesses of your Word, mirrors of your goodness, friends for each other, light in the darkness, comfort for those suffering and a place of grace for all who seek your face, O Lord. (JPII prayer)

O Blessed Trinity, we thank You for having graced the Church with Pope John Paul II
and for allowing the tenderness of your Fatherly care, the glory of the Cross of Christ,
and the splendour of the Holy Spirit, to shine through him.
Trusting fully in Your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary,
he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd,
and has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life
and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you.
Grant us, by his intercession, and according to Your will, the graces we implore,
hoping that he will soon be numbered among your saints. Amen.

  • Flash is required!

John Paul II: "I would have liked to stay with you longer, but I find consolation in the words of Jesus. He tells us the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you. The Father sends his Spirit of truth and love into the world, and the Spirit guides us in the ways of peace. Therefore do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. Dear brothers and sisters, the Holy Spirit is with you."

Totus Tuus - 'All Yours' - was Pope John Paul II's motto, having entrusted his life, his priesthood, his 'all' to Mary. 

"This phrase is not only an expression of piety, or simply an expression of  devotion.  It is more.  During the Second World War, while I was employed as a factory worker, I came to be attracted to Marian devotion.  At first, it had seemed to me that I should distance myself a bit from the Marian devotion of my childhood, in order to focus more on Christ. Thanks to Saint Louis de Montfort, I came to understand that true devotion to the Mother of God is actually Christocentric, indeed, it is very profoundly rooted in the Mystery of the Blessed Trinity, and the mysteries of the Incarnation and Redemption." JPII